Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Have white voters abandoned the Democratic Party?

Not exactly.  As Brad DeLong points out, that's true only for one region of the country.  (Can you guess which one?)  Elsewhere, the balance swings a bit more evenly in one direction or the other.

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I am reminded of a favorite line from the late Seymour Martin Lipset, who I believe was the only person to be President (at different times) of the American Sociological Association and the American Political Science Association. According to Lipset, if you found yourself in the middle of a discussion about politics in almost any country, you could almost always sound wise by saying: "Oh, but it's different in the South!"

Brad DeLong is increasingly struck by how much this holds true for the United States. (Something that's not new, of course.)

The more I travel around, the more I am convinced that there really is only one America--except for the white south, which seems ... different from the rest of us in striking and peculiar ways.

I mean, if you look at the demographic composition of a locality--white and nonwhite, rich and poor, educated and less-educated--those three factors alone will get you very far in determining what Obama's vote share is going to be in that region.

It just works.

Except for the white south, where things are very different...
—Jeff Weintraub