WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8, 2022
Shouldn't we try to find out? Last week, we noted a somewhat discouraging electoral fact.
Uvalde County, Texas is roughly three-quarters Hispanic. But in the 2020 election, Candidate Trump beat Candidate Biden there by just over twenty points.
Given certain demographic stereotypes, Uvalde seems like a county a Democrat should be able to win. But it hasn't been working out that way. Trump beat Clinton by ten points there, then beat Biden by twenty.
Today, we visit a vastly different county. We travel to far north Aroostook County, the largest county in Maine.
Maine is just the 39th largest state by area, but Aroostook is a big county. In this recent report, the Washington Post's Molly Roberts described its recent political history:
ROBERTS (6/2/22): Aroostook nestles up against Canada. It’s rural, remote and vast—larger than several states. It’s conservative and becoming more so: It voted blue in six presidential races from 1992 to 2012, and then red in 2016 and 2020. It’s also not what it used to be; gone is the era of a booming lumber industry that propped up mills, factories and all the opportunity that came with them. “There was a lot of activity in that area,” says longtime Collins chief of staff and all-around Svengali Steve Abbott. “And now there’s not.”
Somewhat oddly, Roberts says Aroostook is "conservative and becoming more so." She then notes that Democrats won the county in every presidential race from 1992 through 2012.
It wouldn't seem that the rural county was especially "conservative" then.
Obama won the county both times, by 13.6 and 7.5 points. After that, the deluge! Trump beat Clinton by 17 points, then beat Biden by 20.
Who (or what) lost Aroostook County? We'll note that the county's most recent demographic profile looks like this:
Aroostook County, Maine
Population: roughly 67,000
Native American: 1.9%
The county is very heavily "white." Obama won there both times. The county then swung hard to Trump.
Who (or what) lost Aroostook County? Roberts seems to float a Svengali's suggestion. Shouldn't we try to find out?