Patchwork Nation

Japser Johns, 1961, oil on canvas; from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, New York.
 - Flickr user IslesPunkFan

Japser Johns, 1961, oil on canvas; from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, New York.

Flickr user IslesPunkFan

Patchwork Nation

Red State. Blue State. The terms conjure up a simple image of the way Americans think, behave and vote. With midterm elections ahead, why it's important to view the U.S. as a patchwork nation of distinct communities with overlapping identities.

Ahead of the 2008 presidential election, journalist Dante Chinni crisscrossed the country interviewing people in cities and towns big and small. With the help of statistics expert James Gimpel of the University of Maryland, Chinni separated the nation's 3,141 counties into 12 distinct communities. Along the way, Chinni discovered what he calls "surprising truths about the real America." Today we'll learn about those communities -- how they're evolving and what their citizens are concerned about as we approach midterm elections.

Guests

Dante Chinni

correspondent for the Patchwork Nation Project for PBS NewsHour and the Christian Science Monitor; author of "Our Patchwork Nation."

Kathy Heicher

former editor, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, Eagle, Colorado; author of "Early Eagle."

Edward Pratt

media relations director, Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; former journalist and editor.

John Hansen

grain manager, Sioux Center (Iowa) Farmers Cooperative Society.

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