Oct 25 2007
02:37 pm
By: Andy Axel  shortURL

(…and no, I'm not talking about our blog host. SKB is very real.)

I meant to post a snippet of this the other day, and recent comments about a projected Clinton campaign swoop through the South reminded me…

Remember that book of TRVTH entitled Whistling Past Dixie that came out shortly after the last election? Blogger Digby wrote at the time that…

the conservative majority in the south is much more conservative than the rest of the country and the Democrats simply cannot win by trying to accomodate it

Turns out that, well, that actual numbers don't support Tom Schaller's case.

It’s relatively high-income Southern whites who are very, very Republican...

Contrary to what you may have read, the old-fashioned notion that rich people vote Republican, while poorer people vote Democratic, is as true as ever – in fact, more true than it was a generation ago. But in rich states like New Jersey or Connecticut, the relationship is weak; even the very well off tend to be only slightly more Republican than working-class voters. In the poorer South, however, the relationship is very strong indeed.

This is why it’s true both that rich voters tend to be Republican, and that rich states tend to be Democratic.

Important stuff to re-iterate as we head into 2008. Are any of the major Democratic campaigns listening? Or are they busy whistling?

bill young's picture

The South

The Democratic solid south,with exceptions,stayed solid until '64.

In '64,Goldwater won:Ala.,Ga.,La.,Miss.,S.C.In '68,Nixon won:Fla.,N.C.,S.C.,Tn.,Va.& pitched a shut out in '72.

The last stand of the old solid south was '76 when Carter won all but Va.

Fact is, since 1924 NOBODY has been elected president without a few electorial votes from the south & the Democrats have not won a southern state since '96..(insert Fla'00 rap here).

If Clinton wins I think she will go after:Ark.,Ga.,& Fla.

If Obama wins it would change the dynamic & put the entire south in play.

I think Webb on the ticket would turn Va blue.

Eleanor A's picture

Where'd you get that quote,

Where'd you get that quote, Axel? There are a slew of holes in Schaller's research...I'm amazed anyone takes him seriously. Especially since he has not one whit of actual campaign experience.

The biggest thigh-slapper of 'em all is how he seems to omit Florida in any discussion of "the South". Apparently the man has not visited the Panhandle, aka "Baja Alabama."

Andy Axel's picture


It's at the KnoxViews link in yon' blog post.

But here it is again: (link...)


"Respect mah authoritah!" - Fred Cartman Thompson

Sarge's picture

I didn"t know that so many

I didn"t know that so many rich people lived in Tenessee and other southern states. Sure fooled me. I'm a native Tennessean and the people I see with W on their pickups don't appear to me to be rich, must have a stash buried in their back yard.

Up Goose Creek's picture


I don't remember any W stickers on older trucks. Mostly new SUVs. Just noticed one today. on the other side was FRED 08. Yuck.

Less is the new More - Karrie Jacobs

Elrod's picture

East TN different

You can't judge Southern politics as a whole by what goes on in East Tennessee. People from all economic classes have voted Republican in East TN since the Civil War. It's habit more than anything. The more interesting place to look is Williamson County or suburban Memphis. Is it just rich suburban whites voting GOP there or is it everybody?

Also, the reason the suburban Midwest and Northeast has abandoned the GOP is hatred of the Christian Right. Trust me - I've lived my entire life in the suburban Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Folks who are economically conservative once voted GOP mostly because they hated the "welfare cheats." But now they don't use race in their voting strategy and instead fear the "Jesus freaks in the South."

What makes the Southern suburbs different is the religiosity of them and the resulting cultural conservatism. That may possibly change as Southern suburbs become more ethnically and culturally diverse and whitebread exiles from the cities and rural South fade as a voting force. I see this among some of my students at Maryville College - suburban Knoxville kids less shocked and bothered by immigration or gays than their parents. What'll really help is the evangelical moderate movement (strong here in Maryville at First Baptist Church), which validates suburban Southerners' religiosity without converting it into conservative politics.

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