If there is a good correlation between the “American nations” and support for Trump, then I’m not really seeing it.
There are just too many inconsistencies. Yankeedom is bifurcated between extremely strong support for Trump at its eastern end – the betting markets indicate he is highly likely to continue sweeping that entire area as he already did with Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire – but his support begins to crumble once we get to Wisconsin, which straddles The Foundry and the Breadbasket, to say nothing of agragian Minnesota. Trump’s support hits a veritable wall on the Kansan and Oklohoma border, regardless that Greater Appalachia is supposed to extend well into those two states. The Midlands with their weird and unnatural borders are completely useless at explaining anything about Trump’s support; they range from the heavily anti-Trump west to the pretty clearly pro-Trump Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Great Lakes region.
Just when I was about to give up making sense of these patterns in any rigorous HBD- or culture-related way (not that the two are necessarily mutually exclusive), I dig out another map from what was the precursor to Colin Woodard’s work: Joel Garreau’s 1981 book The Nine Nations of North America. Now incidentally, I have always preferred Garreau’s version of the American nations to Woodard’s. Although Woodard is more historically inclined, drawing heavily from on David Hackett Fischer’s magesterial Albion’s Seed, Garreau had the benefit of 100,000kms-worth of travel throughout the Americas, thousands of personal conversations, and a greater appreciation of modern economic geography.
Garreau’s map is also a heck of a lot more pleasant to just look at.
See the map above based on Garreau’s work drawn by Richard Furno in 1981. The American Nations as envisaged by Garreau actually look like nations, complete with plausible borders and symbols that can be readily associated with their specific folkways; nations that might one day conceivably arise in the wake of some apocalyptic event such as The Flame Deluge or The Change.
And, it just so happens that unlike Woodard’s Nations, the American Nations of Garreau actually do correlate remarkably well with Trump’s support!
Most strikingly, the huge demographic reservoirs that are The Foundry and Dixie are solidly behind Trump. The two biggest exceptions – that prove the rule – are Texas and Ohio, which went to Cruz and Kasich, respectively, on account of their home field advantage; nonetheless, Trump was respectably second in both states. (Robot Rubio was unable to repeat this in Florida). Half-Forge, Half-Breadbasket Wisconsin is 50/50 on Trump: The polls say yay, while The betting sites say nay. (Update: No longer. I wrote this before Trump’s ill-considered remarks on abortion; contra the liberal hysteria, he merely proved that his support for social conservatism had always been superficial. You could almost feel the gears whirling in his head as he tried to simulate an answer that would appeal to God-fearing conservatives and he failed. This has further tilted The Breadlands against him, and now Wisconsin leans heavily towards Cruz).
Trump also has convincing predominance in New England (except Maine) and most of the MaxAmerican borderlands. In contrast, the limits to Trump’s support are clearly demarcated by The Breadbasket – that plain, bucolic of conservative, mild-mannered Teutons. The tringular slice that Dixie makes into Oklohoma is reflected in the primaries results, in which there is a small blue concetration for Trump in the south-east of the state set against a uniform yellow in support of Cruz elsewhere. The Empty Quarter’s low population densities, with concentrations typically separated by long distances and mountains, have a rich variety of political cultures. Brash, glitzy, casino-mad Nevada, hosting Randall Flagg’s capital Las Vegas and Reno, where men get shot for all sorts of reasons, gave Trump 46% in the primaries; utterly straitlaced and civic Utah is so uncompromisingly set against The Donald it might even emerge from the other side of the horseshoe and support Hillary Clinton in these elections should the Republic frontrunner become its nominee.
That said, like The Breadbasket, the Empty Quarter – both on average and those that triangulate between the two poles that are Las Vegas and Salt Lake City – are predominantly against Trump. Of the seven major Nations of North America ala Garreau, at least three of them – Dixie, The Foundry, and New England – clearly support Trump (thus, remarkably, bridging the most classical American division – that between the Union and the Confederacy). Two of them are clearly opposed – The Breadbasket and the Empty Quarter. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen where the sympathies of MexAmerica and Ecotopia lie. Arizona went for Trump with a large margin, who is also popular in SoCal; but looks set to fail in New Mexico. Data on Ecotopia is still very sparse, though one admittedly old poll suggested Trump will take Oregon.
So the media soundbites about how Trump is redrawing the political map are not exaggerated. But as Republican grandees have taken to arguing, the way it has been done is not to the party’s benefit: When polls show that Trump is slated to lose Utah as Republican nominee, then one might legitimately think that that is a good case for denying Trump his nomination and all concerns for the will of the Republican voter be damned.
But that’s assuming Trump plays by the standard conservative rulebook.
If, instead, he were to veer even further towards economic populism during the Presidential campaign while toning down on “triggering” rhetoric, he stands to gain serious kudos running against a Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, who encapsulates the arrogance and mendacity that even many liberals admit characterize the Clinton Clique (Glenn Greenwald was entirely correct in his playful argument that nominating Clinton over Sanders is a “huge electability gamble”). This is not unimaginable, since Trump’s protectionist arguments look good set against the Krugmanian orthodoxy on free trade that mainstream Democrats espouse. Furthermore, unburdened from having to compete with Cruz for the ultraconservative vote, Trump can win over many liberal White voters by dredging up his past reasonably progressive stances on healthcare and climate change (after all, Trump voters are primarily anti-establishment, and that includes oil companies, as Slate magazine discovered to its horror).
Imagine Trump losing Utah… but winning New York.
Sounds completely impossible, but all sorts of impossible things have been Happening in this campaign, so really – why not?
The main problem of course is that insodoing this, Trump will be pulling the trigger on Establishment conservatism, finally putting it out of its long misery:
At [Cruz’s] own rally, though, there was at least one skeptical voice. “Nationalism is the new thing, man,” said Jordan Voor, 30, a Trump supporter who works nearby. “I just kind of want to watch the establishment burn,” Mr. Voor added. “What’s the point of being conservative anymore? It’s a failing ideology.”
So it is understandable why the NRO hardlinerswho can’t wait for the white working class to die out, nationalist neocons whose nationalism regrettably applies not to the US but to another country, and even conservative “reformists” like Ross Douthat are willing to stop at nothing to sabotage Trump’s nomination… or even manipulate arcane Electoral College rules from the 19th century to invalidate his Presidency should he win the popular vote.
Unfortunately for them, however, the only part of the country that still supports their project of transforming Americans into the La Raza Cósmica of the 2050s are those few Americans of The Breadbasket and The Empty Quarter who still primarily live by the social mores – and demographic homogeneity – of the 1950s.
Meanwhile, those Americans who have had to contend with vibrant diversity, shuttered factories, SJWs, and the manifold other joys of late modernity have started to chew thoughtfully on a certain crimson-hued psychotropic substance.
That is the entirety of The Foundry and Dixie, and most of New England, MexAmerica, Ecotopia, and the Las Vegas enclave.
That is about 70% of the US White population.
If Donald Trump can figure out how to kick them into high-energy mode, the White House will be his to lose.