A recent series of maps by Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight defining regions of the U.S. left Missouri caught between the Midwest and the South, with neither region decisively claiming the Show-Me State as their own. “Mostly excluded from the South and Midwest, it appears to be the geographic equivalent of the last kid picked during dodgeball,” writes Five Thirty Eight’s Walt Hickey.
We at The MassINC Polling Group think everyone deserves a secure place in the Dodgeball Game of Life. Without a region to call home, Missourians risk being relegated to pollster limbo: the “other” category. One might call it the dodgeball equivalent of the kid that nobody picked, sent to chase the balls that fly the fence.
Rather than leave Missouri to stand forlornly on the sidelines, we asked Missouri residents which team they think they are on. A Google Consumer Survey of 389 Missouri residents shows the State of Missouri clearly in the Midwest, ready to pick up a big red kickball and hurl it at the South’s face.
Missouri residents are almost nine times more likely to say they are Midwesterners (71 percent) than Southerners (8 percent). This will come as a surprise to many of the mapmakers who have been arguing about regional definitions since Five Thirty Eight published the original survey. The Fix has a rundown of five possibilities, only two of which put Missouri in the Midwest. But the results are clear, Missourians know where they belong.