Friday, September 4, 2015

Wal-Mart/Starbucks — Red/Blue

martsWe at the Yonder don't know what to make of the maps here. They show the number of Wal-Marts and Starbucks per capita by state.

The more stores a state has, relative to its population, the darker the state appears on the map. (These maps came from a statistics site at Columbia University.)

As expected, Arkansas (and much of the South) have the highest number of Wal-Marts per person. (Wal-Mart began in Arkansas, of course.) Washington State (and much of the West Coast) show the highest density of Starbucks. (Starbucks headquarters are in Seattle.)

Make what you will of the maps. We noticed the difference in Wal-Mart penetration between New Hampshire and Vermont. (Both states seem to have a similar number of Starbucks per person.)

West Virginia and Alabama are among the most dense states as far as Wal-Marts are concerned. But neither state seems to be big on high-priced coffee. Vermont just doesn't like chain store operations of any stripe.

Finally, the people over at Legion looked at how all the states voted in 2004. The darker blue the circle, the higher the vote for Democrat John Kerry. The darker the red, the higher the percentage of vote for Republican George W. Bush.

Blue states don't have many Wal-Marts (except for New Hampshire). Red states don't have many Starbucks (except for Colorado).

What does all this mean? Maybe nothing -- except that issues may have less to do with politics than where you shop and how you like your morning jolt.


What's next?

The Starbucks/Walmart ratio is fascinating. It clearly shows that the Democrats should focus some of their time and resources in the general election on Virginia, Florida, Colorado, and Nevada. This even suggests a shot at Texas and Arizona. The red/blue schism of the last two elections can be broken. But what about the Home Depot/Victoria's Secret ratio or the KFC/Barnes and Noble ratio. There's more work to be done.

not so faccinating

This data doesn't mean a whole lot other than these two huge companies have a lot of stores. If we start generalizing values and attitudes based on the creep of global behemoths we are in trouble. It does, however, make the fine people of Vermont look pretty smart IMHO ;).