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Red and blue don’t tell us everything

Red states, blue states, red counties, blue counties.    

A few elections ago, a TV station began using red and blue to indicate voting patterns on a map, a decision driven solely by graphic design. It stuck, and now it’s an emblem of political identity.

On maps the day after Election Day, the colors defined divisions between one county and the next, between rural and urban, and between regions of the state.

Like many other states, the cities here voted blue, but unlike other states, the rural areas were both blue and red. This rural-urban divide was most visible as the state’s second largest city, Las Cruces, flexed its muscles, swinging the vote for Xochitl Torres Small despite solid support for Yvette Harrell in the massive 2nd District’s red counties. The reliably blue north preserves Ben Ray Lujan’s 3rd District seat each cycle. And the blue and very urban 1st District is sending Deb Haaland, of Laguna Pueblo, to Congress.

While the anticipated “Blue Wave” fell short nationally, it was a reality here, sweeping Democrats into all the statewide offices.