Homemade Infographics: That Other Red and Blue America

What binds this country together, in the divisive political world of 2011? The higher end of higher education does. If a squirrel had the stamina and the inclination, it could cross the whole continent, from the rocky Atlantic shores of New England to the Pacific beaches of California, without its paws ever touching a state in which at least one United States senator or the governor hadn’t gotten a degree from Harvard, Yale, or Stanford. (This assumes the squirrel is a good swimmer or has money for the Mackinac Bridge toll.)

Each member of the United States Senate with the appropriate school background gets vertical or horizontal hatching—red for Harvard, blue for Yale, and green for Stanford. Thanks to Richard Blumenthal (Harvard ‘67, Yale Law ‘73) and Yale-on-Yale Joe Lieberman, Connecticut has more senatorial elite-school affiliations than it has senators. Diagonal stripes are for governors.

The call-out circles are for, from northeast to southwest, Rhode Island (Harvard and Yale, one degree-holding senator apiece), Connecticut, and Delaware (Yale, one senator).