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Author Topic: Why AR, WV, TN, etc. swung Republican  (Read 5451 times)
Snowstalker
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« on: April 02, 2011, 11:48:27 pm »
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I've been debating the subject on the AH forums; I say due to racist sentiments and a lack of black voters to offset white Southerners going from Kerry to McCain, while someone else says that they're just naturally trending Republican.
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2011, 12:02:36 am »
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In AR, I think some of the swing was related to the Democratic primary and race. I say this because in 2010, Blanche Lincoln won 7 counties that Obama lost.

WV seemed to just stick with it's voting Republican on the Presidential level trend.

TN had several ancestral counties flip, but most of them had supported Harold Ford Jr. in the 2006 Senate race, so I think they flipped more based on ideology than race.
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2011, 12:35:49 am »
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I imagine McCain was more appealing than Bush to the Scotch-Irish populist vote.
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2011, 03:33:14 am »
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I've been debating the subject on the AH forums; I say due to racist sentiments and a lack of black voters to offset white Southerners going from Kerry to McCain, while someone else says that they're just naturally trending Republican.
Same thing, in a sense.

Though an important part of the equation is that they have relatively high numbers of Southern country folks who still voted Democratic as late as 2004 - it may sound perverse, but part of the answer is comparative weakness (but not absence) of racism as a determinant of voting patterns. Grin
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2011, 03:37:10 am »
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I've been debating the subject on the AH forums; I say due to racist sentiments and a lack of black voters to offset white Southerners going from Kerry to McCain, while someone else says that they're just naturally trending Republican.
Same thing, in a sense.

Though an important part of the equation is that they have relatively high numbers of Southern country folks who still voted Democratic as late as 2004 - it may sound perverse, but part of the answer is comparative weakness (but not absence) of racism as a determinant of voting patterns. Grin

     They were unusually Democratic for Southern states, indeed. The point of morbid curiosity is that Oklahoma also swung Republican.
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2011, 04:20:28 am »
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Same factors at work. Fewer Blacks than AR and TN (WV still has Rubes4Obama).

A look at OK's swing map helps.

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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2011, 07:48:21 am »
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It's Clinton country - there was still a lot of residual resentment towards Obama over the results of the Democratic primaries.
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2011, 12:35:36 pm »
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I imagine McCain was more appealing than Bush to the Scotch-Irish populist vote.

Then why were so many of these Scotch-Irish populists still willing to vote for John Forbes Kerry in 04, but not willing to vote for Obama even while the rest of the country moved several points Democratic?
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2011, 04:58:39 pm »
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I imagine McCain was more appealing than Bush to the Scotch-Irish populist vote.

Then why were so many of these Scotch-Irish populists still willing to vote for John Forbes Kerry in 04, but not willing to vote for Obama even while the rest of the country moved several points Democratic?

Because John Kerry is white.
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2011, 05:06:34 pm »
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Isn't it interesting, though, that the very low swing in (for example) Nassau county never gets this sort of attention. Obviously it wasn't as initially striking, but we're years out from the election now.

Though an important part of the equation is that they have relatively high numbers of Southern country folks who still voted Democratic as late as 2004 - it may sound perverse, but part of the answer is comparative weakness (but not absence) of racism as a determinant of voting patterns.

Not an important part of it, but obviously the most important. Of course it's also worth pointing out that having an exotic name was probably more damaging than having a not-white face; it isn't as though any of these places have ever been defined by race.
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2011, 09:50:05 pm »
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In Bill Clinton 92 speak.

It's Culture Stupid!
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2011, 11:42:58 am »
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I think it surprised the Obama people that McCain outperformed Bush in those states...I think Obama is too overconfident just in general...personally I was surprised that McCain outperformed Bush in those states...however on a night that was so bad, any little thing like that made me happy...
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2011, 02:07:11 pm »
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Obama is a black, you see.

I don't profess to be an expert into these states' political cultures, but I'll offer my opinions.

Arkansas: The Clinton factor.

West Virginia: The Clinton factor (although to a lesser extent). West Virginia is also coal country, so I'm sure people here thought Obama was anti-coal (in addition to being anti-American, as flaunted by the Palins/Bachmanns on the campaign trail). I'm sure the "Obama is a Muslim" sentiment played well here, too.

Tennessee: Not sure, but for whatever reason, the state is getting redder and redder by the day. It's a state that's returning to its Southern roots, with the Deep South states getting more and more Republican as conservative white Anglo Democrats (Dixiecrats) are either crossing over to join the GOP or were all but defeated in the last election cycle. Maybe it has to do with the urbal/rural divide, as the cities swung Democratic but basically all the rural areas swung Republican.

Louisiana: Another once Democratic-friendly state that's becoming a Republican stronghold, not to mention it's one of the most racially polarizing states in the nation. Hurricane Katrina also displaced several African American/Democratic voters in New Orleans.

Oklahoma: Bible issues. Obama was seen as a big city liberal elitist intellectual from Chicago who didn't support their "Christian" values of stopping abortion and executing the gays.
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2011, 02:40:56 pm »
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Ah, yes, the Democrats playing the race card on conservatives again. Roll Eyes

Several reasons:
(1) Rarely does the entire nation swing toward the same party, even if the national swing is huge. (SD in 1972, VT in 1980, TN in 1988, IA in 1992, and MD in 2000) In fact, it hasn't happened since 1976.
(2) Increasing polarization leads to people (on both sides) becoming less and less willing to support the "other" side. It's the same reason why it's almost impossible for a Republican to win Democratic areas.
(3) Arkansas, Tennessee and West Virginia, in particular, were strong Clinton states. While the Clintonite resentment toward Obama was overestimated in 2008, in these states it was indeed the case. (WV is also an example in point 2, as it already swung R heavily in 2004.)
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2011, 05:02:09 am »
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OK.

The swing in those states is a correction. The Democratic vote was in excess in the past, they are closer to what they should be now. Maybe still too Democratic at the local level still.
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2011, 06:16:15 am »
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These States have been trending strongly Republican since 1996. 2008 is the point where this trend came to its final achievement.
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2011, 01:57:16 pm »
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These States have been trending strongly Republican since 1996. 2008 is the point where this trend came to its final achievement.

What makes you think that?
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« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2011, 04:29:23 am »
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These States have been trending strongly Republican since 1996. 2008 is the point where this trend came to its final achievement.

What makes you think that?

Just look at the trend maps.
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« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2011, 02:29:15 pm »
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These States have been trending strongly Republican since 1996. 2008 is the point where this trend came to its final achievement.

What makes you think that?

Just look at the trend maps.

There is still a bit more trending to go through at the local level.
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« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2011, 02:31:21 pm »
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These States have been trending strongly Republican since 1996. 2008 is the point where this trend came to its final achievement.

What makes you think that?

Just look at the trend maps.

What proves that 2008 was the final achievement? I don't see that from the trend maps.
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« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2011, 12:54:57 am »
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Because there are no black people in those states. Keep in mind that Obama still did better with white voters in West Virginia than in Virginia. Of course the historic lack of black people is the reason why these states were so Democratic in the first place.
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« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2011, 03:25:47 am »
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Because there are no black people in those states. Keep in mind that Obama still did better with white voters in West Virginia than in Virginia. Of course the historic lack of black people is the reason why these states were so Democratic in the first place.

That's not really true. You're right about West Virginia, which is only about 3 percent black, but the other states that swung Republican have their fair share of African Americans - Oklahoma is around 7-8 percent AA, Arkansas is around 15-16 percent AA, Tennessee around 16-17 AA, and Louisiana is the second blackest state in the nation (behind only Mississippi), at least it was according to the 2000 U.S. Census.

It's not so much that there aren't any black voters in these states, because clearly there are. It's been discussed before but the reason Arkansas swung the most Republican probably had to do with the fact that Hillary did not receive the nomination. Simply put, whether you agree or disagree, the Clinton name still holds weight in Arkansas and she did better in Arkansas than she did in New York. The massive swing to the GOP column was more than likely attributed to remorse among self-identified conservative to moderate white Democrats who wanted her as the nominee.

The swing in Louisiana is a little more perplexing. As mentioned, it is the second blackest state in the nation yet has been trending heavily Republican in the last few election cycles. Hurricane Katrina probably displaced several African Americans in and around New Orleans, and maybe they just never returned? Racial polarization probably explains the swing to the GOP. Keep in mind that Louisiana is still in the Deep South where, for better or for worse, there's a white man's party and a black man's party.

Tennessee is interesting as well because this is a state that Bill Clinton won both times but voted against its favorite son Al Gore in 2000. One could argue that the state has been leaning Republican after that election. I think in Tennessee, the swing to the GOP had to do with two factors: 1) a rightward trend in the state as a whole, particularly in the ever increasing Nashville suburbs and 2) the fact that Barack Obama was an "outsider." I dismiss that it was racial in Tennessee but more so geographical. (Harold Ford almost won the open U.S. Senate seat in 2006 to replace Bill Frist) Tennessee is predominantly a rural state, and Obama was not a rural character. Instead, the voters here probably saw him as a big city/urban elitist intellectual who was out of touch with their values, particularly after he made the "bitter" comments in San Francisco.

In West Virginia, it was probably a combination of unfamiliarity with Obama and his environmental views on coal. Obama performed terribly in Appalachia and among the party's white blue-collar/working class base, and West Virginia was no exception.

Oklahoma is a mystery. It has a high number of registered Democrats who seem to like voting Republican. This is the only one of the five states that swung GOP that Bill Clinton did not carry. The only explanation I have found about Oklahoma and why it swung just slightly more GOP in 2008 has to do with the Bible issues. It's situated heavily in the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the dominant religion, so I'm sure McCain's selection of Sarah Palin probably helped him here; that, and Obama being pro-choice and pro-gay rights probably didn't do him any favors here. Keep in mind that this is the state that gave John Edwards a whopping 10 percent of the vote during Super Tuesday. (Either that 10 percent was just really diehard Edwards fans or they were a bunch of racist and sexist dinosaurs who didn't want to vote for an African American or a woman.) Every article I've found explaining the swing to the GOP in 2008 always mentions the Bible issues. So in Oklahoma in 2008, it was all about Obama being a baby-killing homosexual enabler.
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« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2011, 03:45:21 am »
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These States have been trending strongly Republican since 1996. 2008 is the point where this trend came to its final achievement.

What makes you think that?

Just look at the trend maps.

What proves that 2008 was the final achievement? I don't see that from the trend maps.

Well, those States are already over R+20, it's hard to imagine they could trend even more rep. Of course it could happen, but IMO they will stabilize.
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« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2011, 12:44:30 pm »
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Because there are no black people in those states. Keep in mind that Obama still did better with white voters in West Virginia than in Virginia. Of course the historic lack of black people is the reason why these states were so Democratic in the first place.

That's not really true. You're right about West Virginia, which is only about 3 percent black, but the other states that swung Republican have their fair share of African Americans - Oklahoma is around 7-8 percent AA, Arkansas is around 15-16 percent AA, Tennessee around 16-17 AA, and Louisiana is the second blackest state in the nation (behind only Mississippi), at least it was according to the 2000 U.S. Census.

It's not so much that there aren't any black voters in these states, because clearly there are. It's been discussed before but the reason Arkansas swung the most Republican probably had to do with the fact that Hillary did not receive the nomination. Simply put, whether you agree or disagree, the Clinton name still holds weight in Arkansas and she did better in Arkansas than she did in New York. The massive swing to the GOP column was more than likely attributed to remorse among self-identified conservative to moderate white Democrats who wanted her as the nominee.

The swing in Louisiana is a little more perplexing. As mentioned, it is the second blackest state in the nation yet has been trending heavily Republican in the last few election cycles. Hurricane Katrina probably displaced several African Americans in and around New Orleans, and maybe they just never returned? Racial polarization probably explains the swing to the GOP. Keep in mind that Louisiana is still in the Deep South where, for better or for worse, there's a white man's party and a black man's party.

Tennessee is interesting as well because this is a state that Bill Clinton won both times but voted against its favorite son Al Gore in 2000. One could argue that the state has been leaning Republican after that election. I think in Tennessee, the swing to the GOP had to do with two factors: 1) a rightward trend in the state as a whole, particularly in the ever increasing Nashville suburbs and 2) the fact that Barack Obama was an "outsider." I dismiss that it was racial in Tennessee but more so geographical. (Harold Ford almost won the open U.S. Senate seat in 2006 to replace Bill Frist) Tennessee is predominantly a rural state, and Obama was not a rural character. Instead, the voters here probably saw him as a big city/urban elitist intellectual who was out of touch with their values, particularly after he made the "bitter" comments in San Francisco.

In West Virginia, it was probably a combination of unfamiliarity with Obama and his environmental views on coal. Obama performed terribly in Appalachia and among the party's white blue-collar/working class base, and West Virginia was no exception.

Oklahoma is a mystery. It has a high number of registered Democrats who seem to like voting Republican. This is the only one of the five states that swung GOP that Bill Clinton did not carry. The only explanation I have found about Oklahoma and why it swung just slightly more GOP in 2008 has to do with the Bible issues. It's situated heavily in the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the dominant religion, so I'm sure McCain's selection of Sarah Palin probably helped him here; that, and Obama being pro-choice and pro-gay rights probably didn't do him any favors here. Keep in mind that this is the state that gave John Edwards a whopping 10 percent of the vote during Super Tuesday. (Either that 10 percent was just really diehard Edwards fans or they were a bunch of racist and sexist dinosaurs who didn't want to vote for an African American or a woman.) Every article I've found explaining the swing to the GOP in 2008 always mentions the Bible issues. So in Oklahoma in 2008, it was all about Obama being a baby-killing homosexual enabler.

Obama got 14% of the white vote in Louisiana, with the some (though not many) white liberals still in New Orleans, it probably can't get much lower than that.
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« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2011, 03:26:34 pm »
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I imagine McCain was more appealing than Bush to the Scotch-Irish populist vote.

Then why were so many of these Scotch-Irish populists still willing to vote for John Forbes Kerry in 04, but not willing to vote for Obama even while the rest of the country moved several points Democratic?

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