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Author Topic: Bill Clinton and North Carolina  (Read 1976 times)
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« on: April 16, 2012, 12:23:31 pm »
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Why was Bill Clinton the only Democratic president (besides Andrew Johnson, who was elected during Reconstruction) who lost North Carolina?
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 12:44:54 pm »
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Bill Clinton came out strong against tobacco.
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 11:38:01 pm »
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Bill Clinton came out strong against tobacco.

Good point. He ran far behind local Dems in southern/eastern NC.
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 01:48:43 pm »
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When Bill Clinton was in the White House.
The two Republican US Senators from NC(Jesse Helms-R and Lauch Faircloth-R) were very very anti Clinton.
Helms-R stated that Bill Clinton needed a bodyguard if he ever visited NC.
Faircloth-R stated during the Senate Whitewater hearings that he wanted to spank Hillary Clinton. Too bad Jesse was not around to see Obama-D win NC in the November General election and his sucessor Liddy Dole-R lose re-election.
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 02:45:34 pm »
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Complex issue, just as Barack Obama's victory in the state was. There's a lot of different trends going on in different parts of the state; some areas are northernizing in much the same way as South Florida or NoVa (or perhaps rather seminorthernizing; oh and let's not forget Maryland in these lists just because Americans like to) and these just weren't sizable enough and strongly Democratic enough yet. There are numerous traditional Republican areas in the state, some quite populous. Etc pp.
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2012, 06:49:15 pm »
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Tobacco and demographics would be my guess.  He came extremely close to winning it in both elections, however.
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2012, 07:25:54 pm »
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First off, Andrew Johnson wasn't elected during Reconstruction.  Secondly, Carter lost NC in 1980.

Republicans were gaining a lot of strength in the South during the 1990s, due to a combination of a growing middle class and "culture war" issues, with the parties becoming more identified with ideology than they had been before, and less and less commitment to historical partisan identity.   Since NC already had traditionally Republican areas in the western part of the state, it's not surprising that he lost it.
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2012, 07:31:38 pm »
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Isn't this just a consequence of where NC was on the ideological spectrum at the time?

The solid Democratic South became the solid Republican South, a process which wasn't complete until the 1980s and 1990s.  That's why winning Dems won NC before 1980.  But then in the 2000s, states like VA and NC started "northernizing", and became more winnable for the Dems.
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 12:00:07 pm »
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Clinton and Gore were "mountain Democrats", hence they won the mountain states in the South but lost the coastal plains. More fascinating to me is how they won Louisiana.
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 01:23:42 pm »
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Clinton and Gore were "mountain Democrats", hence they won the mountain states in the South but lost the coastal plains. More fascinating to me is how they won Louisiana.

Clinton/Gore win Georgia based on their strength in the southern part of the state. They didn't do so well up in the N Georgia mountains
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2012, 04:29:16 pm »
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Clinton and Gore were "mountain Democrats", hence they won the mountain states in the South but lost the coastal plains. More fascinating to me is how they won Louisiana.

Clinton/Gore win Georgia based on their strength in the southern part of the state. They didn't do so well up in the N Georgia mountains

True, but northern Georgia is sort of an exception, like eastern Tennessee. You see in 1960 and 1968 it was already starting to move towards the Republicans.

Also, Clinton/Gore only won Georgia in 1992, and not 1996, and they only won it by 2 points with 40% of the vote, with Ross Perot taking 13%. The reason being, with the African-American vote (concentrated in the souther part of the state) they had a hard floor, whereas whites split their vote between Bush and Perot. Their subsequent loss in the state proves the victory was an artefact of the Perot effect.
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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2012, 04:39:09 pm »
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More fascinating to me is how they won Louisiana.

Eh, not really. Northern LA is culturally very similar to AR.
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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2012, 04:43:26 pm »
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Why was Bill Clinton the only Democratic president (besides Andrew Johnson, who was elected during Reconstruction) who lost North Carolina?

Andrew Johnson never ran in a general election.

Also, Polk lost North Carolina in 1844, which is as ironic as he was born in NC.
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« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2012, 07:48:46 pm »
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Clinton and Gore were "mountain Democrats", hence they won the mountain states in the South but lost the coastal plains. More fascinating to me is how they won Louisiana.

Clinton/Gore win Georgia based on their strength in the southern part of the state. They didn't do so well up in the N Georgia mountains
Really, Clinton did worse in the mountainous regions of every Southern state than he did more low lying areas.
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« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2012, 11:45:10 pm »
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Clinton and Gore were "mountain Democrats", hence they won the mountain states in the South but lost the coastal plains. More fascinating to me is how they won Louisiana.

Clinton/Gore win Georgia based on their strength in the southern part of the state. They didn't do so well up in the N Georgia mountains

True, but northern Georgia is sort of an exception, like eastern Tennessee. You see in 1960 and 1968 it was already starting to move towards the Republicans.

Also, Clinton/Gore only won Georgia in 1992, and not 1996, and they only won it by 2 points with 40% of the vote, with Ross Perot taking 13%. The reason being, with the African-American vote (concentrated in the souther part of the state) they had a hard floor, whereas whites split their vote between Bush and Perot. Their subsequent loss in the state proves the victory was an artefact of the Perot effect.

"Proves?" Hardly. Not to mention that the 1992 exit polls refute the notion that Perot's voters would have gone for Bush if Perot hadn't been in the race.
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2012, 01:51:34 pm »
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Because he filed a lawsuit against the tobacco farmers and the federal gov't gave payouts to families who lives were lost due to cancer caused by cigarrettes.
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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2012, 06:01:52 pm »
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Look, here is the PVI for North Carolina in presidential elections from 1976 to 2008:

1976: D+9
1980: R+7
1984: R+6
1988: R+8
1992: R+6
1996: R+13
2000: R+13
2004: R+10 (even though Edwards was on the Democratic ticket)
2008: R+7

There wasn't anything particular about Bill Clinton.  North Carolina has been consistently R+6 to R+13 from 1980 to the present.  You could argue that it became more Republican in the late 1990s to early 2000s, and is now becoming more Democratic, but I don't see why that would be because of Clinton in particular.
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« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2012, 06:07:27 pm »
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Those PVI figures need to be divided by 2...
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2012, 06:36:43 pm »
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Those PVI figures need to be divided by 2...

OK, sorry, I mentally blanked on the precise definition of PVI.  Tongue
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« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2012, 09:02:25 pm »
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The swing from 1992-1996 could still be explained by tobacco, though. Anyone have access to the map of swings in NC from 1992 to 1996...
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« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2012, 05:26:17 am »
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The swing from 1992-1996 could still be explained by tobacco, though. Anyone have access to the map of swings in NC from 1992 to 1996...
No. But the 96 county map looks a lot like the 88 map and the 92 map looks a lot like the 80 map.
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« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2012, 11:56:50 am »
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The swing from 1992-1996 could still be explained by tobacco, though. Anyone have access to the map of swings in NC from 1992 to 1996...

If you paid for membership, you'd have that map. Smiley It'd probably be the best 28 dollars you'd spend this year.
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« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2012, 08:16:04 pm »
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The swing from 1992-1996 could still be explained by tobacco, though. Anyone have access to the map of swings in NC from 1992 to 1996...
Clinton's vote increased by 2% from 92 to 96. It's just that the GOP's increased by 5%.
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« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2012, 10:44:53 pm »
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Clinton and Gore were "mountain Democrats", hence they won the mountain states in the South but lost the coastal plains. More fascinating to me is how they won Louisiana.

Clinton/Gore win Georgia based on their strength in the southern part of the state. They didn't do so well up in the N Georgia mountains

True, but northern Georgia is sort of an exception, like eastern Tennessee. You see in 1960 and 1968 it was already starting to move towards the Republicans.

Also, Clinton/Gore only won Georgia in 1992, and not 1996, and they only won it by 2 points with 40% of the vote, with Ross Perot taking 13%. The reason being, with the African-American vote (concentrated in the souther part of the state) they had a hard floor, whereas whites split their vote between Bush and Perot. Their subsequent loss in the state proves the victory was an artefact of the Perot effect.

You have a good point. Clinton and Gore probably did about this same with white voters in North Georgia and South Georgia. The difference being that South Georgia had a coalition of white and black Clinton voters who delivered those counties to Bubba handily.

For example, Rabun county in the mountains was (and still is) almost entirely white.
Clinton: 40.6
Bush: 41.2
Perot: 17.8
The voters there were pretty split between Clinton and Bush, with Bush having a slight advantage.

Now Here's Mitchell County in S Georgia, which has a white majority, but the black population isn't far behind
Clinton: 52.7
Bush: 33.1
Perot: 14.1
I imagine the white vote there was similarly split, but the large black population there voting for Clinton tipped the county in his favor.

Still, I resent the idea of the Perot effect. Perot probably hurt Bush and Clinton equally, taking away social moderates from Bush and fiscal conservatives from Clinton. I think the whole idea that Bush would have won if it weren't for Perot has been used as a consolation prize for the Clinton haters. Perot or not, the nation was due for a correction in 1992. I just don't see Bush winning in any scenario.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 10:48:17 pm by cope1989 »Logged

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