This article does a pretty good analysis of the change in economic growth between the Red and Blue states. He mentions the book, "What's the Matter with Kansas" in showing that in America, more people want to be rich, even though they are not, than want to hate the rich.
One thing about the Kansas book though, why hasn't anyone wrote a book about "What's the matter with Washington D.C., New York, Massachussettes," etc?
Washington D.C. typically votes among the highest for Democrats. Yet their schools are failing even though the per capita education spending is the top or near the top of all of the states. They have the tightest gun control legislation, yet used to rate the highest in per capita murder statistics. The District has one of the highest per capita tax rates of the country, yet is populated with the largest percentage of poor people, (mostly based on white flight to VA and MD).
If repeating the same acts and expecting different results, (adherance to the Democratic Party) is the definition of insanity, maybe that is the best explanation for wy the District will never be a state.