I'll go along with Swimpy and also add that with urbanization comes high tech and good schools. Look at the the tech triangle around Raleigh/Durheim in NC...notably more liberal/democratic as the educational base increases.
I think there is a trend here that others have noted before me.
Hm. The pattern that the more educated people are, the more prone they are to vote Democratic, is relatively new, and still mostly only applicable locally. Traditionally, the Democrats actually do better among the lowest-educated (and poorer) people, and the Republicans better among the higher-educated (and richer). Only the top-educated (postgrads) turn Democratic again.
This pattern is reversed in parts of the South, it's true, which was of course deeply Democratic but collectively turned conservative Republican since the 60s. It's there, for example in NC as you mention - or in Virginia - that the Democrats do better in high-ed high-tech places. Mostly because those places actually pull people in from outside
the South, who are more likely to be Democratic voters.
But nationally, its still the other way round. The exit polls for the 2000 elections
show a stark example. Al Gore beat Bush a stunning 59% to 39% among those who had no high school degree. Among high school graduates Bush narrowly led (49% to 48%), and it was among those with some college education and college graduates that Bush's lead jumped to six points (51% to 45% both). Only at the very top of the educational level, among postgrads, did the preference swing back to Gore again.
The same held true in the 2004 exit polls
, though admittedly less starkly. Still, Kerry beat
Bush among those who didnt finish high school, 50% to 49% - and dropped to 47% against 52% for Bush among high school graduates - and an even worse 46% against 54% for Bush amongst those with some college. Kerry's share of the vote remained 46% among college graduates and only shot back up to 55% among postgrads.
So no, in general, places do not become "more liberal/democratic as the educational base increases". It applies to states like NC and VA only because those are conservative areas, which have seen an influx of higher-educated people who migrated in from more liberal states.
Could that be true at least for the Mississippi banks in the South? Are there towns or areas near the Mississippi river in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri that have seen an influx of liberal outsiders moving in?
(I suspect it is because of the urbanization along the river, but what do I know? I just live here.)
It's an interesting thought, but judging on the maps in the atlas at least, many of the Democratic-leaning counties on the banks of the river seem as rural as the Republican-leaning ones inland.
In fact, here's a demographic map. It doesnt look like the Mississippi banks are particularly urbanised, apart from the separate centers of New Orleans, Memphis and St Louis, and up north Minneapolis/St Paul.
So .. <squints at electoral map, at the population map, at the electoral map> ..
Yeah, exactly. The most heavily Democratic stretch of the Mississippi river spans about the entire length that it serves as the Western border of Mississippi state (with LA and AR, respectively, on the other shore). And there's not a city of note the length of it.
Then there is a bit of a break, in which both shores are majority Republican except for the environs of St Louis;
And then you have the second concentration of Democratic votes in the section stretching along the state borders of Iowa and Minnesota (with a bit of Illinois and then Wisconsin on the other side). Culminating in the liberal bulwark of Duluth, on the shore of Lake Superior.
And again, apart from Minneapolis, there's no cities bigger than, say, Davenport, the length of it.
Hhmmmm.. so what is it, then?