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Author Topic: Why are Southern whites so out of the mainstream of America?  (Read 4634 times)
LanceMcSteel
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« on: January 07, 2009, 01:17:50 am »
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Whites in the Northeast: 52-46 Obama

Whites in the Midwest: 51-47 McCain

Whites in the West: 49-48 Obama

Whites in the South: 68-30

Are white southerners still angry at Democrats letting blacks vote, or is the South just out of the political mainstream?

Please discuss, and do so without trolling or political hackery.
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2009, 01:21:35 am »
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Mmm, that's actually an interesting question.  While, of course, the margins are nothing compared to say, African-Americans.  But is there any racial or similar demographic that varies that much over regions?  Non-Southern vs. Southern Whites might be the biggest regional-racial gap.

Your regions may be too broad.  Did Wyoming Whites really vote any differently?  It may be a product of simply regional differences in philosophy, but it's more noticeable in the South where African-Americans provide such a distinct contrast.
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LanceMcSteel
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2009, 01:42:48 am »
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Mmm, that's actually an interesting question.  While, of course, the margins are nothing compared to say, African-Americans.  But is there any racial or similar demographic that varies that much over regions?  Non-Southern vs. Southern Whites might be the biggest regional-racial gap.

Your regions may be too broad.  Did Wyoming Whites really vote any differently?  It may be a product of simply regional differences in philosophy, but it's more noticeable in the South where African-Americans provide such a distinct contrast.

It just seems interesting how the other 3 regions are politically balanced, while the South sticks out like a sore thumb from the rest of America. The reason is mostly due to racial polarization, but it is a still shocking result nonetheless. It may also be somewhat due to differing philosophies, but why is the South so shockingly different from the rest of America? Since the days of its peculiar institution of slavery, the South has always been a radically different from the rest of America.

If you want to get into smaller subsamples such as individual states, Louisiana whites voted 90-10 for McCain. matching the result Obama got from African Americans.
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2009, 01:53:11 am »
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The reasonable ones left.
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2009, 01:54:18 am »
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What region of the country has blacks most out of the mainstream? I'd guess its the midwest, especially Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. I read somewhere that 20%?! of blacks in Cincinnati were Republicans?

In any case to answer the question I think a lot of it has to do with OLDER white southerners being way out of the mainstream thereby skewing the results quite heavily. While younger white southerners still favor the GOP more than any other region, the contrast is not as extreme in their case.
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LanceMcSteel
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2009, 01:56:12 am »
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What region of the country has blacks most out of the mainstream? I'd guess its the midwest, especially Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. I read somewhere that 20%?! of blacks in Cincinnati were Republicans?

In any case to answer the question I think a lot of it has to do with OLDER white southerners being way out of the mainstream thereby skewing the results quite heavily. While younger white southerners still favor the GOP more than any other region, the contrast is not as extreme in their case.

Good point, the people chanting ''Nigger go back to Africa'' when schools were desegregated are only in their 60's and form the core of the Republican base in the South.
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2009, 01:59:48 am »
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What region of the country has blacks most out of the mainstream? I'd guess its the midwest, especially Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. I read somewhere that 20%?! of blacks in Cincinnati were Republicans?

In any case to answer the question I think a lot of it has to do with OLDER white southerners being way out of the mainstream thereby skewing the results quite heavily. While younger white southerners still favor the GOP more than any other region, the contrast is not as extreme in their case.

Good point, the people chanting ''Nigger go back to Africa'' when schools were desegregated are only in their 60's and form the core of the Republican base in the South.

With all due respect, you are making generalizations that are as ignorant as the folks you seek to impugn.
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2009, 02:02:59 am »
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2009, 02:08:00 am »
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There's just a swath of the country that's very Republican stretching from the South heading Northwest until you hit Idaho.  African-Americans are somewhat segregated politically.  

Meh, I just say that White Southern Baptists are about the same as White Mormons.  I don't know if Louisiana would really vote 90-10 if there were no blacks, so there may be some racial backlash, but I wouldn't say that is necessarily the critical component.

meh

What region of the country has blacks most out of the mainstream?

I imagine that you'll hit different levels of religiosity if you compare African-Americans in Boston to those in Mississippi to those in L.A. to those in Seattle, yaddamean?  
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2009, 02:20:53 am »
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Dated, but still accurate and presents various reasons, not just one.

http://encarta.msn.com/sidebar_761596699/republicans_gain_in_the_south.html

The most important component of the Republican appeal is the belief that the primary responsibility for one's economic well-being rests with an individual's own efforts and not with dependence upon the federal government. The Southern Republicans relentlessly champion and defend individual achievement while de-emphasizing the role of government in the economic activities of individuals. They advocate lowering taxes so that individuals can keep more of the money they earn. This policy has a powerful appeal among Southern whites, many of whom believe that federal taxes are too high.

Racial conservatives in the South are also more likely to feel comfortable with the nearly all-white Republican Party than with a Democratic Party composed of both whites and blacks. Southern Republican politicians express the prevailing views of the white majority on various racial issues far more than do Democratic politicians. Most Southern whites, for example, oppose preferences in hiring and promotion for African-Americans, and are unsympathetic to attempts by the federal courts to oversee school desegregation. It is still common for Republican candidates across the South to use racial appeals—sometimes subtle, sometimes quite overt—in order to mobilize a huge share of the white vote.

Finally, the appeal of the Republican Party among some Southerners rests upon a wide variety of conservative social policies. Republicans usually emphasize the rights of crime victims over those of criminals, and they support tough punishment of convicted criminals, including the death penalty for especially heinous crimes. They oppose abortion under most circumstances. The Republicans generally believe homosexuality is wrong, and they vigorously oppose marriage between individuals of the same sex. The overwhelming majority of Southern Republicans consider religion an important part of their life, and they usually support voluntary prayer in public schools.
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2009, 02:41:39 am »
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That's not entirely true - in fact, the top section really isn't true at all. The Republican Party's economic libertarianism appeals to Western voters, in a region with a very low level of poverty, but many Southern whites incline towards populism (they were the single biggest bloc supporting the New Deal, after all). Social issues played a much larger role in converting them to Republicanism than did economics.

This does vary by state, of course. Tennessee, your state, is relatively economically conservative, having passed a 'right-to-work' law and generally viewing economic populism unfavorably. Likewise Virginia and (North) Carolina are not hugely industrialized - though they are becoming moreso today - and have always inclined towards 'traditionalism'. However, 'industrial South' states like Arkansas and West Virginia are gung-ho for economic liberalism. George Wallace's New Deal economic platform played just as strongly as his racialism did in those areas.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 02:45:44 am by Einzige »Logged

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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2009, 03:28:24 am »
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As a southern white I'd like to point out that there's still seemingly 30% of us with decent views.
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2009, 04:34:56 am »
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As a southern white I'd like to point out that there's still seemingly 30% of us with decent views.

Not good enough, I'm afraid. Sad
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2009, 10:08:51 am »
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Northern "whites" include large numbers of Democratic voting ethnics. Irish, Jews, Poles, etc. The massive immigrations of the late 19th/early 20th century hardly touched the South at all.
FWIW, blacks are much more out of the mainstream culture of the US than Southern whites are. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2009, 11:09:09 am »
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Interesting that according to those exit polls, Obama actually won the white vote outside of the South.
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2009, 11:14:38 am »
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To be fair, all whites are racist, but the answer to the question is obvious - because they are more racist than whites in other parts of the US.
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2009, 11:21:10 am »
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The reasonable ones left.

like myself!
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2009, 11:29:56 am »
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One reason why so many Southern whites are Republican is the natural result of significant numbers of solidly Democratic blacks.  This result does not depend on racism, tho it sadly is affected by it.  In a two party system, the relatively non-ideological parties we have will tend to adopt positions on what are perceived as non-core positions that lead towards splitting the vote relatively equally,  If you have a core 30 to 40% of the vote that is solidly Democratic, then naturally the remaining 60 to 70% will tend to lean towards the Republicans.  In other places, you don't have the solidly Democratic black voters forming as large a share of the Statewide electorate and so as a result in order to keep things reasonably balanced between the two parties as a whole, you don't need large disparities in the party affiliation of white voters.
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2009, 04:48:06 pm »
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Bad educational systems in the south.
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2009, 06:03:05 pm »
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This is an interesting question, but the answer always leads back to that old chestnut, race relations. (No, I am not saying all southern whites are racist. Bear with me.) From the time when northern states freed their slaves and bondage became "the peculiar institution"- that is, peculiar to the South- the political tone set by Dixie's elite has been reactionary, even backwards. The main cause of these elites from antebellum times through the 1960s was to retain their economic and political power, chiefly by beating the drum of white supremacy.*

Today, of course, the cause of segregation is buried in the same shallow grave that fascism is rotting in, but the old reactionary streak in southern politics remains alive and well- thriving, even. The party that the rightists now associate with is the GOP, of course (a little historical irony that the early Republicans presumably would not find very funny), but they still keep alive their ideals of militarism and hostility to the working class.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that although race itself is no longer the issue, the majority of southern whites still feel compelled to vote against their old enemies: northern liberals and southern blacks. And, yes, vice versa. This is an irrepressible conflict, folks. Wink

* This didn't always work, of course- there was the brief success of Reconstruction Republicanism, the Populist and Socialist revolts of the 1890s-1910s, even the frequent victories of New Deal populists over right-wingers in Democratic primaries later on- but these were exceptions to the rule.

I read somewhere that 20%?! of blacks in Cincinnati were Republicans?

I don't think Ken Blackwell is 20 percent of Cincinnati's black population.
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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2009, 06:16:14 pm »
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That's not entirely true - in fact, the top section really isn't true at all. The Republican Party's economic libertarianism appeals to Western voters, in a region with a very low level of poverty, but many Southern whites incline towards populism (they were the single biggest bloc supporting the New Deal, after all). Social issues played a much larger role in converting them to Republicanism than did economics.

This does vary by state, of course. Tennessee, your state, is relatively economically conservative, having passed a 'right-to-work' law and generally viewing economic populism unfavorably. Likewise Virginia and (North) Carolina are not hugely industrialized - though they are becoming moreso today - and have always inclined towards 'traditionalism'. However, 'industrial South' states like Arkansas and West Virginia are gung-ho for economic liberalism. George Wallace's New Deal economic platform played just as strongly as his racialism did in those areas.

I would say that Virginia was equally industrialized to Tennessee, even in the 19th and early to mid 20th century, also Virginia has right to work and other industrial and economic laws.   
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« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2009, 04:51:31 am »
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I read somewhere that 20%?! of blacks in Cincinnati were Republicans?

I don't think Ken Blackwell is 20 percent of Cincinnati's black population.

Blacks are quite Republican in the entire area. OH, PA and NJ all had blacks at like 16-18% Republican.
(in 2004, of course)
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2009, 12:57:20 pm »
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That's not entirely true - in fact, the top section really isn't true at all. The Republican Party's economic libertarianism appeals to Western voters, in a region with a very low level of poverty, but many Southern whites incline towards populism (they were the single biggest bloc supporting the New Deal, after all). Social issues played a much larger role in converting them to Republicanism than did economics.

This does vary by state, of course. Tennessee, your state, is relatively economically conservative, having passed a 'right-to-work' law and generally viewing economic populism unfavorably. Likewise Virginia and (North) Carolina are not hugely industrialized - though they are becoming moreso today - and have always inclined towards 'traditionalism'. However, 'industrial South' states like Arkansas and West Virginia are gung-ho for economic liberalism. George Wallace's New Deal economic platform played just as strongly as his racialism did in those areas.

I would say that Virginia was equally industrialized to Tennessee, even in the 19th and early to mid 20th century, also Virginia has right to work and other industrial and economic laws.   
Certainly North Carolina is an industrial state, and Arkansas is not.
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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2009, 01:11:17 pm »
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That's not entirely true - in fact, the top section really isn't true at all. The Republican Party's economic libertarianism appeals to Western voters, in a region with a very low level of poverty, but many Southern whites incline towards populism (they were the single biggest bloc supporting the New Deal, after all). Social issues played a much larger role in converting them to Republicanism than did economics.

This does vary by state, of course. Tennessee, your state, is relatively economically conservative, having passed a 'right-to-work' law and generally viewing economic populism unfavorably. Likewise Virginia and (North) Carolina are not hugely industrialized - though they are becoming moreso today - and have always inclined towards 'traditionalism'. However, 'industrial South' states like Arkansas and West Virginia are gung-ho for economic liberalism. George Wallace's New Deal economic platform played just as strongly as his racialism did in those areas.

I would say that Virginia was equally industrialized to Tennessee, even in the 19th and early to mid 20th century, also Virginia has right to work and other industrial and economic laws.   
Certainly North Carolina is an industrial state, and Arkansas is not.

No; North Carolina is a financial/technological services state. Arkansas doesn't have a great deal of industry, but what it has is much more oriented towards traditional manual labor, making it more receptive to economic populism.
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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2009, 01:16:36 pm »
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North Carolina is a financial/technological services state.

I'd say it's time to take another look at the Census...
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