Wal-Marts are not evenly distributed in America, and the Christian Science Monitor's Dante Chinni finds that the discount chain is strongest in counties that he categorizes as "Emptying Nests" and "Evangelical Epicenters," while it's weakest in counties classified as "Industrial Metropolis" and "Monied 'Burbs." But Chinni speculates that the recesson may prove to be an opportunity for Wal-Mart to expand into communities that have so far been resistant to the chain:
Watching how Wal-Mart performs and grows in all these communities in the coming years could be telling. If the current economic downturn deepens, protesting against or boycotting a company that promises low prices may become harder for some. And the Wal-Mart battlefield in the culture wars may shrink.
Chinni's Patchwork Nation blog divides the nation into 11 community types -- an exercise similar to our own model of 10 political regions, but with more of a checkerboard approach rather than an attempt to make geographically coherent sections. See how Barack Obama fared in these 11 categories here.