Twice as many Americans describe themselves as "conservative" (41 percent) as describe themselves as "liberal" (19 percent). Wander around America — particularly Southern and Western America — and you'll find plenty of towns that feel like Colorado Springs. As Republicans never stop pointing out, the counties that voted for George W. Bush take up far more of the map than the ones that voted for Al Gore.
These places help to explain modern America. They explain why George W. Bush is in the White House, why the Republican Party has won six of the past nine presidential elections and controls both houses of Congress, why every serious Democratic candidate for president supports mandatory sentencing and welfare reform, why the cultural capitals of Hollywood and Manhattan remain the exception and why the much disdained "flyover" land that lies between them is the rule.
Unfortunately, we in Rhode Island are along the margins, so to speak, of this political divide. Here, where we have 100,000 Government Union members, approximately 10% of the total population (and around 20% of the work force, I would gather), the idea of this state massively shifting "conservative" any time soon seems like a fantasy. But we still try. At least I can take heart in that I am closer aligned to the average American than my "comrades" here in the PRoRI (Peoples Republic of Rhoded Island).