A red northeast?
Something Salena Zito is saying is likely something important.
The prescient New York Post columnist and geographic reporter thinks New England and parts of the bluest northeast are turning red.
Last November, while most of the country was either cheering Donald Trump’s presidential win or making an appointment with their therapist about how to cope with the results, New Englanders in four out of the region’s six “blue” states — Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine — woke up the next morning with four Republican governors.
Meanwhile, the ultrablue city of Erie in northwest Pennsylvania is in a tight race for mayor, and for the first time in decades, may see a result that could turn the city red, too. It seems connected to the ongoing red revolution she describes from her travels. With four of the six regional governorships already held by popular Republicans, "The media is missing the Republican takeover of New England," she wrote.
Do not forget that New Hampshire probably already did go red in the 2016, given that the election was almost certainly stolen by out-of-state voters.
Zito is worth heeding because she is strikingly insightful about the Trump phenomenon, and the shifting political currents that are buffetting the U.S. and perhapss the world in this political era of change. She was one of the few who were not surprised by the 2016 election result. She comes to these observations and conclusions not by talking with Beltway consultants, activists or lobbyists, but by going out into the land, listening and speaking with genuine Americans, watching their moves and hearing their preoccupations - these are the people who have been ignored for decades by the Washington swampland. One of her most vivid observations during the 2016 election cycle was from her reporting in the ignored areas of Pennsylvania - she reported scores and scores of flags and Trump signs on front lawns out in the podunks no one else ever visited - and suggested it meant something.
Now she's noting the changes in New England and other parts of the bluest northeast.
If that's the case, it's fascinating to speculate as to the reasons, looking at the geographic and economic bases, as well as the political. Could it have been the shale boom in western Pennsylvania driving it? The prospect of economic activity, the pioneering into the unknown, and the earned prosperity that is rolling in in that region for the first time in decades? Is it political exhaustion at decades of one-party rule and the ruinous policies? Perhaps. And if America is largely urban and rural in sensibility, could the reforestation of New England be restoring some of the region's traditional self-sufficiency and rural (or perhaps frontier) sensibility? Could the fading of the Kennedys have something to do with it? These are markers to consider as one ponders why the region is following the Midwest and beginning to turn, like the autumn leaves, red Republican.