Where You Come From, Part 2: Red Dots in Blue Blobs?
In an earlier post this weekend, The Logo discussed how, on a per capita basis, Ricochet attracts more visitors from blue states than from red. That discovery led us to look at how we ranked among cities -- not major metropolitan areas, but the municipalities themselves.
As with the states, the biggest cities send us the most visitors. New York (defined, curiously, as Manhattan and Brooklyn; Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island are counted separately) is first at about 18,000 unique visitors. Much smaller but politically-driven Washington, D.C. is second. Nothing too surprising.
Cities that Send Ricochet the Most Visitors
- New York
- Washington, DC
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- Portland, OR
When we change this to a per capita ranking (see notes for additional details), here's what we find:
Places that Send Ricochet the Most Visitors per Capita
- Hopkins, MN
- Clarksburg, WV
- Charlottesville, VA
- State College, PA
- Decatur, GA
- Naples, FL
- Midvale, UT
- Princeton, NJ
- Beverly Hills
- Morgantown, WV
- Winter Park, FL
- West Chester, PA
- Ithaca, NY
- Spring, TX
- DC Metro
- Culver City, CA
- Newport, RI
- Madison, WI
- Cambridge, MA
First of all, let's hear it for Hopkins, MN and Clarksburg, WV! We don't really know why they're at the top of our leader boards, but we're interested in finding out. About 15% of the top 100 towns come from places like Hopkins and Clarksburg. Then we notice a few other things:
The DC metro area and Minneapolis grace our top twenty. Others include Atlanta (#30), Denver (#40), Seattle (#54), San Francisco (#56), St. Louis (#67), and New York City (#76).
Suburbs, Enclaves, or Commuter Towns Attached to Blue Metro Areas
Beverly Hills (#9); Lynnwood, WA (# 22); Smyrna, GA (#23); La Jolla, CA (#25), Redmond, WA (#28), Brentwood, TN (#37), and Germantown, TN (#38) are examples of towns where a lot of conservatives live -- probably quietly -- under the influence of a large, blue metro area. Hopkins, MN (#1) probably fits in this category as well.
And then there's West Hollywood (#27), which... isn't what we expected. But we're happy to have you!
About one third of our top 100 consists of what are generally considered to be college towns. State capitals like Madison, Richmond, and Austin may not fit perfectly into this bucket, but they're included here anyway with that caveat. Here's a list of those within our top 100:
|3||Charlottesville, VA||Univ. of VA|
|4||State College, PA||Penn State|
|5||Decatur, GA||Emory U.|
|10||Morgantown, WV||West Virginia Univ.|
|19||Madison, WI||Univ. of Wisconsin|
|20||Cambridge, MA||Harvard, MIT|
|21||Greenville, SC||Bob Jones, Furman|
|26||Palo Alto, CA||Stanford|
|30||Chapel Hill, NC||Univ. of North Carolina|
|33||Newark, DE||Univ. of Delaware|
|36||Ann Arbor, MI||Univ. of Michigan|
|45||San Luis Obispo||Cal Poly|
|48||Annapolis, MD||U.S. Naval Academy, St. John's|
|51||West Lafayette||Purdue Univ.|
|60||Burlington, VT||Univ. of Vermont|
|62||Knoxville, TN||Univ. of Tennessee|
|65||Bloomington, IN||Univ. of Indiana|
|70||Berkeley, CA||Univ. of California|
|72||Tempe, AZ||Arizona State|
|79||Austin, TX||Univ. of Texas|
|80||Columbia, SC||Univ. of South Carolina|
|81||Moscow, ID||Univ. of Idaho|
|86||Amherst, MA||Amherst College, UMass|
|88||Oxford, MS||Ole Miss Univ.|
|93||Boulder, CO||Univ. of Colorado|
|95||Columbia, MO||Univ. of Missouri|
|99||Gainesville, FL||Univ. of Florida|
|100||Corvallis, OR||Oregon State Univ.|
Although it's hard to pigeonhole everyone, we're surprised at how much resonance Ricochet seems to have in places with a strong left/progressive influence: college towns and metro areas chief among them. From our personal experience, we've noticed that conservatives feel ideologically isolated when substantially outnumbered by noisy, self-congratulatory leftists. It seems as if we're alone, even though we really aren't, and perhaps that's what leads us to online communities like Ricochet.
So you're more likely to find someone reading Ricochet in Austin (#79) than in Dallas (#125), in Amherst (#86) than in Boston (#145), or in Santa Cruz (#139) than in San Diego (#203).
In other words, red dots in blue blobs.
- Only towns of 15,000 or more were included, because there were too many odd categorization artifacts otherwise.
- The only major metropolitan area we included was for DC, and that's because the individual suburbs (Reston, Arlington, Alexandria, etc.), along with DC itself, were so consistently high in our rankings. All other cities were just the municipalities proper.
- Rural areas are reported by county. Unincorporated parts of Jefferson County (TN), Hennepin County (MN), and Shelby County (TN) were the only rural areas to make the top 500, but they didn't crack the top 100.
- The analysis was based on unique visitors over an approximately three-month period starting in January 2011.