'Patio Man' Defies Simple Voter Demographics

Simple demographics and red versus blue maps do not explain the outcome of the presidential election, writes David Brooks.
November 8, 2004, 10am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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David Brooks, author of On Paradise Drive and "Patio Man and the Sprawl People" and urban affairs commentator, explains that the variety of liberal, "demographic" explanations about why conservatives won the 2004 election are wrong.

"In the first place, there is an immense diversity of opinion within regions, towns and families. Second, the values divide is a complex layering of conflicting views about faith, leadership, individualism, American exceptionalism, suburbia, Wal-Mart, decorum, economic opportunity, natural law, manliness, bourgeois virtues and a zillion other issues...

The red and blue maps that have been popping up in the papers again this week are certainly striking, but they conceal as much as they reveal. I've spent the past four years traveling to 36 states and writing millions of words trying to understand this values divide, and I can tell you there is no one explanation."

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Sunday, November 7, 2004 in The New York Times
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