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

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  •  So Much for the Alleged "Appalachian Problem" (0+ / 0-)

    The diary results for Ohio prove what I've been saying all along -- that support for Obama among Ohio whites was directly related to income, with the POOREST whites voting most strongly for Obama.

    Those poor whites in Ohio are largely located in the 32 Appalachian counties. In other words, if the supposed anti-Obama sentiment in Appalachia were correct, as repeatedly insisted by DHinMI, then Ohio would have been among those states where low-income whites voted for McCain.

    That so-called Appalachia problem is a bunch'o'bull.

    •  except that... (1+ / 0-)
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      methinks Tuscawaras is the only arguably Appalachian county in Ohio that Kerry lost and Obama picked up. Most of those counties did vote for McCain. You could look it up.

      Of course income was a strong predictor of vote choice. That isn't enough to settle the Appalachian issue one way or another.

      •  wrong metric (0+ / 0-)

        In more than half the Appalachian counties, Obama did better than Kerry, even if still losing. For example, Obama won the city of Chillicothe, which Kerry lost, and Obama lost my county, Pike, by only 170 votes. It was because Obama did so well in Appalachian Ohio compared to Kerry that Obama won the state.

        The argument that Appalachia was somehow genetically anti-Obama is simply wrong.

        •  whoa there (0+ / 0-)

          It was because Obama did so well in Appalachian Ohio compared to Kerry that Obama won the state.

          Because he did better in more than half those counties? You think that created the 6.6-point swing? This I doubt.

          Kerry lost Pike by only 530 votes, so that isn't much of an example: Obama did reduce the margin by 3 points, but that still underperformed his statewide performance. Next county over, in Jackson, basically a dead heat (i.e., deeper underperformance).

          I see 11 counties in the state where Obama did worse than Kerry, and 9 of them are on the east/southeast border. I'm happy to hear your explanation.

          The argument that Appalachia was somehow genetically anti-Obama is simply wrong.

          I'll grant you that, but I don't think that's the issue.

          To get some sense of what the rest of us actually are talking about, try heading over to Leip's site, clicking on Ohio, then selecting the "swing" map. (Or for a more dramatic contrast, try the "trend" map.) Most of the big swings to Obama were as far from Appalachia as one could get.

          Obviously these data won't support some cartoon argument about how denizens of Appalachia would sooner die than vote for a black man. But I don't see how they can be made to support your blanket dismissal of DHinMI's argument, either.

          (As for whether low-income whites in the Appalachian counties literally favored McCain, I can't tell. But the argument that low-income whites favored Obama, and low-income whites are "largely located" in the Appalachian counties, ergo... well, I'm not quite sure ergo what. It's a bit of a mess. You seem to be making the case that Obama must have done best in Appalachia -- although, patently, he didn't.)

          •  It's not as unclear as you think (0+ / 0-)

            You say that Obama underperformed Kerry in 9 Appalachian counties. That means that Obama outperformed Kerry in 23 Appalachian counties, which I believe does definitively refute DHinMI's contention that Obama had some "Appalachian problem."

            If Obama outperformed Kerry in any other area, for example in Vermont, or in Florida, we would not designate those areas as "problem" areas.

            The nine counties where Obama underperformed in Appalachia are not at all random. They have a striking common characteristic -- they are all in Ted Strickland's old congressional district, or the district he had before the 2000 redistricting. Since everyone in Ohio validly expected that Strickland would have been Hillary Clinton's running mate, the loyalty to Clinton on Strickland turf was intense, and it spilled over to punish Obama in the general. That was most apparent in Scioto County, where Obama underperformed Kerry by about 2,000 votes, an amazingly high number. Scioto is Strickland's home county.

            Everyone knows that McCain had only one chance to win Ohio and that was to achieve a blowout in Appalachia, as Clinton achieved in the primary. Not only did McCain not achieve it, but he fared worse in the region than Bush had done. And that is why Obama won the state -- by not getting blown out in the key swing region.

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