Skip to main content

View Diary: How whites really voted in 2008 (98 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Best part of that in my mind (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie, brklyngrl, pademocrat, shenderson

    was how UNTRUE it was in Virginia and North Carolina, especially since Obama spent time and effort to win both of those states -- the edge of the "appalachia" line in those figures carefully skirts the state lines of NC and VA.

    I find that ... illuminating.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    -Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:25:03 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. I feel like we've been round and round (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with this question, and are still no closer to having an answer. It would be interesting to try to look at voting patterns parceling out the effects of active campaigning. I'd guess that's where most of the action is. Or, at least I'd like to believe at that work made a difference. :)

      •  Look... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        polecat, theran, brklyngrl, OnlyWords for my discussion on it from a few days ago using the presidential-vote-by-CD data.

        "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

        by Dana Houle on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:40:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, I just checked that out. (0+ / 0-)

          I think it's pretty hard to argue that Obama didn't do distinctly worse in Appalachia than other places - he clearly did. I also think it's clear that he did worse among poorer white voters there than he did in many other parts of the country (New Hampshire, Colorado, etc.).

          What I'm still not clear about is whether he did worse with poorer white voters in Appalachia than with poorer white voters in the rest of the South. As in, if we just looked at white voters in Mississippi or South Carolina, would we still see these declines - which to me begs the question of whether this is something about Appalachia or something about Southern whites (like my family! So, I'm interested!)

          •  Declines in Appalachia Are New (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sny, polecat, theran, Grep Agni, brklyngrl

            White voters in the Deep South haven't been voting for Dems for a long time; decades really.  But they've continued to vote Dem in Appalachia and the Ozarks; there may be no states as dominated by the Democratic party as Arkansas and West Virginia.  But this election, while continuing to vote Democratic for other offices, voters in those two states--both of which are overwhelmingly white--swung against Obama and gave him less of the vote than they gave Kerry.

            That only happened in 22% of the counties in America.  I didn't happen in plenty of other states uncontested by Obama, such as high-Dem areas in New England (other than MA, where the 2004 numbers were skewed by it being Kerry's home state), the Plains, California or even much of the Deep South.  Where it happened was the arc of Appalachia down through TN, northern AL and northern MS, in to the Ozarks and then in to Oklahoma.  These places were all settled primarily by people whose ancestors came from the border regions of Great Britain, settled in Appalachia, and then if they left mostly settled in TN, in the Ozarks, the Southern Plains (including Oklahoma) and then moved westward in to Southern California (which was until about the last 15 years a fairly conservative place in voting patterns).  

            "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

            by Dana Houle on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:12:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  NC Appalachia is otherwise (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Donkey Hotey

              The western part of NC has always been both overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly Republican.
              That we now have a Democratic oasis in the counties
              surrounding the two campuses of the state university
              system in that region is what is new, for us.

              The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

              by ge0rge on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 01:07:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks. I think what I'd been wondering, (0+ / 0-)

              and dreaminonempty has the data for this in a comment just below in this same thread, is whether still further declines among white voters in the Deep South were being masked by the very large numbers of black voters in those states (and in counties within those states).

              Politically, it probably doesn't matter much since we're not going to win Mississippi for a long time. I was just theoretically curious what had happened to the white vote in the Deep South versus Appalachia.

          •  Hi brklyngrl! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            How ya doin?  I've been quiet for a while - busy - but I think I have the data at my fingertips that may interest you.  Here's a comparison of how Kerry and Obama did among white voters only:

            First, the Appalachia/Upland South/Oklahoma axis -

              Kerry  Obama  Change
            WV 42%    41%    1 pt (3%)
            KY 35%    36%    +1 pt (+3%)
            TN 34%    34%    no change
            AR 36%    30%    6 pts (17%)
            OK 29%    29%    no change

            Next, the Gulf Coast/Deep South

            LA 24%   14%    10 pts (42%) (Katrina?)
            MS 14%   11%    3 pts (22%)
            AL 19%   10%    9 pts (47%)

            At the state level, it's clear that the changes among whites were far more severe in both absolute and relative terms among whites in the AL, MS and LA.  The state level masks Appalachia everywhere except WV, though, so let's look at counties.

            Are these declines in AL & MS just because of declines in Appalachian Alabama and Mississippi?  We have some counties in northern Alabama and Mississippi that are nearly all white that give us a good idea:

            Cullman    23%   17%  6 pts (26%)  
            Winston    21%   18%  3 pts (14%)  
            Marion     30%   21%  9 pts (30%)
            Blount     18%   15%  3 pts (17%)

            Itawamba   29%   21%  8 pts (28%)
            Tishomingo 34%   23%  11 pts (32%)

            Answer: No.  Whites in the rest of the state must have decreased their vote share even more than those in Appalachian AL & MS in order to be consistent with the exit polls.

            What about Eastern Kentucky?  In absolute terms, there's some pretty large changes.  Let's look at the most severe:

            Letcher   46%  32%  16 pts (30%)

            Not the worst relative change, and better than the statewide results for both LA and AL (but worse than KY as a whole).  There's only a couple counties in E. KY with changes this large.

            So, in absolute terms, decrease in vote share for the Democrat among whites only was nothing for most of WV, about 5 points for most of Appalachian KY and southern WV, and about 10 points throughout the rest of Appalachia and the Gulf Coast.  In relative terms, however, the change became far more severe the further south you go, and was worst to the South of Appalachia.

            To answer your question directly: Yes, if you just look at white voters in Mississippi, outside of Appalachia, you still see such declines - even worse, actually.

    •  Not "Untrue" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I wouldn't say it was "untrue."  It wasn't, however, something that couldn't be overcome and changed.  

      I wrote on this subject most recently a couple days ago.

      "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

      by Dana Houle on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:39:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps I didn't chose my word wisely, (0+ / 0-)

        and I did like your article very much.

        But please note how the NC and VA lines are carefully skirted in the CD data.

        That at least gives me hope for the future, assuming anyone wants to dive into TN, KY, and WV and do something about the neanderthals living there.

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
        I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
        -Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:46:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site