Melissa’s post on Illinois reminded me that the entire Red/Blue state dichotomy is very misleading. The true political division in this country is urban/rural, and is a replay of the 1920’s in that respect.
This link shows a county by county result from the Bush-Kerry contest in 2004. It is nearly identical to the 2000 result, here.
The Democrats win every urban county, with a couple of smaller exceptions such as Salt Lake City, but the only rural areas they have carried are the Mississippi Delta (which has an African-American majority) and western counties with considerable Hispanic populations.
In the 1920’s, the rural areas also rallied to the conservative party (the Dems, then) against modernization, urbanization, and change in general. In 1932, FDR led the D’s (remember, the conservative party) to total power because the GOP (the progressive party) was blamed for the Great Depression. In office, FDR leapfrogged the GOP to the left, pulling his entire party with him (except Dixiecrats, of course) and leading to their 40+ years of dominating government. FDR’s grand coalition of urban labor, minorities, and rural whites endured a long time.
2008 may well be a watershed moment similar to 1932, if current trends hold in Iraq and the economy.