Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Illinois is unique in that it has all the demographic elements of the entire country laid out in sharply defined geographical boundaries. The city of Chicago is ethnically diverse and solidly Democratic. The surrounding counties (DuPage and Lake) in particular are entirely filled with the sort of preserve-my-wealth Republicans who nevertheless feel comfortable with the city, actually know gay people and are mostly uninterested in the Culture wars. From I-80 south OTOH the entire rest of the State is cornfields peppered with pop. 2000 town and a few minor almost-urban areas (Champaigne, Kankakee, Peoria, Springfield, Joliet) It is there, where fear of strangers, open unapologetic racism, and religious certainty are all welcome, that Santorum is able to shine. The reason that Romney is the inevitable nominee, is that the third category is a large area but very sparsely populated. (Don't tell any of those inhabitants that they don't represent the real America though) Those are fighting words!