In the Sunday New York Times, writer Steven Johnson makes the case that the Blue States are the new Tea Party.
The argument goes like this: People who live in major coastal cities tend to pay more in federal taxes than their states get back in federal spending. They also tend to have unequal representation in Congress (and by extension, in the Electoral College) because of each state gets two senators, regardless of population. In short, they’re getting a raw deal.
[T]he prevailing sense that the big cities are dependent on government bailouts and benefits, while the less dense regions live responsibly. … bears no resemblance to the current economic map of the United States, where the major cities are now overwhelmingly the engines of economic growth and wealth creation — and also tax revenue.
For complicated reasons — some of which have to do with rural poverty, some of which have to do with the basic physics of supporting infrastructure in low-density regions — a disproportionate amount of per capita federal spending and benefits now flow down to the low-density states.