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Tilting at Windmills

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May 14, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

APPALACHIA....This map of voting patterns in the Democratic primary race has now shown up on a bunch of different blogs, but I'm reproducing it yet again because it really is kind of fascinating. It comes from DHinMI, and it shows all the counties where Hillary Clinton has won 65% or more of the vote. Her area of greatest strength, it turns out, isn't whites per se, or old people, or the working class. It's all those things, but it's all those things mainly in Appalachia.

(The gray areas are states that haven't voted yet. Last night, West Virginia filled in nearly of its counties with purple, and Kentucky is expected to do likewise next week.)

The working theory here, of course, isn't that Appalachians love Hillary so much, but that Appalachians are uniquely uncomfortable voting for a black guy. Josh Marshall chalks this up to history: "Each of these regions was fiercely anti-Slavery. And most ended up raising regiments that fought in the Union Army. But they were as anti-slave as they were anti-slavery, both of which they viewed as the linchpins of the aristocratic and inegalitarian society they loathed."

This stuff is way, way outside my wheelhouse, so there's nothing much I can add. But the concentration of those purple dots is really striking. It's not clear if this really means much for the general election, but it might. Feel free to speculate in comments.

Kevin Drum 12:33 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (144)

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Comments

Hillary "I Rejoice In My Racist Supporters" should really adopt the Appalachians as her new carpetbagging home.

Posted by: Anon on May 14, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Who would be the strongest VP pick for Obama to appeal to these voters?

Possibilities: John Murtha, John Edwards, Robert Byrd or "Jay" Rockefeller?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on May 14, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

I'm for Obama, but I want to play devil's advocate for a second:

If you're running against an African-American, aren't you the racists' candidate by default? Aren't they going to support you just to stop him? It seems a little unfair to blame Hillary for this.

Posted by: mmy on May 14, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

I grew up in Appalachia; it wasn't just anti-slave, it was anti-anyone who provided cheap labor.

Initial waves of Catholic labor were resisted as well (ie, Italians, Poles, etc) since they undercut prevailing wages.

Posted by: eightnine2718281828mu5 on May 14, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

She owns the hillbilly vote!

Posted by: rusrus on May 14, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

---
Possibilities: John Murtha, John Edwards, Robert Byrd or "Jay" Rockefeller?
---

I was an Edwards supporter for this exact reason.

Posted by: eightnine2718281828mu5 on May 14, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

My god! Why do election wonks go through such contortions to avoid saying the obvious - a good number people in these regions of the country, even those who call themselves Democrats (not to be confused with liberal) are racists.

Use the same mapping technique substituting a poll of all voters, and the purple becomes nearly red, and spreads throughout most of the rural areas of the country and covers most of the Deep South.

Posted by: Jeff II on May 14, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Ignorance is bliss...and the folks in these areas wonder why nothing changes generation after generation...like poverty, ignorance has vicious generational component.

Posted by: MLK on May 14, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

I think one important point to note about the region is that Appalachia is also primarily white; meaning these folks just haven't had a great deal of contact with African-Americans and what they know about black America comes from pop culture and stereotypes.

Which, when you think about it, is pretty much what the rest of American seems to "know" about Appalachia.

I'm a political scientist and history teacher and I'm inclined to think that once Obama secures the nomination, he'll need to do some work in these areas, especially those that have been traditional Democratic strongholds. But the honest truth is that major party nominees always have a strong base of support and then must work harder to build that base. So Obama's task is no different from any other major party nominee.

Posted by: Stacy on May 14, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK


She owns the hillbilly vote!

We prefer the term 'hillwilliam'.

Posted by: Winston Smith on May 14, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Josh Marshall is correct. The topography of Appalachia precluded cotton and rice plantations. The lowlands of South Carolina etc. required slaves to make these plantations economically viable.
The resulting disparity in wealth made for a deep devision. West Virginia seceded from Virginia over this issue. Hence the hate of slave owners AND slaves.
Read Freehling et al for a fresh view of the "South" It is not homogenous.

Posted by: P.C.Chapman on May 14, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

From these maps I'd say it's obvious that Obama's campaign actually moved votes. I am not so sure that Clinton's campaigning did that to any great degree.

HRC would have gotten 65 percent merely from getting "clinton" printed on the ballot in these counties. Obama had to organize and campaign to introduce himself and to win on the areas he won.

Posted by: riffle on May 14, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Yet, the funny thing is, in the General Election, the "hillbillies" will be a small minority of the total vote.

Posted by: on May 14, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to see an equivalent map for Obama. Is it mostly the south? I think there would be some mountain west states too, and HI.

Posted by: SP on May 14, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Of course this isn't really about Hon. Sen. Clinton as much as it is the reason that the GOP has had success. She herself raises the point, albeit obliquely, as an electability argument.

Posted by: jhm on May 14, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

The tendency to attribute all the votes in the region to racism is perhaps a little bit short-sighted. How many self-identifying Democrats are dyed-in-the-wool racists? That type of hate usually goes in Republican party or with weird libertarians. People vote for Hillary Clinton for a lot of reasons, calling those who voted for low-education voters or claiming that they lack the complexity of thought of other voters is malignant and kills the Democratic party in elections. That everyone who votes for the other guy is either stupid or ignorant of their own best interests.

Posted by: on May 14, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

SP, if you click on the DHinMI link in the post, you go DHinMI's post, which has maps highlighting where Obama won 55% and 65% of the vote.

Posted by: DJ on May 14, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

How in the hell did Hillary get better than 65% in the Rio Grande Valley?

Posted by: C.S. on May 14, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

That's a very interesting map.

But it also needs to be recognized that there is an intervening variable not displayed. Those are the results of people voting in the Democratic Primary. It shows the actions of a sub-population of each county, nothing else. Those results - both black and purple counties - show nothing about how the Republicans and Independents in the same counties will vote. So while it appears that Hillary has a loyal following in Appalachia and other counties, those results cannot be generalized to the general election.

Also, the purple counties in Texas cannot be caused by the same factors that apply in Appalachia. Those in South Texas are counties with high percentage of Hispanic population. There is simply no common history with that of Appalachia.

Since a principle reason for the Texas Revolution against Mexico was a reaction against Mexico's effort to outlaw slavery in the state of Texas and since Mexico actively provided sanctuary for escaped slaves from the time of the Texas Revolution until after the American Civil War, the apparent causes of any reaction against Obama in South Texas can't have the same causes as in appaliachia.

I'd guess that the vote for Hillary in Texas reflects her contacts there beginning when she was organizing in Texas for the McGovern campaign. The purple in Arkansas and nearby probably have similar origins going back to Bill's governorship. So the effect of Appalachia, if any, is a lot less extensive than suggested by that raw, unexplained map.

Posted by: Rick B on May 14, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

I grew up in Appalachia; it wasn't just anti-slave, it was anti-anyone who provided cheap labor.

Initial waves of Catholic labor were resisted as well (ie, Italians, Poles, etc) since they undercut prevailing wages. - eightnine at 12:48 p.m.

Thank you, eightnine, for this insightful post about the history of Appalachia. I wonder if Obama’s supporters will listen to you and learn anything, instead of posting their usual attacks of racism and stupidity against anyone who doesn’t vote for Obama.

It is pretty obvious that many people in Appalachia live in poverty and have real needs. What does Obama do in West Virginia? Instead of addressing their real concerns, he makes a token appearance and plays pool with a smirk. He probably thought his supporters in the rest of the country would enjoy the joke and approve of his flippant behavior. I guess we’ll find out in November.


Posted by: emmarose on May 14, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Let me just say that I sure am glad the media is gone and WV will no longer be treated like a freak show. This last week has been almost unbearable for some of us here in WV.

At any rate, race and history play prominent roles, but there are a lot more things that impacted why Hillary did so well in WV:

1.) A general contrarian attitude in the state. Look at the votes Edwards, Huckabee, and Paul got yesterday.

2.) Name recognition- things were good when Clinton was President. Folks remember that.

3.) Familiarity- West Virginians are suspicious of, well, "outsiders." Obama was and is new, Hillary is a known quantity.

4.) West Virginians are always supportive of fighters and underdogs.

5.) These are the types of voters that have trended towards Hillary all year. There is a reason Poblano is so good at what he does at 538.

And on and on. WV was tailor made for Hillary. Having said all that, I think it goes to McCain regardless who the candidate is in the fall. I think people forget how good a job the GOP did in 2000 over the gun issue.

Posted by: John Cole on May 14, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK
It is pretty obvious that many people in Appalachia live in poverty and have real needs. What does Obama do in West Virginia? Instead of addressing their real concerns, he makes a token appearance and plays pool with a smirk. He probably thought his supporters in the rest of the country would enjoy the joke and approve of his flippant behavior. I guess we’ll find out in November.

Exactly! What we rubes in WV need is someone to come feel our pain and lie to us about a gas tax. That will fix us right up!

There is nothing he could do to change the outcome yesterday, and spending time and resources would have not only been a waste, it would have been counter-productive, as the Clinton campaign would have said stuff like "Obama spent x number of millions and x days campaigning here and still lost."

Do I need to remind people that Obama has won this race, and that he really does not need to take advice from the losing candidate and her supporters?

Posted by: John Cole on May 14, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Look... These people are hardly racist. They are culturally conservative. I am not white or black, but brown. Hillary is winning the rural vote. Check Missouri. She lost only 3 counties, which were in major cities. If all the primaries were held post Rev. Wright, Obama would be loosing big in a lot of these states. His big delegate margins were in caucus states and his popular vote lead is all from Cook County, Illinois. That's just the way it is. I am from Georgia and he won big, thanks to the AA vote. No one called them racist because they would not vote for the white guys or woman. They called it AA pride. People root for someone who they are comfortable with. Barack Obama outspent her 2 to 1 in WV, he had Rockerfeller and Rahal on his side and still got clobbered. Deal with it.. The general is coming up soon..Things are going to get rough.

Posted by: moina on May 14, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Jeff. The bottom line is that this is a combination of racism and ignorance. This is obvious to most everyone in the media/blogospheres, but folks are being too politically correct to honestly describe what's actually going on.

Posted by: PaulMoeller on May 14, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with John Cole.

Hillary has lost. She didn't lose by some weird voodoo magic. She lost by votes. More people voted for Obama than voted for Hillary. Welcome to Democracy.

It's interesting that Appalachian people (who account for more than half of my relatives) went for her in the primary. I suspect it is more complicated than strictly racism, but I also suspect (because I hear it from my relatives) that it definitely includes some racism. It's flatly wrong to try to pretend that Appalachia is some great homeland of American homogeneity.

It may shock some of the sanctimonious WV's on here to hear it, but listen up guys: You have racists in your state. A lot of them. I am related to them, and I love them, and they are racists. Shocking but true.

Did I also mention that Hillary lost?

Hillary lost.

Let's move on.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on May 14, 2008 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

SP: "I'd like to see an equivalent map for Obama. Is it mostly the south? I think there would be some mountain west states too, and HI."

Me: Go to the link! Your question will be answered. What surprised me is that Obama has a lot of appeal among the Democrats in the West, which isn't likely to be based on the huge black Harvard-educated lawyer/rancher demographic in Idaho. But I'm certain it will later be revealed that everyone in the West is a he-man woman-hatin' cowboy-hat-wearin' bastard who spits his tobacky at pollsters.

Posted by: jon on May 14, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'm left wondering what is so magical about the 65% threshold? Does it have any special meaning other than if another number was chosen (say 63%), then the map would look different and someone's cool new theory wouldn't look as good?

Posted by: SW on May 14, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

emmarose says (re: WVians disliking those who bring down wages) "I wonder if Obama’s supporters will listen to you and learn anything, instead of posting their usual attacks of racism and stupidity against anyone who doesn’t vote for Obama."

Ummm, hating on those who compete with you for jobs is understandable. Translating that hatred to an entire racial group and not voting for a candidate because of merely because he is a member of that racial group is racism. Sorry, it just is.

Posted by: Shochu John on May 14, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Leaving aside the racism angle, lets assume black democratic primary voters go for Obama with a high ratio. These purple areas may just not have any blacks to speak of...

If Hillary and Obama had about a 50/50 split among ALL Dem voters, a strong advantage in a relatively small demographic could produce regional differences by such a margin.

Blacks are 12% of the population, but vote ~95% for the Democratic party, so they have some pull in concentrated areas. (Depends on their turnout).

So the purple areas could just be showing the absence of black voters. Not that there isn't racism there (or everywhere, actually).

What about the pockets of purple in southern California, and the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas? Heavily, almost completely Hispanic areas. Dunno if they're racist, but few blacks live there. Also, northern Michigan - rural, very white.

Alternatively, the purple areas also probably strongly overlap with areas of low formal education. Since Obama polls strong among the higher-educated "elites", he's lower, Hillary's higher.

Posted by: flubber on May 14, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Ia bitter git up de holler to be avoting for de white lady, said Clem as he proceded to keep his community free from outsiders. -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on May 14, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

This is what the results look like Barack Obama since the Rev. Wright appeared:

West Virginia -147,410
Indiana -14,411
North Carolina +227,224
Guam +7
Pennsylvania -214,115
Mississippi +106,281
Wyoming +2,067
Texas -100,258
Ohio -203,851
Rhode Island -33,633
Vermont +32,095

Bury your heads a little deeper, why don't you..

Posted by: moina on May 14, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see here; Appalachia=old-poor-uneducated-racist and probably (undoubtedly)fundamentalist Christians as well.
If I was Obama, I wouldn't want that demographic associated with me in any way, shape or form. I'd just tie a ribbon around the whole mess and send it over to McCain where they truly belong.
If the election turns on that vote, the United States is in a seriously sorry situation, which you might argue it already is for not bringing these folks into McCain's century, never mind modern times.

Posted by: kamajii on May 14, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Flubber has made the only really insightful comment on this thread.

The purple areas are areas where there are few blacks living- period. In the mountain west and the plains states, I would be very careful about drawing hasty conclusions- they were often caucuses, not primaries. One should actually look at the exit polling data from the primaries that have been held- Clinton regularly took a high percentage of the white and hispanic votes in states that Obama actually won, except for the outlier of Illinois.

Unless Obama can make a connection with those Clinton voters, he will lose the election this fall in a season where any Democrat should win easily.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on May 14, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

I will play my one card: Appalachia is disproportionately older than much of the rest of the country. It has been losing population for decades, much like the Rust Belt. This is yet another demographic that loves Clinton -- because of the better times they remember from the 90s, their distrust of the "newfangled" Obama, and because the elderly are more likely to be female (esp. in Appalachia, with its punishing manual labor economy). I am sure racism broadly defined played a role, as I grew up not far from West Virginia, and it would be foolish to believe that race did not play a part (as many voters apparently conceded when asked -- more than 20%, in fact, with 80% of those voting for Clinton).

Posted by: Barbara on May 14, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think one important point to note about the region is that Appalachia is also primarily white; meaning these folks just haven't had a great deal of contact with African-Americans and what they know about black America comes from pop culture and stereotypes.

Which, when you think about it, is pretty much what the rest of American seems to "know" about Appalachia.

I largely concur; for example, for many years during the era of the "solid South," eastern Tennessee -- which had relatively few blacks -- trended Republican. There wasn't that much racial fear stoked up among whites in that part of the state.

You could compare it to some parts of Minnesota, where if racism did exist, it wasn't so much against blacks (who were few in number) as against Native Americans (a more numerous and thus more visible threat).

Posted by: Vincent on May 14, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, Moina, that's about 345,000 less votes out of the total of over 30 million since this whole thing started! Why, that proves... nothing, since Clinton still trails in the measure of support needed to get the nomination: delegates.

Posted by: jon on May 14, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Google various agencies or research shops that enumerate behaviors in people. The CDC and others will tell you on a wide variety of negative, destructive personal habits the purple areas of this map lead the nation. Alcoholism, smoking, dropping out of high school, STDs, out of wedlock births, domestic violence and drug abuse are prevalent in these areas to a greater degree than elsewhere with some minor variances. Those rushing to defend or explain this often point to poverty and what it causes people to turn to or do because of it. Yet there are many poor people all over the nation not turning to drugs and alcohol and violence to salve their psyches. Surely few people willfully decide to abuse themselves, their property or their families. Yet here is entire swath of the nation populated by people doing a great many destructive things, to a greater degree than everyone else, and wallowing in some mind set of "Oh, why can't we prosper and get ahead? The big, mean corporations have raped us for years, my lungs are shot, I can't find work, my wife is on my ass, oh my God what am I going to do?" Followed by a few smokes, a few beers, an OXY and watching a couple episodes of Jerry Springer (where they may very well see their sister and the three gas station cashiers wrestling on stage for the right to raise her child by Jethro at the mill). Here's a novel path to follow: Don't drink, don't smoke, don't do drugs, stay in school, keep your pants zipped and keep your hands off other people during disagreements. Works wonders. And these are steps to take that everyone already knows about. Just do it.

Posted by: steve duncan on May 14, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

We have had KY and WV voters openly saying they won't vote for a black guy. One explaining that the latter just wouldn't be fair to white people, of course. That doesn't mean it's immutable though. The 50-state strategy doesn't seem to be shutting down soon, and desensitization seems like a possibility. Maybe not this year though.

Posted by: sniflheim on May 14, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

In many respects Appalachia is like a developing nation with an extraction resource economy: all the investment goes to extracting the resource as efficiently as possible, and not much goes to the betterment of those who take it out of the ground. And once a mine dies, people don't leave.

And as for the slavery connection -- many of these people purposefully settled in this mountainous area precisely because it did not have slaves. It's not that they didn't have slaves because it was economically infeasible. They really were anti-slavery. Historically, perhaps it would serve to remember that Abraham Lincoln was born into this particular cultural milieu -- but before the take over of the mining industry. His father moved from Kentucky to Illinois so as not to live in a slave state.

Of our current politicians, the only one I know of that empathizes with this demographic is Jim Webb.

Posted by: Barbara on May 14, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see here; Appalachia=old-poor-uneducated-racist and probably (undoubtedly)fundamentalist Christians as well.
If I was Obama, I wouldn't want that demographic associated with me in any way, shape or form. I'd just tie a ribbon around the whole mess and send it over to McCain where they truly belong.

We in Appalachia really appreciate your endorsement of the 50 state strategy.

Seriously, I am pleased to find a more intelligent discussion here of why Clinton does so well in Appalachia than on many blogs, where it seems to come down to "bigots and trailer trash."

Having spent most of my life in Tennessee (some years in Appalachia; some years not) I wouldn't pretend to understand the complexities of Mountain States politics without spending a good deal of time studying them. Yet people who've never set foot in Appalachia, or who've read a few posts about it, are suddenly experts in Appalachian politics.

Bah.

Posted by: gemini on May 14, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Jerry Springer

I was clicking through the cable channels Sat. night and saw a promo on Boomerang that had the hillbilly bear family on a Springer-like program. Typical family dysfunction was resolved when Paw fired his shotgun at the wall above the audience, spelling out 'I love u ma.'


Posted by: Brojo on May 14, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

We've discussed this curious American demographic before, maybe for the 2004 election. IIRC, a number of us recommended David Hackett Fischer's 1989 Albion's Seed. The Wiki entry is pretty good:

The book's descriptions of the four folkways grounding American society is one of the most comprehensive, almost encyclopedic, guide to the origins of colonial American culture. According to Fischer, the foundation of American culture was formed from four mass emigrations from four different regions of Britain by four different socio-religious groups. New England's constitutional period occurred between 1629 and 1640 when Puritans, most from East Anglia, settled there. The next mass migration was of southern English cavaliers and their servants to the Chesapeake Bay region between 1640 and 1675. Then, between 1675 and 1725 thousands of Quakers, led by William Penn settled the Delaware Valley. Finally Scots-Irish settlers from the borderlands of Britain and Northern Ireland migrated to Appalachia between 1717 and 1775. Each of these migrations produced a distinct regional culture which can still be seen in America today. The four migrations are discussed in the four main chapters of the book . . . .

It might be most helpful, this important election year, to refrain from name-calling. Better perhaps to characterize the Borderers and Ulster Scots (who largely settled Appalachia (and Texas) and who were generally the first to extend America's frontiers) as clannish, not racist. If you look like them and sound like them. Or they know your uncle, well, you're good.

This is one excellent argument for Jim Webb as VP. He'd neutralize McCain. They're both from this same stock of so-called Scots-Irish. But Webb is for real, and he's angrier about the war and is way smarter than McCain.

Finally, it'd also be wise not to condescend to these proud Americans as ignorant racists. It just makes them mad. They are our fellow citizens and they've been used and neglected by their country. They've produced most of the country's presidents and most of its distinguished warriors (think Andrew Jackson).

Puritan scion George W. Bush aped their folkways (swagger, bellicosity, contempt for learnin' and fancy speech) and won their support in 2000 and 2004. And then he sent their sons and daughters to a misbegotten war. Perhaps in 2008 the grudge-holding Mountaineers might hold this against the party of Bush.

Posted by: paxr55 on May 14, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

I will go out on a limb and suggest that a lot of the pathology in Appalachia is concentrated in areas with a robust or formerly robust mining industry. I noted with some satisfaction that the sitting WV chief justice was defeated in a primary election because he had vacationed with the CEO of one of the largest mining concerns in the state. Doesn't the expression "company town" mean something to you? Well, KY and WV are like company states (especially the latter -- KY is more diversified).

Posted by: Barbara on May 14, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Feel free to speculate in comments.

Not a lot of outsiders make it up into them thar hills?

But actually, chalk me up as a little skeptical that this graphic is rendered 100% accurately. It's surprising how contiguously the ultra-pro-Hillary counties are located.

Maybe I'm just ignorant about Appalachia, but I'm surprised that all of it from east to west would have such a uniform culture that they would vote so similarly on this, with hardly an exception anywhere in any area one might call Appalachia. It's almost a little cartoonish.

Posted by: Swan on May 14, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

This is all very interesting, but I have to ask. Are we, all of us, going to let the ugliest of Appalachia's historic artifacts dominate life in the 21st century? Sorry, I don't give a damn if a few hillbillies won't vote for the most qualified candidate just because he is black. It is time for the hillbillies to grow up or get out of the way.

To the extent Hillary is promoting the idea that we should all be slaves to Appalachia's racist past, she demonstrates that she unqualified to lead.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 14, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

The working theory here, of course, isn't that Appalachians love Hillary so much, but that Appalachians are uniquely uncomfortable voting for a black guy.


Oh please. This is the sort of crap that gets Democrats and so-called liberals into trouble in those parts; and they richly deserve this trouble.

This is an economically underdeveloped region that can and will respond positively to pragmatic policies that yield tangible benefits to them. Robert Byrd is paradigmatic of how to be a successful Democrat in those parts. Want their votes? Study him.

Don't want their votes? Are you too good for them? Then look forward to President McCain.

And thanks.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on May 14, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Gemini, the last time I looked, "old" is not an insult. It's a condition that happens to the luckiest of us. But I stand by my comment that Appalachian residents are disproportionately old, relative to the rest of the nation. Just as Pennsylvania is, due mostly to out-migration. And this explains, at least partly, the overwhelming support for Clinton, just as it did in Pennsylvania.

Posted by: Barbara on May 14, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

"...it'd also be wise not to condescend to these proud Americans"

"...George W. Bush aped their folkways (swagger, bellicosity, contempt for learnin'..."
Posted by: paxr55
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Folkways? I suppose swagger is an OK attribute if it implies confidence. But how in the hell is contempt for education some defensible, charming "folkways"? Where I was raised those thumbing their nose at the most culturally acceptable, realistic path to success were condescended to. And like it or not that path involved getting an education. Persons bucking that tried and true approach were generally losers when the dust settled.

Posted by: steve duncan on May 14, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

If you're running against an African-American, aren't you the racists' candidate by default?

Yes, which is why when McCain and Lieberman roll out the "Obama is the candidate of Hamas" meme, he should respond by calling McCain the "candidate of the KKK" because they would no doubt prefer him over Obama...He should do this not because he believes McCain shares anything in common with the KKK, but because it shows how ridiculous McLieberman's Hamas talk is. You can't control who supports your campaign or what their motives are for doing so....

Posted by: Joe on May 14, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

I promise this is my last post. Liberals love these people -- when it comes to their incredibly rich musical heritage. Ever hear of the Carter family? or Jean Richie? If I had to use one word to describe them, it would be insular, partly by nature, and partly by exploitation. Many Scots Irish moved on from Appalachia and live everywhere else in the nation. Those who stayed and maintained the distinctive culture happen to live in places where concentrated economic forces did not invest in schools or libraries or anything else that would lead people to be less willing to work in a coal mine.

Posted by: Barbara on May 14, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Barack's strategy (if he had a reason to suspect this problem) should have been to have a bunch of cool black people- hand-picked friends of the campaign- go through Appalachia, starting months beforehand, and just talk to white people. Go on the pretext of being your way somewhere for vacation, or to visit relatives, and then just chat with white people who sit down on the same bench as you at the mall or at a bar, and just be cool- friendly and relatable. Don't necessarily talk about politics and don't seem like you want anything. If 120-150 people did this for one to five months, and talked to 5 to 20 white people a day, it would have had an effect on Appalachia. A lot of people who never usually talked to a black person before they had to decide on Barack would have met a cool black person. Those people in turn would have talked differently about black people to their friends and family afterwards. Keep an extra-tight lid on the plan, and it will lead to benefits in the general election, and the future beyond.

Posted by: Swan on May 14, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Robert Byrd is paradigmatic of how to be a successful Democrat in those parts. Want their votes? Study him.
Don't want their votes? Are you too good for them? Then look forward to President McCain.
And thanks.
Posted by: Duncan Kinder on May 14, 2008 at 2:14 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Um, wouldn't Robert Byrd be a questionable example of how to gain the allegiance of Appalachians? I think his paradigm, as you call it, it to ladle as many bills as possible with pork. Bringing home the bacon?

Posted by: steve duncan on May 14, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Just to give a little more of an example to back up my last comment- if you were a Nazi or something, and you wanted liberal law professors to be less interested in what they were doing, you would have some rough-looking young black guy act crazy and thuggish when the professor was waiting out in public, like at a train station or some place. Some liberals might think that all liberals would be too smart or too good to fall for something like this, but the reality is, many liberals if they kept seeing the stereotype again and again would tend to think that the fight for equality was not as worth-while, or at least it would subconsciously undermine their resolve.

Posted by: Swan on May 14, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Finger-pointing and saying that the vices of poverty are actually the fault of the people, not the poverty (see Steve Duncan, "Alcoholism, smoking, dropping out of high school, STDs, out of wedlock births, domestic violence and drug abuse are prevalent in these areas to a greater degree than elsewhere with some minor variances") reads just like a Ronald Reagan "welfare queen" primer -- but that's okay because people from Appalachia are white. That's tremendously useful... Poverty is a real, entrenched problem in the United States. Poor people are not beknighted and incorrigible ... THEY'RE POOR.

Posted by: on May 14, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see here; Appalachia=old-poor-uneducated-racist and probably (undoubtedly)fundamentalist Christians as well.
If I was Obama, I wouldn't want that demographic associated with me in any way, shape or form. I'd just tie a ribbon around the whole mess and send it over to McCain where they truly belong. - kamajii

So kamajii, let's just dump all those folks who vote 65% or more for Hillary in the primary. Let's see, who else should we throw under the bus?
- men and women over 65
- white women over 45
- hispanics and asians

Yup, that strategy will sure get us dems into the WhiteHouse this fall.

Oh, and should we also eliminate folks who have never bought arugula at Whole Foods too?

Posted by: optical weenie on May 14, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

1. Marshall's been hacking full speed for 6 months now, he's unreliable.
2.Take away caucuses, and one can make similar observations about the racial makeup and voting preference of Obama's +65% counties. Interesting only one side is trumpeting the map.

Posted by: david on May 14, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

ps- obviously DHinMI is an ass and exactly the problem with the Obama campaign. Marshall's playing along I get, he's a hack. Shame on you, Kevin.

Posted by: david on May 14, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Josh has a point.

The confederacy is the reason that West Virginia exists. Before secession in 1861, WV was part of Virginia. When Virginia went, WV broke off with the blessings of Lincoln. Next door in east Tennessee, unionists carried out guerrilla attacks against the Confederacy(Knoxville was a vital rail center).

But one mustn't confuse hating slavery with racial equality. In fact, some abolitionists were against slavery for racist reasons: they didn't want blacks here under any circumstances.

Posted by: Horatio Parker on May 14, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Steve,

Thanks for the reaaction. I used the term folkways not to suggest that clannishness, for example, or contempt for learning is charming but to suggest to the good posters here that Appalachia has a distinct regional culture that we Democrats would do well to understand in historical context--going back to the centuries-long political betrayals and ensuing border warfare between England and Scotland. They come by their clannishness honestly and tragically.

Folkways is a technical term. Fischer uses it in his subtitle. Here's another snippet from the Wiki entry:

Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (ISBN 0195069056) is a 1989 book by David Hackett Fischer that utilizes an approach developed by the French school of the Annales begun by Georges Dumezil and developed further by Fernand Braudel that concentrates on both continuity and change over long periods of time. The book's focus is on the details of the folkways of four groups of British people that settled and moved from distinct regions of the United Kingdom to its colonies in America. The argument is that the culture of each of the groups persisted, providing the basis for the modern United States.

It really is a fascinating account of regional American differences and I recommend it, again, highly.

Posted by: paxr55 on May 14, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

So how did Clinton win in California and fail to have any purple blobs there?

Posted by: jen flowers on May 14, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

This is only part of the picture. Show the areas where Obama won 65% or more.

Posted by: searcy on May 14, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

The Obama campaign seems to employ 3 main prongs:
1. Call Hillary a liar
2. Call Hillary a racist
3. Make excuses

I'm not sure how well this will work in the GE.

Posted by: david on May 14, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, Appalachia.

So many folks, so few last names...

Posted by: chance on May 14, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

---
I'm surprised that all of it from east to west would have such a uniform culture that they would vote so similarly on this, with hardly an exception anywhere in any area one might call Appalachia. It's almost a little cartoonish.
---

You've obviously not spent much time there.

---
Those who stayed and maintained the distinctive culture happen to live in places where concentrated economic forces did not invest in schools or libraries
---

Not exactly; the college-educated tend to leave for more lucrative environs, leaving the less-educated (which is not a 1-to-1 mapping to the less-intelligent) behind.

So the culture stays relatively unchanged since few outsiders move into the area.

Posted by: eightnine2718281828mu5 on May 14, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

David,

Hillary has lost. Get over it.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 14, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Read Confederates in the Attic. It describes the culture where I grew up. Places that were once anti-confederate turning into stars-and-bars locations and yes, racist places.

Why? For the same reason they were anti-confederate in the first place: it's the poor white's way to say a big "fuck you" to the man.

Building our Appalachian prisons, which we then fill up with black folks, doesn't help much with the racism, either.

Then it turns into a self-selecting culture. Who in the hell would want to be around the fuck you culture when you can get out? Not me.

So the culture gets more extreme as you drain away the people who don't curse.

Posted by: daniel on May 14, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary vs. McCain--who gets the racist vote?

It gotta be McCain. Old time working class, Klan inspired, racists, hate Indians, then women, then blacks in that order. How do I know? the Bible told me so. As well as our sordid history of race/sex relations.

As much as Hillary is using "Black Fear" as a campaign issue, she is giving votes to McCain.

Point goes to Obama for running a dignified campaign. He will take that dignity all the way to the White House.

Whether he is the "Great Black Hope" for ending the war, improving the lot of the poor and working class, I tend to doubt. Wall Street/Pentagon is a tough crowd to beat.

Posted by: Dr Wu, I'm just an ordinary guy on May 14, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I grew up in Appalachia; it wasn't just anti-slave, it was anti-anyone who provided cheap labor.

Initial waves of Catholic labor were resisted as well (ie, Italians, Poles, etc) since they undercut prevailing wages. eightnine

Hunter Thompson has an interesting passage in "Hell's Angels" (1966) where he goes into the history of poor whites immigrating to America as indentured servants that is noteworthy:

"...After a period of hard labor and wretchedness he would then be free to seize whatever he might in a land of seemingly infinite natural wealth. Thousands of bonded servants came over, but by the time they earned their freedom the coastal strip was already settled. The unclaimed land was west, across the Alleghenies. So they drived into the new states-Kentucky and Tennesse; their sons drifted on to Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. ...Their world was a violent, boozing limbo between the pits of despair and the Big Rock Candy Mountain. ...Some stayed behind and their lineal descendants are still there-in the Carolinas, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennesee. There were dropouts all along the way: hillbillies, Okies, Arkies-they're all the same people. Texas is a living monument to the breed. So is southern California."

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on May 14, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

It's not that they won't vote for a black guy. They won't vote for a black guy that openly, overtly insulted their culture (much to the delight of so many on the left, unfortunately) and the sporting goods they enjoy.

This isn't hard and frankly I can't fathom why people are struggling to understand this or wasting time with elaborate theories about race, ageism, etc.

Don't expect to win the votes of people you openly deride and belittle. Duh.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on May 14, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Confederate in the Attics. Good recommendation.

Heck, how about the 2004 book by potential Dem VP Jim Webb, called Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America?

Tom Wolfe, novelist and gonzo journalist, also has a doctorate in American studies from Yale. In his review Wolfe wrote:

Born Fighting is a bombshell or else the most brilliant battle flare ever launched by a book. James Webb reveals the all-but-invisible ethnic group that has created the core beliefs of democracy American-style: our rights come from God, not the Government; all of us are born equal, and "born aristocrats" don't exist; and tread on either of those two truths, and we'll fight you down to the last unbroken hyoid bone.

The Scots-Irish, for such is their name, have fought all our wars for us, including Vietnam. James Webb was there, and he can count. He has written not only an engrossing story but also an important work of sociological history in the tradition of the great James Graham Leyburn.

In short, you want these people on your side. You don't insult them.

Posted by: paxr55 on May 14, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian-PGP, care to fill us in?

Anyway, I think the cynical types give too much weight to theories like yours. Despite the efforts and the beliefs of the cynical, I think most voters actually stay a little detached from the hoopla and make something like an informed decision, OR, they let a heavily-entrenched prejudice like racism get the better of them- but they don't really throw their vote one way or the other because of something like the Barack-Obama- wanted-orange-juice thing.

Posted by: Swan on May 14, 2008 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian-PGP

Exactly when did Obama deride hillbilly culture?

Yesterday I heard one woman say she wouldn't vote for Obama because he is a Muslim. When it was pointed out to her that he "claims" to be a Christian, she said, "I know, but I don't believe him."

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 14, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Drum asks for comments to speculate on his post.

Commenters decide to make condesending snarks filled with hate, stereotypes, and ignorant generalizations about how other people are filled with hate, stereotypes and ignorant generalizations.

Posted by: Craig on May 14, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

That is, care to tell us what sport Barack derided? I didn't hear that one.

And I didn't hear that when anyone was interviewed about their vote, they offered that explanation. Instead I saw quotes that people wouldn't vote for him because of "who he is."

Posted by: Swan on May 14, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK
Puritan scion George W. Bush aped their folkways (swagger, bellicosity, contempt for learnin' and fancy speech) and won their support in 2000 and 2004. And then he sent their sons and daughters to a misbegotten war. Perhaps in 2008 the grudge-holding Mountaineers might hold this against the party of Bush.

Absolutely. A lot of us here online seem to forget that most voters this year couldn't give a shit about the "culture war" stuff that won 2004 for the Republicans. Their jobs are going away. Their kids are coming home missing limbs if they're lucky, and in boxes if they aren't. That pickup truck that keeps their farm going is getting more and more expensive to fill, and they're starting to wonder how they're going to manage to keep the house heated next winter if fuel prices keep going up.

When you have Democrats winning in the reddest districts of Mississippi by 54%, trust me, these "hillbillies" are going to be voting Obama in the general, not McCain.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on May 14, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry. Forgot the link to Born Fighting from the Random House catalog.

Posted by: paxr55 on May 14, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

The idea that that many Appalachians are that defensive about some hillbilly sport that it resulted in so many of them actually throwing their votes against Obama is pretty far out.

Posted by: Swan on May 14, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

"trust me, these "hillbillies" are going to be voting Obama in the general, not McCain"

You'll have to forgive me if I don't "trust you".

Posted by: david on May 14, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

paxr55,

I know the breed we are talking about. They are my relatives. Scots-Irish culture embodies both good and bad, noble and obscene. Despite every noble trait you and Jim Webb mention, I refuse to be a captive of their ugly side. Yes, I will continue to go to the family reunions. I love the good in their souls.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 14, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Given that there were reports back in 2005 that support for the Iraq war was wavering in small-town West Virginia, again, I seriously doubt that people are going to vote for "100 More Years in Iraq" McCain no matter how glasses of orange juice Obama drinks.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on May 14, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

He's talking about guns, Swan.

Posted by: david on May 14, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

You'll have to forgive me if I don't "trust you".

Well, you can lay down and cry because your first choice didn't win and convince yourself that McCain is invincible, or you can go with the candidate we have and try to pound McCain into the dirt where he belongs.

I know which one I choose.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on May 14, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

I believe Sen Clinton is a superior candidate who will make a better president. I'll continue to support her effort, thanks. I fully expect she will be our candidate. I hope you will support her.

Posted by: david on May 14, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian-PGP,

I understand that Obama deeply regrets his lapse in generalizing "bitter, clinging" back-country types in Pennsylvania (I recall he may also have been describing other, older white ethnic Americans, the ones who took jobs away from the Scots-Irish). He was acting the anthropologist (his mother's vocation)--a mistake he is not likely to repeat.

I'm reading his biography now, Dreams from My Father. Obama writes very affectingly about the hardscrabble Indonesians with whom he grew up. (No International School Jakarta for Barack.) It's not too difficult, I expect, for the likely Dem nominee to make the imaginative leap from underserved, conscripted backcountry folks he knew in Indonesia to those of Appalachia.

Posted by: paxr55 on May 14, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, is it absolutely necessary you be an asshole about it?

Posted by: david on May 14, 2008 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

paxr55, isn't it funny how much capacity for understanding we reserve for those we support?

Posted by: david on May 14, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Isnt it interesting how all thses problems Obama has in "Appalachia" came after "Bittergate" and Rev Wright? My guess is it has much more to do with them than it does with that area of the country.

If Iowa or Missouri would have voted last after Bittergate and Rev Wright, Ill bet he'd be having a problem with those voters now too.

Posted by: Jonesy on May 14, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Uh oh, looks like we are getting into pie throwing mode. So kiddies, today's flavor is blueberry crumble.

Posted by: optical weenie on May 14, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

david,

Not sure I take your meaning about the capacity to understand, but think you may be characterizing (with some sarcasm) my effort to explain (and kinda justify) Obama's "bitter" lapse at that SF fundraiser.

I don't support Hillary Clinton, it's true. But it's not because I lack the capacity for understanding her. The same is true for John McCain. I have the capacity for understanding him too.

I believe I understand most of the candidates, from Edwards to Kucinich to Huckabee to -- ok, I don't understand Romney. I understand them all pretty well and simply prefer some over others and eventually settled on Obama for a host of reasons.

Posted by: paxr55 on May 14, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Jonesy since both "bittergate" and Rev. Wright were invented and promoted by both the Clintons and the media, wouldn't it be fair to say that voters became concerned about Obama after Hillary and the media spent about a month trying to tar Obama by association and willfully misconstruing his comments. Of course, he seems to have survived having the "kitchen sink" thrown at him. Bully for him.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 14, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Take away caucuses, and one can make similar observations about the racial makeup and voting preference of Obama's +65% counties."

Well, no, actually you can't, which is why nobody has done this.

Posted by: PaulB on May 14, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

"I fully expect she will be our candidate."

I fully expect that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus are real. Our expectations are equally likely to be met.

Posted by: PaulB on May 14, 2008 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

"By the way, is it absolutely necessary you be an asshole about it?"

ROFL.... Oh, the irony, coming from someone who appears to have thought that this was a reasonable post:

The Obama campaign seems to employ 3 main prongs: 1. Call Hillary a liar 2. Call Hillary a racist 3. Make excuses

You posted inflammatory bullshit and then are "surprised" that you got flamed? Yeah, right. Pull the other one.

Posted by: PaulB on May 14, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary just unveiled her new campaign slogan:

"A squirrel in every pot and a jalopy in every garage."

You know, for whites! with Retsin.

Posted by: Orson on May 14, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Attitudes about slavery in Appalachia before and during the Civil War cannot so easily be characterized as "fierce opposition." Kentuckians owned 226,000 slaves--20% of the population, and more than Mississipians or Alabamans. Slaveowners in the Virginia counties that seceded from that state owned almost fifty thousand human beings. To the extent that Appalachians opposed slavery, they often did so on economic--opposition to cheap labor--more than moral grounds. Appalachia did not teem with abolitionists.

It is also not clear that Appalachians backed their opposition to slavery by serving in greater numbers for the Union than for the Confederacy. States like West Virginia and Kentucky supplied soldiers to both sides, and in roughly equal numbers. Of the estimated 100K Kentuckians who fought during the Civil War, about forty five thousand fought for the South. Recent research suggests that West Virginians fought in equal numbers for both sides--about 22-25K each.

Political expression in 1860 also fails to show "fierce opposition" to slavery. Kentucky preferred Tennesee slaveowner John Bell to native son Breckinridge 45% to 36% (Lincoln got 1364 votes out of over 146,000, or less than 1%. The counties that later left the Old Dominion to form West Virginia split pretty evenly between Bell and Breckinridge. Lincoln carried only one of these counties.

Whatever their reasons for preferring Clinton to Obama in 2008, these regions were not really "fiercely opposed" to slavery in 1860.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott on May 14, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

"...both "bittergate" and Rev. Wright were invented and promoted by both the Clintons and the media,..." Yes, wasn't it awful how Hillary used ventriloquism to put those words in Obama's mouth, and how she cleverly said nothing about Wright when the controversy erupted, therby giving the impression that she was saying nothing about it? And the way she misconstrued Wright's comments about white people giving black people AIDS to make it seem like he said white people give black people AIDS? And how she forced Obama to first lie about his relationship with Wright, and not dissasociate himself from the guy until Wright called Obama a "politician"? It's amazing that Obama's ahead, what with the way Hillary is able to control his every action.

Posted by: ChrisO on May 14, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Come and listen to my story bout a gal named Hill
Losin' fair and square and her chances they was nil
Then one day she gets talkin WHITE to folks
Up from the dirt come a bubblin votes

Posted by: duh on May 14, 2008 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

ChrisO

As to "bittergate" the actual words Obama uttered were not in any way inflammatory. The unfair spin was completely unfair and bogus. I don't recall much of a debate about what was actually said in the Clinton spun media.

As to Rev. Wright, I am glad nobody tars me with all of the ideas of my pastor. She is a real grump. That anyone would expect us to pay attention to a few out of context quotes (15-20 seconds tops out of a life long career) is spinning of the first order. Among Democrats only Team Hillary's top spinners like Howard Wolfson can sell that kind of snake oil and then only to a receptive media.

Both bittergate and Rev. Wright were unfair and made up, nearly out of whole cloth. That is par for the course in the current world dominated by herd media and ethics free candidates.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 14, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Check out this map of the Massachusetts primary town by town. There are plenty of towns in SE Massachusetts that voted for Clinton in numbers greater than 65%.

Posted by: Wendy on May 14, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't be surprised if those who voted for Hillary because of their discomfort with Obama's race were more than outvoted by the racists who supported Obama BECAUSE of his race.

It's often been noted that if Obama were a white dude that he wouldn't have created a religious following like we see today which draws in elitist racists who support a candidate who has accomplished nothing of note apart from inspiring a cult of personality built on a foundation of racism.

Posted by: TangoMan on May 14, 2008 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Alright already, Ron Byers, we get it already, Obama's shit don't stink, he's perfect and the most qualified bla bla bla...

From one Scot-Irish punk to another, you sound like a child that retains more information than his peers and loves to annoy everyone around them by spouting out useless facts. I have one of those at home, he love to tell everyone he meets how far every planet is from the sun.

Posted by: elmo on May 14, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Just a week or so ago, comments here were complaining that MSM described Obama as elitist. Maybe he is. Maybe he isn't. But most of the comments above are blatantly elitist. If I lived in the South or in any rural area in this country, I would have an aversion to being in the same party with most of you. As it is, many of the comments are just embarrassingly small and mean-spirited.

Posted by: cynic on May 14, 2008 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Hey elmo, your girl lost.

I was an Edwards guy until he lost. I got over it. I would suggest you get over Hillary. It is time to move on. NARAL did just this morning. There is a useless fact for you to chew.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 14, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Ron, your shit eating grin doesn't bother me, and I aint the one who needs to get over anything.

Your boy hasn't won yet, realize it...

Posted by: elmo on May 14, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo, I forgot to mention that everybody's shit stinks including Obama's. How about another useless fact, John Edwards is going to endorse Obama tonight.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 14, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of you have failed to note that Obama was doing poorly in Appalchian areas which voted long before any of the Wright/bittergate stuff came out. That's what makes the map so interesting: it's consistent across states and across primary dates.

But reading about a lot of the psychoses of various American ethnic tensions between groups that have been here in the US for hundreds of years has made a very convincing case for me to remain in and marry within my own immigrant community. Seriously, I don't want to inherit any of these centuries-old tensions. My own ethnic group has enough of its own.

Posted by: Tyro on May 14, 2008 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo sounds like Francie Brady going on about the Nugent boy and all his amazin facts. Watch out.
I have nothing against Scotch-Irishness. I'm a Shaw on mom's side. (Her Dutch side was the Okies though.) I love good scotch and all that. I just find this proxy glorification of violence no more impressive for the ethnic veneer. Substitute blackness and what would Tom Wolfe think of it then?

Posted by: sniflheim on May 14, 2008 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

sniflheim,

You're right that artists Tom Wolfe (and Mel Gibson, too, in his Patriot and Braveheart films) have fallen hard for the romance of American and Scots frontier violence. The glorification makes the despair and squalor a little easier to write about, I guess.

My point was that, like it or not, like them or not, this intimidating voting bloc is an electoral reality. John Edwards knew it and knows it, and his endorsement of Obama today is most welcome.

And until we elect a Dem devoted to serving (educating, employing, feeding, inspiring) all Americans--the poor and disenfranchised of Appalachia included--we'll never be able lift up the entire country.

Posted by: paxr55 on May 14, 2008 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

CNN This afternoon:

"Ticker: Hillary Clinton chokes up in CNN interview "

Too funny... she's gotta be thinkin':
"Well, it worked a couple times before"

Posted by: Buford on May 14, 2008 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'm getting so tired of the reflex liberal charge of "racism" and "ignorant" against those that don't agree with us. One of the reasons I am now an Obama supporter is because I think he is trying to move American's past this kind of impotent name-calling.

In any case, this is a fascinating map, and I'll second the recommendation upthread of Albion's Seed. Cultures are a deep thing.

Maybe Appalachia is going 65% for Clinton because she seems like a scrappy warrior type. Maybe the name, "Clinton," sounds more Scots-Irish than Obama, and they are just loyal to the clan. Groups that feel oppressed survive by watching out for one another.

Posted by: PTate in MN on May 14, 2008 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Good work "duh".

Posted by: flubber on May 14, 2008 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Wendy, interesting map of the MA primary. Wonder why the author of the 65% Clinton county map doesn't show the MA counties in the graphic? There are plenty of them over 65 and even into the 70s%.

Posted by: lellis on May 14, 2008 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

I am a hillbilly myself, and my speculation on Arkansas at least is that people still like the Clintons there.

Can't explain West Virginia or Texas.

Posted by: heather on May 14, 2008 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

I believe Sen Clinton is a superior candidate who will make a better president. I'll continue to support her effort, thanks. I fully expect she will be our candidate. I hope you will support her.

If she pulls it out at the last minute, I'll be happy to support her. I'm assuming you'll make the same promise if Obama wins rather than defecting to McCain as so many Hillary supporters have been claiming they'll do.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on May 14, 2008 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Read The Cousins' Wars by Kevin Phillips and you'll understand what's going on and what's has driven Presidential politics since the founding of the Republic. Democracy is inherently identarian i.e. people vote as to who they are and bind themselves to a candidate who looks, talks and feels most like them. It's just a natural human reaction.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on May 14, 2008 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'm getting so tired of the reflex liberal charge of "racism" and "ignorant" against those that don't agree with us. One of the reasons I am now an Obama supporter is because I think he is trying to move American's past this kind of impotent name-calling.

Exactly. Which is why I cringe when I hear Obama supporters dissing Appalachia.

I live in Knoxville. I have 2 master's degrees. I'm a liberal. But my roots are firmly in the East Tennessee mountains, for about 8 generations back.

The fastest way to ensure the Obama doesn't get the Appalachian vote is to look down on the people who live there - and that means either nastily or in the "we're going to help you adjust your attitudes" way. They (we) can spot condescension a mile away.

Take the time to listen, let them get to know you, speak straight. In other words, show a little respect.

I know it's hard for some of you to understand, but folks you are different from you are not necessarily inferior.


Posted by: on May 14, 2008 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

I think PTate in MN @ 6:13PM probably has it summed up best. I would like to add that the only thing that seems to have been omitted was that possibly those voters maybe actually, you know, think Sen. Clinton is the better candidate?

Posted by: Doug on May 14, 2008 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

miora: If all the primaries were held post Rev. Wright, Obama would be loosing big in a lot of these states.

Not true. If polls are to believed, he'd win California by 6% were the primary to be held today.

PTate: Maybe Appalachia is going 65% for Clinton because she seems like a scrappy warrior type. Maybe the name, "Clinton," sounds more Scots-Irish than Obama, and they are just loyal to the clan.

Race was claimed as a factor by only about 20% of Hillary's WV voters. I think you're right. For the most part it's just that Hillary is more culturally akin.

Just as Obama is more culturally akin to voters in other regions such as the midwest and the mountain states.

Posted by: snicker-snack on May 14, 2008 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo sounds like Francie Brady...

Nice try, I've been on my own since age sixteen. Served in the infantry for four year during Gulf War I. Ran my own business and have a successful marriage of thirteen years. I asure you I'm no psyco. I think...

Now, I don't have one of those sheets of rice paper saying I'm educated from a higher institution, although I attended for five semesters after the Army(GPA: 3.somthing). But I did get myself edumacateded.

Posted by: elmo on May 14, 2008 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

I hope this will be the last comment on this thread.
First, I suppose I have to insulate myself by saying that I am descended from Appalachians on both sides: maternally, from Pennsylvania coal miners via southern Illinois; paternally, from North Carolina via Kentucky (Dan'l Boone was an uncle). That said, I have no problems with the stereotypes flung ag'in' these poor folk; they are, alas, richly deserved. My ancestors got out of that godforsaken area, bringing much of their prejudices with them (one grandpa joined the Klan in the '20s). They were good Christian men and women when it came to matters of, say, sexuality, but maybe lacking in good Christian empathy in matters trans-racial. I question whether, partisan politics aside, any of them would vote for Obama if they were around today. Too bad. This is the 21st century, ladies and gentlemen-- over fifty years since Brown v. Board of Education. The people of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky might sometimes be miners, but they are not living in caves. They are as aware of the world as we are, and if they choose to reject it, feel free to reject them.

Posted by: Henderstock on May 14, 2008 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

They are as aware of the world as we are, and if they choose to reject it, feel free to reject them.

Really, Henderstock? Would you say the same about the part of the White and African American communities that would not vote for Clinton if she wins? Save your tripe for the know-it-alls...

Posted by: elmo on May 14, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Josh Marshall is revealing his Yankee roots. I grew up in the North Georgia mountains and learned their history first hand.

The conventional wisdom is that Appalachia was anti slavery but that is simply not true. The farms were smaller, but they averaged about 9 slaves per farm. But a significant number of slaveholder did not work the land. They hired out their slaves to build roads, railroads, buildings, to work in mines and so on. The ones that worked the fields were largely women. In point of fact, slavery was more brutal in the mountains. Only half of enslaved children lived until the age of 15. And you have to recall that the African slave trade was outlawed in the US in 1820. Where did new slaves come from after that?

From the mountains. Some sold off their slaves but others established breeding programs to feed the domestic slave trade. Enslaved women were subjected to a systematic breeding program beginning as early as age 15, and the average time between slave pregnancies was 18 months.

The mountain south was not antislavery. It fought an economic war against the low country, but even in that the region was deeply divided. You have only to look at the events leading up to the civil war in Kentucky and Virginia to see that. Sticking with the union was a near thing.

What the region does have is an extreme homogeneity and a cultural history of isolationism and distrust of outsiders that stretches back deep in the history of Scotland, where most of the region's settler's came from.

Josh Marshall is today's keeper of the conventional wisdom. The truth, as usual, is much more complex.

Posted by: Paul Camp on May 14, 2008 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

I finally got a chance to look at the map that Wendy at 5:01 linked to.

And to think I've spent all this time telling Mrs. T. "No, honey, this isn't like Appalachia at all."

Silly me.

Posted by: thersites on May 14, 2008 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

It's not just Appalachia, it's a big chunk of the Midwest as well. See the Washington Post story:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/12/AR2008051203014.html.

And this map doesn't even take into account the legions of 2x Bush voters (see http://www.libraries.psu.edu/maps/2004electionmap.htm if you want a look at a *really* frightening map) who still proudly sport their "W" stickers on their SUVs. Along with "Support Our Troops," of course. No contest there--literally. They could see themselves having a beer with McCain; Obama might use a word with more than 2 syllables. Their minds, such as they are, are already set; and their ignorance can only be reinforced.

The good news is Limbaugh, Fox, and McCain's handlers are terrified of being labeled racist. The bad news is the WaPo story is just the tip of the iceberg... and those "Osama--OOPS! I mean Obama" and "He went to a madrassa" and "He's a secret Muslim who hates America and loves Hamas" emails are only going to multiply exponentially. There's not a thing that can be done to stop them, or refute them.

These are people who cannot and will not think for themselves, and have a deep-rooted fear of the Other. They are products of the 50's, and grew up with segregation. It's still "normal" to them. It will take another generation before they are outnumbered, and that's assuming the majority of their offspring manage to shake off their inherited bias.

In short, Clinton is reviled for her past; and Obama is, sadly, ahead of his time. The Democrats haven't gotten it since 1992, and I have to wonder if they ever will again.

Posted by: kudzu on May 14, 2008 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

R. Stanton Scott,

Your post was interesting about Appalachia during the Civil War. But some of your statistics are off.

You said that there were more slaves in Kentucky right before and during the Civil War than in Mississippi or Alabama. This is simply not true. According to the 1860 census, there were 225,483 slaves in Kentucky, but 436,631 in Mississippi and 435,080 (almost the same number)in Alabama. Slaves made up about 20% of the population in Kentucky in 1860, but they were an outright majority (55.2%)in Mississippi and 45.1% in Alabama.

You're right about the latest research indicating that West Virginia supplied equal numbers of soldiers for both sides. But the numbers for Kentucky are more murky. Although it's clear that a great many Kentuckians fought for both sides, the percentages that were Unionist/Confederate are not known for certain. I'm not sure where you got your figure of 45% (45K out of 100)of the soldiers fighting for the Confederacy, but I've seen other estimates that a third or less of Kentucky Civil War soldiers were Confederate.

Posted by: Lee on May 14, 2008 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

R. Stanton Scott,

I think I may have misunderstood what you said about slaves in Kentucky versus Mississippi and Alabama. If you meant that there were more slaveowners in Kentucky in 1860 than in the other two states, that's true. But at the same time, the number of slaves in Kentucky was much lower than in the other two states.

Posted by: Lee on May 14, 2008 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

elmo, you seem to be a true specimen of the very type I was describing (@10:05 pm). I rest my case and now retire for the night. Buena noche, compadre.

Posted by: Henderstock on May 14, 2008 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Are you people serious?

The uneducated masses of Appalacia are in love with Hillary? The former poster child for the ball-busting feminist professional? The she-devil, scourge of the right? The former Golden Girl child of wealthy Chicago suburbanites, who has a voice that can clean chalk boards with a single screech?

Exactly what quality do they identify with in Hillary, that is not found in Obama, the child of a broken marriage, raised by his grand parents, worked his way to eventually graduate, with honors, from Harvard law?

I can't think of it, but I know it can't be race, because, because, well, I just know it can't, because that wouldn't be right.

Work with me here, this is HILLARY we are talking about.

Posted by: says you on May 15, 2008 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

This is a nice TPM update on Obama's Appalachia problem.

The author Jonathan Tilove commits a minor journalistic atrocity, however, in neglecting a key detail of Obama's biography by offering the following nonsense for our delectation:

Enter the silky, smooth-faced and super-smart Obama. With his Harvard pedigree, mellifluous voice and high-minded talk of moving beyond the politics of confrontation, he is totally out of place in Appalachia.

The "silky Obama"? Jeez. It's a scrappy Obama we meet in his book. He spends two pages on the beating he received as a kid in Indonesia, and on the boxing lesson he received from his stepfather in its aftermath.

Tilove admiringly cites Webb's childhood lessons in boxing. He contrasts Webb and Obama when he could be drawing ineluctable parallels.

You are taught to protect yourself from bullies. And later on (if you are smart and lucky), you are taught to use words and reason--against bullies. See Pages 35-37, Dreams from My Father.

Posted by: paxr55 on May 15, 2008 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

One of the reasons this topic is coming up in connection with places like West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, and southeast Ohio is that these are places where the bigots still vote for Democrats on occasion, particularly at the state and local level. The sort of comments about Obama that we heard in West Virginia would be shared by the mouthbreathers in the other 49 states too, but in most of those areas, that ilk has been voting GOP for a good 40 years. It seems strange to us today to hear Democrats feeling free to express racist opinions, because most Democrats in 2008 are comfortable in a multiracial party.

Posted by: Hyde on May 15, 2008 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

[quote]
Wow, Moina, that's about 345,000 less votes out of the total of over 30 million since this whole thing started! Why, that proves... nothing, since Clinton still trails in the measure of support needed to get the nomination: delegates.

[/quote]

OK, so if it's alright for an Obama supporter to point out that an approximate %1 difference is basically a statistical tie, then it must be alright for a Clinton supporter to do the same right? Hint, hint...


I'm still amazed every time I dive into one of these comments sections to see the nasty rhetoric that's going on here. Full disclosure: I'm a white male who thinks of himself as non-racist who happens to think that Hillary Clinton is the better candidate. I think she's better prepared on the issues, and that's what moves me.


The idea that the Clinton campaign introduced the topic of Reverend Wright is a monstrous accusation and to me at least offensive. Racism isn't something you should accuse someone of lightly, and the Clintons have a long history that should make people tread that ground lightly but it seems to me that many national-level commentators have been offensively profligate in playing that card. For example, Bob Herbert and his childishly stupid argument that Andrew Young's comments about Bill Clinton's familiarity with black women was prompted by the Clinton campaign. The NY Times editor should have committed hari-kari over letting that get into print. {Same deal by the way with the Edward Luttwak column that recently appeared and examined the possibility of Obama being a target of Muslim attack, what a stupid editorial decision to run that article}


Instead the Reverend Wright issue was out there all along. Obama could have dealt with it on his own terms but instead he foolishly thought he would not have to. If the Clinton campaign had wanted to "play the race card" they could have introduced America to Reverend Wright, and they could have done it prior to the first primary. Obama would be spending his days in the Senate thinking about 2016 right now.

So blaming the surfacing of that issue on the Clintons is ridiculous. To me they get points for NOT bringing it up.

Bottom line is that I'll support the (D) candidate in the fall, but if Obama's campaign thinks they can ignore Appalachia and the major swing states that extend through that region and ends up losing to McCain and I have to spend yet another 4 years under a Republican president in a year in which the Democrats should be better positioned to win the W.H. than they have been in years, I will be extremely pissed about it.

Fair enough?

Posted by: JR1 on May 15, 2008 at 5:36 AM | PERMALINK

These are just counties that are southern in character but without a lot of blacks

For example, TN doesn't have a lot of african americans outside of memphis. She uniformly beat him in rural areas throughout the state, not just in the eastern appalachian counties.

Posted by: pj on May 15, 2008 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

you sound like a child who retains more information than his peers and loves to annoy everyone

elmo, it's my experience that a bunch of loud-mouted, opinionated-without-reason ignormuses tend to get pretty darn annoyed when someone interrupts their mindless pontifications of their "wisdom" to point out that their facts are all wrong. Maybe if you were better at retaining more information, you'd have more informed opinions rather than ended up subjected to regular beat-downs by people who know what they're talking about.

However, my other experience is that people like yourself, even after having real facts beat into them are highly resistant to actually accepting reality and will sttubornly remain in denial out of a petualnt desire for "revenge," since they regard accepting facts as a kind of "surrender."

Posted by: on May 15, 2008 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

You can pretend Obama doesn't need the vote of these folks all you like, it wont change the fact the he does. Perhaps if you stopped calling anyone who doesn't vote for Obama a racist, it might make his GE job a little easier.

Because there are no facts, there is no truth, Just data to be manipulated

Don Henley-The Garden of Allah

Posted by: Radix on May 15, 2008 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Let's see the map where 90% of blacks voted against the white candidate.

Hint: that would be the entire USA.

Posted by: Harry Bergeron on May 15, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Not too many counties in the US have a majority of Blacks. Most counties' ethnic majorities are European Americans. In Appalachia, that means Scots-Irish Americans, where "[i]n West Virginia, one in four residents doesn’t have a high school diploma. That compares to one in five nationally... Only one in seven West Virginians holds a bachelor’s degree, compared with one in four nationally."

Posted by: Brojo on May 15, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

You know why it's so hard to identify a dead body in Appalachia? They all have the same DNA, and there aren't any dental records.

I love Appalachia. Really I do.

Posted by: Cal Gal on May 15, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Ya'll fergot to mention that the senior Senator from WV is Byrd, a former official in the KKK.
And a Democrat.

Posted by: Rod France on May 15, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see the map where 90% of blacks voted against the white candidate.

Hint: that would be the entire USA./

This point would be more compelling if the AA community had yet to support a white candidate, and if they hadn't started out supporting HRC in this election cycle. Obama had to prove himself to them, and obviously it was the content of his character, not the color of his skin that did that.

Obviously, the questionable remarks about race that came out of the Clinton campaign didn't help endear HRC to the AA community, any more than the questionable remarks by Wright helped Obama with the white community, but it seems that many people at least started out willing to vote for someone of a different skin tone. What we're talking about here are the people who were never at that point, and I don't see any evidence that that applies to the AA community.

Posted by: Jess on May 15, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus, the Clinton supporters are amazing on this subject.

A ridiculous turnout of people showed up in counties in Pa/OH/KY that have been red since at least Reagan, places where talk radio only stands second to the pulpit, to vote for Hitlery FUCKING Clinton!!???!!!

And this is good news for Republicans?

Give me a break.

John Cole had the best balanced analysis in the thread, I do want to backstop the one point about familiarity. Here (Western Pa) I always see that the voters are not comfortable with "new" names on stage, they prefer to vote for somebody that's been around awhile.

As for the racist vote, y'know, think about all the racists you know. And then try to think about how many of them are *not* women-haters (and that includes the women racists).

About none, I suppose. So there are many, maybe not enough, but many Appalacian voters that thought HRC would be a better president than BO. All BO has to do is prove that he will be a better president than JMC.

The racists ones are going to vote for the white male if one is available. Period.

So thats the way things are. Obama isn't going to win every state, let alone every vote. Neither will JMC, neither will HRC.

Don't try to extrapolate one region into some November doom.

Posted by: doesn't matter on May 15, 2008 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

kevin drum -

you're a numbers guy, and a good one.

it seems to me that it is worth pointing out that dhinmi has combined primary and caucus results in his "appalacia" maps.

if so, that is not a very useful way, and possibly a very misleading way, to describe reality.


at least some of the caucus states should be omitted, just as one would omit cells with a very small "n" in an anova.

examples:

idaho: total caucus participants = 21, 224.

tot pop = 1.466 million.

(as with others below, it would be best to know the number of DEMOCRATS in idaho, but absent that, the pop figures will do to suggest order of magnitude.)

kansas: total caucus participants = 36,723.

total pop = 2.764 million

nebraska: total caucus population = 38,670

total pop = 1.768 million

north dakota: total caucus = 19,012

total pop = 636,000

wyoming: total caucus participants = 8,753.

total pop = 515,000.

nevada: total caucus = 10,742.

tot pop = 2.496 million.

my suggestion?

see what happens to the map, and what info it conveys when you "gray out" these five very large western states.

the apparent continuity of dhinmi's maps will vanish.

the ones i have listed here are not, of course, the only caucus states. they are just states with very small total caucus attendees.

other states eligible for the same treatment on dhinmi's maps are:

colorado, minnesota, and washington.

i omitted these from my critique because the caucus "totals" were larger (in the 100's of thousands). but these totals are still much smaller than the population of these states, and presumably, the democratic population of these states.

give it a look.

Posted by: orionATL on May 15, 2008 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

elmo, it's my experience that a bunch of loud-mouted, opinionated-without-reason ignormuses..."

Prey tell, no name, where I've got the facts wrong.

...you'd have more informed opinions rather than ended up subjected to regular beat-downs by people who know what they're talking about.

LOL! Your right, I don't know a damn thing about this election! LOL! News flash dipshit, your opinions are not facts.

...rather than ended up subjected to regular beat-downs by people who know what they're talking about.

Beat downs? Coming from a scaredy-cat who wont use a handle? LOL! I've bitchslapped more knuckleheads on this blog than you have hairs on your ass. And now, you're one of them.

...since they(elmo) regard accepting facts as a kind of "surrender."

Wahoo, the shit is getting think in here! Well go ahead there smarty-pants, show me some facts I've not "surrendered" to. LOL! You couldn't hold my jock if I set it in your lap.

I bet I'm more liberal than you too...

Posted by: elmo on May 15, 2008 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Paul Camp

I think the historic truth could be summarised as

'the Appalachians were broadly pro union, and anti secession. They were not anti-slavery.'

Everyone (well 90% of everyone) even the Abolitionists in 1860 were racists. That was the received notion of the world-- that white men were superior to other races (and that white women were subordinate to white men).

Judging the hardscrabble farmers and mountain men of 1860 by the standards of 2008 is anachronism of the worst sort.

As to modern day racism, we all know that it has deep roots. I don't know that West Virginia is really any worse than some suburbs of big Northeastern cities, particularly those populated by 'white flight' the second generation that moved out of the big city in the 1960s. American suburbs still seem shockingly segregated.

As to the modern day, whites seem prepared to vote for Obama if:

1. they come from states and places without a long history of racial division ie the big industrial cities of the midwest and Northeast have a polarised divide between white and black working classes. Minnesota and Iowa etc. do not.

2. they are educated liberals.

3. they can be persuaded that he is 'not really black' ie is not perceived to be part of what many whites perceive as a black culture of grievance and government-sponsored entitlement, a kind of reverse racism.

This bodes ill for November 2008 and the Obama candidacy. The opposites of those voters above are precisely the people John McCain will attract in the electoral booth.

And the states with those votes are precisely the states that bedrocked the Clinton-Gore electoral coalition and handed them the White House twice.

Posted by: Valuethinker on May 16, 2008 at 4:27 AM | PERMALINK

I dare you to display this comment! Your blog is a load of garbage!

Posted by: freebies on April 20, 2011 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK
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