Do You Live in a Wal-Mart State or a Starbucks State?

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By way of Columbia University via the all-things-rural blog Daily Yonder come these interesting (albeit unsurprising) maps showing Wal-Mart and Starbuck density, state by state. (The darker the state, the higher the number of stores per capita.) Not too many surprises here. As you can see, the Southeast has the highest concentration of Wal-Marts, while Starbucks are dense on the West Coast. Also unsurprising is the red state/blue state correlation. As Daily Yonder points out:

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

But is it really a fair comparison? Sure, both are giant chains, but one sells coffee and the other sells, uh, everything. The Northeasterner in me thinks it’d be a whole lot more interesting to compare Starbucks to its regional arch-nemesis, Dunkin’ Donuts.

With its “America runs on Dunkin'” ad campaign, the famously pink-and-orange donut chain has been playing up its proletarian appeal, branding itself as the coffee shop for regular, workaday Americans. From the “America runs on Dunkin'” website:

Mom and dads. Students and senior citizens. Blue collar, white collar, and every collar in between. Dunkin’ Donuts is how everyday people get things done, every day.

Starbucks, on the other hand, has made its name on making us feel like connoisseurs.

The vast range of Starbucks coffees and our expertise on the subject await. Find out what’s being served in stores each week and follow it up with everything you might ever care to know about our roasts.

Even better than a map: Preference for Hillary vs. Obama correlated with preference for Dunkin’ vs. Starbucks. Come forth, ye budding demographers.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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