Okay, using some new updates to the State Data Page
, (and incorporating other data), this is how the states rank according to the five listed criteria effecting access to the political system:Overall Population:
from the More and Other Criteria
Wyoming - 493,782
Vermont - 608,827
North Dakota - 642,200
Alaska - 626, 932
South Dakota - 754,844
Delaware - 783,600
Montana - 902,195
Maine - 1,274,923
New Hampshire - 1,235,786
Idaho - 1,293,953
Personally, I would advocate cutting this list off at any state in excess of 1,000,000 inhabitants, which leaves: Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Delaware, and Montana.Voting Age Population:
(from More and Other Criteria - 2000 census):
Wyoming - 364,909
Alaska - 436,215
Vermont - 461,304
North Dakota - 481,351
South Dakota - 552,195
Delaware - 589,013
Idaho - 924,923
New Hampshire - 926,224
Maine - 973,685
Personally, I would advocate cutting this list off at any state above 600,000 voting age inhabitants, which leaves: Wyoming, Alaska, Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Delaware. Montana drops from the list.Urbanization:
(from the Ranking States by City and County Populations
thread. I would have used the information on the State Data Page, but there is no data for South Dakota listed there (it shows as "N/A").
These are the largest metropolitan areas that are fully within
each candidate state (some may overlap with other states, but these numbers do not incorporate the overlapping portion):
Wyoming - 81,607 (Cheyenne)
North Dakota - 123,138 (Fargo-Moorhead)
Montana - 129,352 (Billings)
Vermont - 169,391 (Burlington)
South Dakota - 172,412 (Sioux Falls)
Maine - 243,537 (Portland)
Alaska - 260,283 (Anchorage)
Idaho - 432,345 (Boise City)
Delaware - 500,265 (Wilmington)
New Hampshire - 739,699 (Boston-Worcester-Lawrence)
Why list only the largest cities? Because it shows what is likely to be the single most difficult area to access, influence, and reform. There are other numbers available on the same thread that show % of state population residing in cities over XX,XXX number of persons, but there's a flip-side to that number that made me use this rating instead. One concern that has been raised with regard to conducting campaigns is how spread out the people of a state are, thus somewhat indicating how much time, effort, and expense could go into trying to conduct an effective state-wide campaign (reaching all of those spread-out voters). If people tend to be more clustered together in towns and cities, the argument could be made that they would be easier to reach because you wouldn't have to go as far to get to them. This could be a plus.
On the other hand, as previously discussed (here and elsewhere), conducting campaigns in cities is generally much more expensive than elsewhere because of the level of competition that you're up against in terms of funding, etc... For that reason, the % of a state's population residing in cities could be taken as either a negative or a positive. To my way of thinking, when you are dealing with the issue of system access, it would seem that the % of people residing in larger cities would be more important because, as the size of the city grows, the campaigning advantage of having more people in one place shrinks. The election may be somewhat less expensive and time-consuming for you (only because you could potentially reach more people with less effort), but you then have to deal with a more entrenched system, more adequately funded/backed political opposition, etc.
So, for those reasons, I decided to go with the sheer size of the largest cities we'd be dealing with. As such, they represent places where campaigns might
be cheaper and less time-consuming, but they also represent ascending levels of difficulty with regard to the other factors that I mentioned (which could negate any advantages).
Considering % of overall population in regard to the size of largest cities would much more adversely affect the following candidates though (in terms of accessibility):Alaska:
(41.5% of the state's population lives in Anchorage alone. Add Juneau and Fairbanks and you get 51% of the state's population living in three cities. In order to effectively access the system in Alaska, we would have to concentrate everyone in these three largest cities, thereby immediately taking on the most entrenched and powerful political structures in the state and thus also limiting our own personal choices as to where we live - possibly a more important factor in Alaska than elsewhere).New Hampshire:
(60% of the state's population lives in the greater Boston-Warchester-Lawrence area...again, confronting us with a much more difficult challenge as well as the fact that we would have to locate almost all of our numbers in that one part of the state to have any chance of impacting the system at all, and again, limiting our choices as to where we can live if we would like to succeed).Delaware:
(76% of Delaware's 783,600 residents reside in either the Wilmington or Dover areas, presenting us with the largest challenge of any of these states. Not suprisingly, incumbents seem to retain power rather handily in Delaware. It's difficult for anyone to realistically compete with them).
In light of the above, I would recommend dropping these states from serious consideration as they would prove much more difficult for us to access, thus influence, thus reform, and thus succeed in. Any other advantages they might have should be seen as secondary if we have little realistic chance of gaining access to their political process.
Therefore, comparing this measurement with the two previous measurements, Alaska and Delaware would drop off, leaving four: Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, and South Dakota.Political History:
(From the "High Votes for Conservative and Libertarian Presidential Candidates" criteria on the State Data Page
This ranking shows how the states would most likely be receptive to our anti-socialism message (or maybe just more willing to consider alternative political views in general). All four states remaining from the above categories made the cut here.Expense of Elections:
(Just updated on the State Data Page with numbers available from the 2002 mid-term elections):
South Dakota drops from the list here.
This leaves Wyoming, Vermont, and North Dakota
as the three states that seem most accessible to our efforts according to all of the above criteria.