Whether the topic is abortion, tax policy, marijuana or guns, Democratic “blue” states such as California and Illinois are bound to take a different tack than Republican “red” states such as Georgia and Kansas. …

People in California becoming convinced that those in Tennessee are “crazy” — and vice versa — has fed polarization not only within states but in Washington, where everyone is supposed to get together and work things out. …

Last month, states voted mostly according to their usual patterns — only more so.

At the presidential level, Barack Obama carried the exact set of states he won four years ago, excepting Indiana and North Carolina, which reverted to their usual habit of voting Republican.

While Obama’s margin of victory was less than it was in 2008, the number of states that were decided narrowly (by fewer than 5 percentage points) actually went down. “That means more states are voting heavily for one candidate or another,” The Economist concludes.