Could Amazon flip a state?

As a group, Amazon’s U.S. finalists are strongly Democratic-leaning. Echelon Insights, a Republican consulting firm that specializes in demographic change, recently calculated that in the media markets that include the finalists, Hillary Clinton crushed President Trump by 57 percent to 38 percent in 2016. That result reflects the underlying demography of these communities: Compared with the other largest media markets that have no Amazon finalists, they have slightly more white college graduates and many more minority residents—with considerably fewer of the blue-collar whites that provided Trump’s core support.

But there are political gradations among the finalists. While Clinton probably won the downtown neighborhoods in all 19 communities, Trump carried the wider media market in five of them, noted Patrick Ruffini, Echelon’s co-founder: Dallas, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Nashville. The finalists represent economic gradations, too, with several of them offering much more developed technology ecosystems than the others.

“Is this going to be a choice that reinforces and further concentrates the winners in the new economy—some place on the coasts, or some place that is already very [highly] college-educated?” Ruffini asked. “Or are we going to see a major tech hub sprout potentially in a red state that may have political implications for how that state goes in the future?”

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