Blue State vs. Red State? Starbucks vs. Chik-fil-A? Nope—Try Whole Foods vs. Cracker Barrel

David Wasserman:

A few weeks ago, the new moderator of “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd, took to his “Nerd Screen” to outline an unconventional way to think about the midterm political landscape. His theory: 2014’s hottest races are boiling down to big Democratic urban areas and inner suburbs with lots of Starbucks coffee shops versus heavily Republican exurban hinterlands and rural areas with lots of Chick-fil-A restaurants.

But after immersing myself in numbers, maps and, admittedly, a spicy chicken sandwich, I discovered a slight problem: Neither chain’s political geography fits neatly into Todd’s heuristic.

Nothing makes me happier than when data disproves institutional thinking.