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Author Topic: The Solid North  (Read 2516 times)
WhyteRain
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« on: July 23, 2012, 11:56:20 am »
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When I was studying the 2000 election, I noticed that it was the first time in generations that all the Southern states (defined by political geographers at that time as being the 11 states of the Old Confederacy, plus Oklahoma and Kentucky) were united for one candidate in a close election.  (I defined "close election" as one where the loser won more than 25% of all the states -- basically 13 or more for the last 100 years.)

Now in 2008, I notice that the States That Won The Civil War were united in a close election for the first time in 100 years -- since 1908.  The STWTCW are defined by me as Minnesota, Iowa, and all the states north of the Ohio River or Mason-Dixon Line.



[modify:]  Of course, because of the "flip" of the parties, the North was 100% GOP in 1908 and 100% Democratic in 2008.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 12:02:20 pm by WhyteRain »Logged
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 03:14:28 pm »
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You don't include West Virginia as a "STWTCW"?
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 03:22:58 pm »
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You don't include West Virginia as a "STWTCW"?

Or Kansas?
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2012, 04:03:17 pm »
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You don't include West Virginia as a "STWTCW"?

Or Kansas?

Nope, not Nevada either.
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2012, 04:03:37 pm »
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and what about the border states, those claimed by the CSA without formal secession or control??

(Thanks wikipedia!)
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 05:58:31 pm »
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Okeydokey then!  "100% of states in this category I'm pointing at right now fit this historical quirk, except for these handful of states that I'm going to ignore right now because."
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WhyteRain
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2012, 08:41:42 pm »
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Okeydokey then!  "100% of states in this category I'm pointing at right now fit this historical quirk, except for these handful of states that I'm going to ignore right now because."

That seems like a shallow remark.  I'm using the groups of states that I think most political geographers would agree correspond to "the South" and "the North" as those terms have been used most commonly in American history.

If you think my definitions of "the South" and "the North" are wrong, why not say why you think so or, better yet, offer your own definitions of them?

(Los Angeles, Calif., is farther south than Atlanta, Ga.  Should we therefore put Calif. in "the South"?)
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 08:52:18 pm »
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Well then, explain to us why West Virginia is not a "State That Won The Civil War".
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2012, 09:03:02 pm »
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What about Indiana?
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 09:05:56 pm »
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What about Indiana?

Indiana voted for Obama...
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2012, 09:29:05 pm »
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Yes, but it's clearly leaning Romney this time.
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2012, 09:54:48 pm »

Okay, even without quibbling over the definition of the "North", what is the point of this thread other than to lay the groundwork for possible trivia questions?

(BTW, given how most of West Virginia not bordering the Ohio was Union only because of Union troops, not including it as STWTCW makes sense to me.)
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012, 10:02:53 pm »
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I think the OP is referring to the area of the US that is known as "Yankeeland" in the book American Nations, and to the states that comprise it. The Northeast and the Upper Midwest are part of the Yankee ethos that were influenced by a combination of reformist Puritans (New England), communitarian Quakers (Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic), and Hamiltonian business interests (New York and New Jersey).

Compare that to the South, which has a political lineage stemming from wealthy coastal planters who favored a socially and economically stratified society (the Virginia Tidewater down the coast and westward to the Mississippi River), and from the Appalachian Scots-Irish who were suspicious of and hostile to the federal government (the Upland South, particularly West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas).
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2012, 11:02:27 pm »
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there is a logic to this definition of the North, but there's nothing solid about it in the contemporary context.  For a while these states were solid Republican, but even then not at the percentages that the Deep South was solid Democrat.   
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2012, 10:45:28 am »
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there is a logic to this definition of the North, but there's nothing solid about it in the contemporary context.  For a while these states were solid Republican, but even then not at the percentages that the Deep South was solid Democrat.  

Yes indeed.

By 1892, Democrats were getting as much as 45% of the vote in formerly die hard Republican states like Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania and were regularly very close in GOP states like Ohio and New Hampshire while the South was only becoming more and more Democratic.  If Cleveland had just a few points shift towards him on Election Day 1892, he could've won a massive EV landslide.  Whereas, Roosevelt only managed a slight EV landslide while winning 56% of the popular vote.
Granted, the "Bryan era" would drag down percentages in the North, but by Wilson's re-election in 1916 things were back to what they were before.
So yes, North definitely wasn't solid.
The South, however, showed no signs of cracking.  In fact, Republicans did BETTER in the South in the late 19th Century than they did in the early 20th (with massive exception of 1928).  It was when Bryan was the Democratic nominee on a regular basis when states below Mason Dixon line started voting in the 80%-90% range.
Now THAT is solid.

Granted, there were some "South" states that did vote Republican in certain circumstances, but not as much as the "North" states would vote Democratic in certain circumstances.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 11:12:07 am by James Badass Monroe »Logged



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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2012, 10:53:25 am »
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Okeydokey then!  "100% of states in this category I'm pointing at right now fit this historical quirk, except for these handful of states that I'm going to ignore right now because."

This.
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2012, 11:21:59 am »
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I think the OP is referring to the area of the US that is known as "Yankeeland" in the book American Nations, and to the states that comprise it. The Northeast and the Upper Midwest are part of the Yankee ethos that were influenced by a combination of reformist Puritans (New England), communitarian Quakers (Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic), and Hamiltonian business interests (New York and New Jersey).

Compare that to the South, which has a political lineage stemming from wealthy coastal planters who favored a socially and economically stratified society (the Virginia Tidewater down the coast and westward to the Mississippi River), and from the Appalachian Scots-Irish who were suspicious of and hostile to the federal government (the Upland South, particularly West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas).

Good points.

For the last time, I'll defend my use of "the STWTCW".  In addition to everything said in support of it so far, it comports almost exactly with "the States that voted for Lincoln in 1860".  Recall that I said "Minnesota, Iowa, and the other states north of the Ohio River and Mason-Dixon Line".



Note that Lincoln won California with 32% of the vote in a four-way race and Oregon with 36% of the vote in a three-way race.  Those states were not considered then and are not considered now part of "the North".

Anyway, I consider it quite interesting that "the North" has not been solid for a candidate in any close election (where the loser won more than 25% of states) between 1908 and 2008 -- and then voted all-GOP in 1908 and all-Democratic in 2008!  Those who claim "the parties didn't flip" have to explain that.

Moreover, until the 2000 race "the South" had similarly not been solid in a close election in generations (I can't recall the exact election -- maybe 1908?), and it too "flipped".
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WhyteRain
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« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2012, 11:40:20 am »
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there is a logic to this definition of the North, but there's nothing solid about it in the contemporary context.  For a while these states were solid Republican, but even then not at the percentages that the Deep South was solid Democrat.  

I recall reading one observer's comment about Texas (and maybe it applies elsewhere in the South) that "Texans don't see why there should be two major parties".  From my childhood to now, I've seen Texas go from solid Democrat to solid Republican.  Even former Democratic Party county chairmen switched over and became GOP county chairmen.  Texas has 29 statewide elected officials, and I can't recall the last time one wasn't a Republican -- but when I was a kid, the Democratic primary could get more votes than the general election.  The first time I ever saw a GOP candidate's billboard with the word "Republican" on it was 1978; the first time I ever saw a Democratic candidate's billboard without the word "Democrat" on it was 1984.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 11:43:36 am by WhyteRain »Logged
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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2012, 03:01:59 pm »
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If the south is completely behind one candidate in a close election, then by definition the other candidate will win the overwhelming majority of the other states, so this really shouldn't be surprising.
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2012, 04:51:20 pm »
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there is a logic to this definition of the North, but there's nothing solid about it in the contemporary context.  For a while these states were solid Republican, but even then not at the percentages that the Deep South was solid Democrat.  

Yes indeed.

By 1892, Democrats were getting as much as 45% of the vote in formerly die hard Republican states like Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania and were regularly very close in GOP states like Ohio and New Hampshire while the South was only becoming more and more Democratic.  If Cleveland had just a few points shift towards him on Election Day 1892, he could've won a massive EV landslide.  Whereas, Roosevelt only managed a slight EV landslide while winning 56% of the popular vote.
Granted, the "Bryan era" would drag down percentages in the North, but by Wilson's re-election in 1916 things were back to what they were before.
So yes, North definitely wasn't solid.
The South, however, showed no signs of cracking.  In fact, Republicans did BETTER in the South in the late 19th Century than they did in the early 20th (with massive exception of 1928).  It was when Bryan was the Democratic nominee on a regular basis when states below Mason Dixon line started voting in the 80%-90% range.
Now THAT is solid.

Granted, there were some "South" states that did vote Republican in certain circumstances, but not as much as the "North" states would vote Democratic in certain circumstances.

Of course it needs to be said that "the solid south" was a bit of an illusion. States in the deep south we're only solid for certain white males who voted regularly at that time. Had blacks been able to vote, many states in the deep south might have been competitive, since (pre-great migration) many of them were close to 50% black.

On the other hand, you could say the deep south is still solid by just looking at the white vote. If you factor out the votes of black voters and the miniscule amount of registered Hispanics and Asians, you have AL and MS voting in the high 80s for McCain, Georgia at around 75% McCain, SC around 72% McCain, and Louisiana around 85% McCain.
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WhyteRain
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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2012, 06:45:02 pm »
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If the south is completely behind one candidate in a close election, then by definition the other candidate will win the overwhelming majority of the other states, so this really shouldn't be surprising.

Not lately.


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WhyteRain
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« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2012, 06:56:46 pm »
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The Democratic Party has virtually disappeared between the Hudson River and the Pacific Coast Range.

« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 07:10:40 pm by True Federalist »Logged
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« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2012, 07:33:45 pm »
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That's absolutely not true, you're deluding yourself.

Yes, there's much more red in the middle of the country but the blue areas are where most of the people and the votes are. Election results should be analyzed in more thorough ways than by just looking at pretty colors.

I especially love how that map is from 2004. We all know nothing has happened since then
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 08:23:37 pm by cope1989 »Logged

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« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2012, 07:41:14 pm »
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The Democratic Party has virtually disappeared between the Hudson River and the Pacific Coast Range.



Studying political trends from geosynchronous orbit is certainly a new idea.
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« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2012, 09:38:09 pm »
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I took out states north of the Hudson (including NY) and on the Pacific Coast. Obama is still ahead 223-170.
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