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 usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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