Today much of the Great Plains is undergoing a catastrophic demographic collapse. Stretching 1,600 miles from central Texas to the Canadian border and 750 miles across at its widest point, and containing all or most of ten states, this region accounts for a fifth of the land area of the United States, but only four percent of the population—about 12 million people. To put this in perspective, the population of the Los Angeles region is now greater than that of the Great Plains, an area five times the size of California.
Sixty percent of the counties in the Great Plains declined in population in the past decade.... Already more and more of what early Americans called "the Great American Desert" fits the nineteenth-century definition of frontier territory: an area with no more than six inhabitants per square mile.
Meanwhile, the coasts are rapidly filling up. Although coastal counties occupy only about 17 percent of the territory of the contiguous United States, they contain about 53 percent of the nation's population.
--Michael Lind in The Atlantic Monthly
So much for the ridiculous 2000 electoral map right-wingers so enjoy waving in our faces to support their dubious claims of a 2000 mandate for Bushism. And if these demographic trends continue -- Lind cites statistics that suggest they probably will -- it's just possible that 2000 will be only the first of several presidential elections in which a Republican rejected by the electorate wins the White House thanks to the utterly outdated Electoral College.