I’d not thought of our “red” and “blue” states (an artifact of TV graphics in the 2000 presidential election) as surrogates for creative/technology centers until now.
Richard Florida makes a compelling case explaining this phenomena in the current issue of Washington Monthly.
In 1980, according to Robert Cushing’s detailed analysis of the election results, there wasn’t a significant difference between how high-tech and low-tech regions voted for president; the difference between the parties still depended upon other factors. By 2000, however, the 21 regions with the largest concentrations of the creative class and the highest-tech economies voted Democratic at rates 17 percent above the national average. Regions with lower levels of creative people and low-tech economies, along with rural America, went Republican. In California, the most Democratic of states, George Bush won the state’s 14 low-tech regions and rural areas by 210,000 votes. Al Gore took the 12 high-tech regions and their suburbs by over 1.5 million.
Florida, whose 2002 award-winning book explores the same subject, hypothesizes that not only have we undergone a seismic cultural transformation, but we are also on the verge of losing our competitive edge in “white collar” fields like creativity and technology.