Why so Blue?

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Looking at an election map of the U.S., you see an uninterrupted mass of "blue states" in the northeast. The trend toward Democratic voting wasn’t just a presidential phenomenon – at all levels of government, New Englanders and others in the northeast elected Democrats, despite long held traditional ties to the Grand Old Party. Jennifer Donahue, the political director of the New Hampshire Institute on Politics at St. Anselm College, joins us to examine what can be learned from these trends.(Listen)

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Also in the program, class issues in our region. Sometimes an outsider notices certain things about a place that those who inhabit it can miss. That was the idea when several regional arts organizations commissioned southerner Anne Galjour to research and create a theater performance piece which holds a mirror to social class here. Jane Lindholm talks with Galjour about her show, "You Can’t Get There From Here," the result of two years of story-gathering around New England. (Listen)

And the Norwich Public Library is hosting the exhibition, "Uncovered: the Art of Altered Books," in which artists have transformed old books into sculptural pieces of art. The provocative ideas in the exhibit are not without controversy, as VPR’s Steve Zind reports. (Listen)

Listener comments:

Hilary in Danville
Vermont had the widest margin of any state, other than Hawaii, in favor of Obama. Since we re-elected a Republican governor by a pretty wide margin, that speaks to me of the independent mindedness of Vermonters.


Kempton in Cabot
Concerning the blue-ness of New England in general, it’s interesting to note that there is not a single Republican House seat left in the whole of New England. That indicates to me that it wasn’t entirely an anti-Bush election, as your guest was suggesting.

Michael in Rutland:
One of the things I recall from my college political science course was that the Republican Party experienced a major vacuum in power and membership in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and that evangelicals filled that void. As a result, the party’s platform became skewed and the party was dominated by the "Evangelical Right." This group redefined "values" to be only evangelical religious values. Does Jennifer [Donahue] think that the time has come when the Evangelical Right’s reign is over? Does she think that "Northeast Conservatives" who were fiscally conservative while being socially moderate can once again take control of the party? Personally, I know a lot of people who say that they have values, but not these are not the same as the "values" that the Republicans have adopted. "Values" is code for this Evangelical stance on the world and it seems that the Evangelicals. I also know that a lot of people from my parent’s generation as well as my grandparent’s generation identify as Republicans, but find that the national party does not represent them. If I just ask my parents and grandparents about their stand on the issues, you would never know that they were "Republicans" because they speak like Democrats on the issues.

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