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Posted by on Jul 1, 2008 in Politics | 8 comments

Tom Schaller says: The South Will Fall Again

Tom Schaller’s by the numbers analysis always wreaks of often elicits southern bashing to me. (Who wrote that headline?) He repeats it again today on the OpEd page of the NYTimes:

Two pervasive and persistent myths about racial voting in the modern South are behind the notion that Mr. Obama might win in places like Georgia, North Carolina and Mississippi.

The first myth is that African-American turnout in the South is low. Black voters are actually well represented in the Southern electorate: In the 11 states of the former Confederacy, African-Americans were 17.9 percent of the age-eligible population and 17.9 percent of actual voters in 2004, analysis of Census Bureau data shows.

And when socioeconomic status is held constant, black voters go to the polls at higher rates than white voters in the South. In other words, a 40-year-old African-American plumber making $60,000 a year is, on average, more likely to vote than a white man of similar background.

The second myth is that Democratic presidential candidates fare better in Southern states that have large numbers of African-Americans. In fact, the reverse is true, because the more blacks there are in a Southern state, the more likely the white voters are to vote Republican.

I’ll follow the commentary his piece evokes through the day and tack it on to this post.

LATER: At 11 a.m. I’m finding only a chorus of agreement with Schaller. No one’s making the Barr’s from Georgia argument. Or noting the 600,000 unregistered black voters. Yet.

LATER STILL: James Joyner quotes a bunch of blogger agreement then concludes:

Schaller’s right, then, that Obama can win the presidency without competing in the South.  But campaigning in such a way as to give himself a chance — or make McCain spend money in — the South will likely help himself in those other states as well.

Josh Orton at MyDD:

When all is said and done, I actually think Obama could increase black turnout in Mississippi more than just 5% over Kerry. But even then, I agree that Mississippi is likely out of the question.

But what about Georgia? As Jonathan has documented, the Libertarian candidacy of Georgia-native Bob Barr could very much cut into McCain’s vote.

Steve Benen says he’s learned never to question his friend Schaller’s math — but he also quotes numbers from the WSJ that I read as doing just that (of course I’m no statistician). His conclusion:

I’d just add, though, whether he should or not, Obama is eyeing the South, and will be investing time, energy, and resources in picking up some electoral votes in the Republicans’ dominant region. Unless the McCain campaign is prepared to gamble that Schaller’s thesis is iron-clad, McCain won’t have a choice but to invest resources of his own in the South, which in turn, will limit his ability to spend elsewhere.

Something to keep an eye on.

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  • Neocon

    The fact of the matter is that when you look at Barak Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton it was in places where the blacks abandoned Hillary and went for Barak Obama. These are the same places that would vote democratic by a 90-10 margin no matter who the candidate was. Yet in these states that the progressives are all excited about the GOP will win.

    IN states where their were simply caucuses to elect the delegates Barak Obama out shizzed Hillary big time but in these states. They are Republican bastions.

    So the end result is that yes the Democrats got what they wanted. A far leftener to counter the far right that has been gaining power for some years but in the end they might just go down to another great defeat.

    I am comparing this election to the Patriots/Giants Superbowl. No way the Giants win. No Way McCain wins. But Obama under the surface has a rather daunting challenge ahead of him and the GOP actually elected the one person who could give him a run for his money this cycle.

  • superdestroyer

    As the Republican party become irrelevant, one of the interesting things to think aobut is how politics will work in the world south. This articles is basically saying that after the U.S. become a one party states that there will be two de facto political parties that compete with each other in the Democratic primaries in the South. There will be the white party and there will be the black party. How they interact with each other and what positions they take will be interesting. My first guess is that the southern states will try to eliminate seniority in the state houses. They will keep the black party from gaining power by repeatedly reelecting the same few politicians.

  • Neocon

    Oh come on SD.

    The blacks have actually been overcome by Hispanics as the second largest ethnic group in America.

    2006 census bureau statistics show Blacks at 12.8 percent. Latinos/Hispanics as 14.8 percent.

    The problem with the blacks is that they are rapidly becoming marginalized as the Hispanics flood into this country. Think its only angry white people who are opposed to illegal immigration?

    If the GOP wants to stand a chance then they need to court the Hispanic vote. These people by and large are conservative in their nature given that GWB garnered about 44 percent of their vote in 2004.

    Hispanics are good people. Blacks are good people. Whites are good people. The problem is that every group with an interest is trying to marginalize the other for the purpose of competing for a limited resource. In this case Government action.

    This action can be in the form of hand outs or legislations. Gays want Marriage. Abortion advocates want laws. Hispanics want legalized family. Blacks want more equal opportunities.

    Whoever reaches out to these people is who is going to get their votes. Idealogy is rapidly becoming a thing of the past as America faces new challenges of the 21st century. If the GOP remains so conservative that their idealogy is rooted in mid 20th century ideas then they deserve to be a whining minority party.

  • superdestroyer

    Hispanics are not natural conservative. The most liberal people in the Republican Party are Hispanics. There is not a conservative Hispanic Democratic in the Hispanic Congressional caucus. They are all big government tax and spend types who want to maintain the racial spoils system.
    There is no way that Republicans can reach out to Hispanics without losing large numbers of white voters and without having to massively pander.

    Bush did not get 44% of the Hispanic vote. The Houston Chronicle has shown that bush at most got 35% of the Hispanic vote and that was Hispanic in Texas voting for a favorite son and Cubans in Florida. Hispanics have made California unwinable for Republicans and will probably soon make Texas, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona unwinable as well.

    Also, the Hispanic voters are concentrated in California, Texas, Florida. In states like Mississippi where 1/3 of the population is black, the coming political realignment will create a white faction and a black faction in the Democratic Party.

  • Neocon

    Well I will not argue the percent. Ive seen anywhere from 34 to 45 percent vote Republican. Never the less. 35 percent of hispanics vote Republican but only 8-10 percent of blacks vote republican.

    It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Lets see Hispanics vote 40 percent for the GOP and they are the second most influential group in America.

    40 percent of Hispanics to me puts them in a conservative mold. They are religious. They are family oriented. Family values and religion. Sounds pretty Republican to me. But the GOP consistently has gone after a progressively losing strategy and they are reaping the benefits.

    Until and or Unless the GOP changes then they will continue to find themselves whining and crying over not being able to win local elections which is much more important then is wining the presidency.

    The real travesty for the GOP this election will not be losing the presidency. It will be losing 50 House seats and having a 60-40 deficit in the senate.

  • Don Quijote

    They are religious. They are family oriented. Family values and religion.

    That covers 90% of humanity.

    The reason Republicans keep losing minorities even when said minorites become well-off, is that most minorities have realized that the base of the Republican Party is made up of a bunch of white racist/supremacist who would like nothing more than turn the clock back fifty years so that they could keep the n***er, sp**s and w*ps in their place.

  • Don Quijote

    The real travesty for the GOP this election will not be losing the presidency. It will be losing 50 House seats and having a 60-40 deficit in the senate.

    That is what happens when the supreme court decides the election, and puts a moron in the White House.

    Should have read the Onion in 2001, they had a pretty damn good idea of what was coming down the pike.

    The Onion (January 17, 2001) – Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’

    “My fellow Americans,” Bush said, “at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us.”

    Bush swore to do “everything in [his] power” to undo the damage wrought by Clinton’s two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.

    During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

    “You better believe we’re going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration,” said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. “Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?”

  • Neocon

    Don I know this has been beat to death but there are actually people that read blogs that prolly have no clue what happened in 2000.

    After just a few days, on December 4, the U.S. Supreme Court returned with their verdict in the case they had heard. The aspect of that case was whether the Florida Supreme Court overstepped its bounds in extending the tally submission deadline from the 14th to the 26th. On the 14th, Bush had a 930-vote lead over Gore, and after the 26th it had changed to a 537-vote lead.

    Technically, the Supreme Court ruling did not invalidate the ruling of the Florida Supreme Court – it merely “set it aside.” The opinion was unsigned, meaning that it is unknown how many of the justices voted for the course of action. The Court remanded, or sent back, the case to the Florida Supreme Court so that that court might have a chance to better explain the reasons for why it extended the deadline. It declined to rule on the legality or constitutionality of the Florida Court’s ruling. The ruling did not change the 537-vote lead as the Bush camp had hoped.

    AT no time did Gore ever lead in Florida. I wished that Gore had won Florida and the election for so many reasons but facts are facts. Bush did not steal the election. The democrats gave it away Al Gore lost his HOME state of Tennesee to Bush for heavens sake. Additonally the Florida ruling originally favored Gore and the SC at that time leaned liberal or would more likely side with Gore.

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