Whose White?

Related Post Roulette

119 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    I keep on reading about Republicans winning large majorities of the white vote but I just don’t know who these people are.

    Maybe your white friends are lying to you about who they voted for.Report

  2. greginak says:

    Well one big point is that, as i remember the stats, it is primarily in the South where whites overwhelmingly vote R. In the other areas of the country it is much more even between D and R. I’ll google around a bit to try to find some actual data once i complete the waking up process.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to greginak says:

      I’ve seen this as well from 2012 and I suppose Virginia still counts as the South.Report

    • Reformed Republican in reply to greginak says:

      As a southerner, that was my thought as well. I do not know if it still hold true, but I know southerners used to register mostly as democrats, but they would vote republican, due to the parties’ shifts in policy over the year.Report

      • Except in a few places, and for a few older (much, much older) demographics, they’re registered Republicans now. The old “register Democrat, vote Republican” thing was the last remnant of the anti-Republican sentiment among older Southerners stemming from the war and Reconstruction.Report

    • morat20 in reply to greginak says:

      That was what I was about to post. “Whites overwhelmingly vote Republican” is…sorta true. Southern whites overwhelmingly vote Republican.

      Everywhere outside of the former Confederacy is much more mixed.Report

      • Chris in reply to morat20 says:

        Everywhere outside of the former Confederacy is much more mixed.

        States like Wyoming, Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah are now forced to wonder whether they are considered part of the “former Confederacy,” or are just not anywhere.Report

      • morat20 in reply to morat20 says:

        I’m surprised you can tell, given those four states apparently had no state-level exit polls in 2012.

        Obama did only get about 30% of the vote, but given all four of those states are predominately white, it’s almost certain he did better among whites in those four states than he did in, say, Missouri — where Romney captured 80% of the white vote.

        But you’re quite right in one thing: I wasn’t specific enough. It’s not Confederate Whites — it’s older Confederate whites. Nice breakdown here.Report

      • Chris in reply to morat20 says:

        Morato, I can do math. Given the demographics of those states, and the 2012 election results, it’s pretty easy to see how white people voted there. And elsewhere in states outside of the former Confederacy. Of course, not ALL white people voted Republican, but that’s as true in Montgomery as it is in Boston.Report

      • Chris in reply to morat20 says:

        But you’re quite right in one thing: I wasn’t specific enough. It’s not Confederate Whites — it’s older Confederate whites. Nice breakdown here.

        Also, that’s not what your data shows. Given what we know about the way various non-white groups voted, we can see pretty clearly that, with the possible exception of the youngest demographic, white males voted Republican pretty much across age groups. With white women, we know that the voting pattern interacts with age and region more strongly.

        Anyway, these are not controversial things.Report

  3. Kim says:

    The Hasidim vote Republican.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to Kim says:

      Some of them but not all of them. De Blasio was able to get support from the Hasidim of the Borough Park section of Brooklyn at the start of his political career as a city councilmen.

      Still 70-80 percent of the American Jewish population is Democratic and this is seemingly unchangable despite many, many attempts.Report

  4. LeeEsq says:

    Like greginak said above, your experience is based partly on geography and partly on demography. You came from places that were always heavily Democratic and where the main criticism against them was that they weren’t liberal or left enough. Many whites are still Democratic in places like the New York City metro area and the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Your also from a demographic group that tends to vote Democratic. Jews are a heavily Democratic voting ethnic group and your class group, upper-middle class professionals are also Democratic voting.

    In short, everything about your background screams Democratic and not Republican and thats why you feel disconnect when you see stories like this.Report

  5. Chris says:

    I keep on reading about Republicans winning large majorities of the white vote but I just don’t know who these people are.

    Come to Texas. I will introduce you to them.Report

    • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:

      What a horrible trick to pull on a guest.Report

    • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:

      OK, so there are two dirty tricks there. You’re an evil bastard, aren’t you?Report

    • Chris in reply to Chris says:

      I’ll add that my experience in “reconnecting” with the people I went to high school with on Facebook was revealing. Since high school, though I’d lived in red states (Tennessee, Kentucky, and Texas), my social circle was overwhelmingly left of center, with a few socially liberal libertarians thrown in for good measure. Then I got on Facebook, and started getting friend requests from people I’d gone to high school with but hadn’t spoken to in more than a decade. I admit I was completely unprepared for what I saw: every single one of ’em who said anything about politics, and a lot of them did, was conservative, and not just conservative, but extremely so. During the ’08 campaign, a lot of them were big Palin supporters, and in ’09, many were talking about the Tea Party rallies they went to. There were other things I was unprepared for, too: how religious they are, with most of them being Evangelical Christians (including a few ministers); how traditional they were, particularly the women, many of whom had been in the tops of their classes and gone to prestigious universities, but were now housewives; and how deeply embedded they were in Fox News/Conservative Talk Radio culture, which I had thought was mostly for people who weren’t terribly bright.

      I suppose the lesson I learned is that just because your world looks one way doesn’t mean the world looks that way. Oh, and that I really don’t like Facebook. And I’m glad I got the hell out of small town Tennessee, because most of the people on my Facebook feed who were like that were still there, or had gone back there.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Chris says:

        I might have grown up in the one part of the United States that never really had a strong evangelical foothold.

        Half my hometown was Jewish. The majority of the Christians were Catholic of Italian or Irish origin. The protestant churches in my hometown were of a more mainstream nature like Episcopalian or Methodist.

        NYC does have some evangelical style and charismatic preachers but their congregants tend to be African-American or Latino. I’m not used to megachurches. I’m used to store-front congregations when it comes to this kind of stuff.

        The stories I here about the mommy track are usually from a “Is this good or bad for feminism?” prospective but career women dropping off and deciding to be stay-at-home moms.

        My facebook feed is largely free of conservative media posts. I usually put out some of the farther left wing stuff in a traditional socialist sense.

        Though I will add that upworthy posts usually bug me for reasons that I can’t quite articulate. The other posts that bother me that I usually see are hippie and usually a bit anti-science. “What Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know.”Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Re: The women who became housewives. I don’t think they were wrong to become housewives, I was just surprised, particularly with the ones whose career aspirations I’d known back when.

        I really had no business being surprised, of course. I’d just completely lost touch with my hometown and the people I’d known back then (in large part intentionally, I just didn’t realize how successful I’d been). Many of my friends had been the children of people who worked for the Southern Baptist Convention, almost all of them were Evangelicals, mostly Southern Baptists, and I grew up in one of the most conservative counties in one of the most conservative states. It would have been truly weird if they’d all turned out to be pinko commies.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Chris says:

        ND – You’re answering your own question. You hang out in an enclave of liberalism and are asking why you don’t know any conservatives? That’s why. (Of course, that’s not to say that conservatives don’t have enclaves, or anything else. I’m just saying that as you describe your life it’s apparent why you don’t know any Republicans.)Report

    • Lyle in reply to Chris says:

      In particular come to the small towns that are still mostly white, avoid the Rio Grande Valley. In the Texas Hill country in Kerr County was 75% MCcain 25% obama in 2008 and 80% Romney 20% Obama in 2012. It is such that the democrats don’t even bother nominating folks for the county offices, It was this way in Houston about 20 years ago but has changed. If you were to look around you should probably avoid Austin as it is Atypical for views, (Actually in the last election Obama carried the counties that hold the big cities, Harris(Houston), Dallas(Dallas) and Bexar(San Antonio). However he lost big in the suburban and rural counties.Report

      • Chris in reply to Lyle says:

        Austin’s population remains liberal mostly because of the large non-white and youth populations. The mostly white parts of town, especially out west and in the far south, are increasingly conservative. This is why Sunset Valley and other neighborhoods have been trying to form their own local government bodies: to reduce the influence of the liberal city council.Report

  6. Mike Schilling says:

    Every midterm and Presidential election brings a slew of articles about whether this will be the year that Jews vote Republican, every year this does not happen, and every year Jennifer Rubin and the rest of the Commentary crew have a temper tantrum about this fact.

    As Milton Himmelfarb wrote, “Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.” (Given John Podhoretz, Bill Kristol, Eliot Abrams, etc., they also meritocrat like the Habsburgs.)Report

  7. Burt Likko says:

    Your demographic and geographic experiences lens your view of how people vote and otherwise express themselves politically. That’s because in the place where you live, among the people you’ve grown up with, and springing from the rarefied-highly educated environment where you’ve spent a large part of your intellectual training, you can encounter opinions and personalities running the spectrum from “moderately liberal” to “very very liberal.”

    Come on down to my part of the world, in the desert exurbs of northern Los Angeles County. Better yet, let’s meet in Bakersfield, where you can meet both kinds of people — “conservative” and “very conservative.” I’ll buy you a beer or three. And we’ll talk politics with the locals. It’ll broaden your horizons.Report

    • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Burt Likko says:

      I was friends with a liberal in Bakersfield once. Pretty sure she moved out, though.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to Burt Likko says:

      I once applied for a United Farm Workers attorney position in Bakersfield or Fresno. I think Bakersfield. They asked me if I spoke Spanish and did not get back when I said no.

      I know some people who moved to the Central Valley because it is where they were able to get work. They don’t like the politics very much.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to NewDealer says:

        I bet you don’t know anyone who is sincerely confused and upset that the President has not yet been impeached because of Benghazi. You certainly wouldn’t have met many of them in the office of the UFW!

        I know dozens of such people. Some of them are my clients. As I take it that Benghazi could plausibly have been a bungled job, but all Presidential Administrations bungle things and don’t get impeached (the previous President bungled a call to go to war for ten years at the cost of tens of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars and never got impeached for it), I handle the situation by shrugging my shoulders and saying, “That’s politics for ya,” and thereafter changing the subject. See? Easy.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to NewDealer says:


        “I bet you don’t know anyone who is sincerely confused and upset that the President has not yet been impeached because of Benghazi.”

        Maybe my sister-in-law’s parents but I don’t really know them per se. I’ve met them a few times but it was all pre-Obama and we did not chat politics. This is not LeeEsq’s wife but the wife of our older brother.

        “You certainly wouldn’t have met many of them in the office of the UFW!”

        Almost certainly not! I’m a plaintiff’s lawyer as well and with a few notable exceptions, I think almost all plaintiff’s lawyers are Democratic voting and left-leaning. There is one really big plantiff’s lawyer in the Texas area who is very socially conservative and he is almost the exception that proves the rule. He throws a big Christmas Party every year on his big estate, his invitations are out of this world. One year it was a train set.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to NewDealer says:

        I saw an “IMPEACH OBAMA” bumper sticker on the way to work today. Such things are not out-of-the-ordinary from where I am. And I work with a number of people who would like nothing more than to talk my ear off about Benghazi, though I just dodge those conversations whenever possible.

        It gets real country real fast, as I like to say.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to NewDealer says:


        There have been some sections in the East Bay where there were “Impeach Obama” signs on local property. Mainly farmland it seemed.

        Also once in Lafayette I overheard a middle-aged white guy make a “no Bama” crack in front of the local Democratic group as they were doing a registration drive but I think Lafayette is overall pretty liberal. IIRC Alamo is one of the few remaining towns in the Bay Area with a Republican plurality.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Can somebody explain to what the difference between an exurb and rural area is? As far as I can tell, exurbs are just rural areas where people hold jobs more typical to urban and suburban areas.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq says:

        To me, an ex-urb is still associated with a metropolis, and has commuters to the urban core and a few cookie cutter subdivisions – but also has chickens and cows and stuff like that. Places like western Loudoun county (VA), Suffolk County (NY) Ventura County* (CA).

        *a blogger from there whence I first heard the term.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I think this often enough works out to be true, although I wouldn’t say that the presence of livestock is the defining characteristic of the exurb.

        My definition has been a city that has strong economic and logistical ties to a major metropolitan area from which it is separated by an undeveloped (or perhaps very lightly-developed) geographic area. You can drive from downtown to a suburb and never leave an obviously developed environment. To get to an exurb you have to drive through some open space.

        This admittedly creates a bit of fog with respect to when a city has an independent identity from another nearby city. If Chicago is the urban center, Evanston is obviously a suburb, Waukegan is sort of a “wobbler” between a suburb and an exurb, and Kenosha is pretty clearly an exurb, but Milwaukee is a city in its own right.Report

      • Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Oh, HELL no!
        An exurb is SCRANTON. Two hour commute to NYC. And people do that every day.
        Also, housing resembles your standard suburb.

        I know a computer techie who raises sheep. Whereever he does that, it ain’t no exurb, even if he does commute.Report

      • Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

        *nods* morgantown is not a suburb of pittsburgh, even if they are in our “locus of control” and influence.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        So I’m right, an ex-urb is a rural area where people commute to urban and suburban areas for work.Report

      • Chris in reply to LeeEsq says:

        If Suffolk County is rural, then Fort Worth, TX might as well be called rural… heh.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq says:

        yeah, I should have said eastern Suffolk County e.g. in Brother Ryan’s neighborhood (for some reason, I had in my head there was an additional county between Nassau and Suffolk) or better yet, up there in Kazzy’s current neck of the woods.Report

      • Mike Dwyer in reply to LeeEsq says:


        I think your definition is pretty accurate, however it gets a bit muddy when you have ex-urbs pop up within a metropolitan area. We have that in Louisville. I live in what could accurately be called an exurb as it is a developed area separated from the city proper by a lot of undeveloped land, but still within the metropolitan boundaries. Louisville is a bit weird though in the sense that we still have a lot of farms within our metropolitan area. Many of our developed suburban areas function as islands to some extent.

        Good resource here:

      • Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

        in this corner of appalachia, we actually have farms in the city. not just the metro, the actual city. And we’re a small city to boot.Report

    • Murali in reply to Burt Likko says:

      you can encounter opinions and personalities running the spectrum from “moderately liberal” to “very very liberal.”

      Who you’re surrounded by can really affect your perspective about where you stand.

      You know what happened recently, I recently commented to my parents that government should not regulate internet content and certainly should not block offensive sites like Ashley Madison (which was recently banned in Singapore) and I was told that I was too extremely liberal. Even my siblings think I’m too liberal. The irony is that they consider themselves to be moderately liberal. Meaning that Art Deco’s views are about where the political centre in Singapore is.Report

  8. Roger says:

    I know lots of conservatives and progressive/liberals. The blacks I know tend to lean liberal. The Hispanics I know tend to lean conservative. The whites are mixed between conservative and progressive, with more conservative.

    I personally know of two guys (no women) who I would classify as a libertarian (classical liberal) type. All other exposure to this rare breed is via the internet.Report

    • Vikram Bath in reply to Roger says:

      You live a rich existence. Most of my exposure to other humans is through the Internet.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Roger says:

      Are you referring to their political leanings or more broadly? For instance, I know a lot of hispanics who are certainly more conservative if we look at their individual lifestyle choices, but who are pretty dedicated supporters of the Democrats.Report

      • Roger in reply to Kazzy says:

        I stand corrected. My Hispanic acquaintances and friends do indeed tend to be democrats. For some odd reason all the Hispanics in my family are ultra conservative, Protestants. Holy roller types, actually.

        I agree with your take on the broader situation.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        I remember talking with a young black gentlemen prone to some really interesting perspectives on things. He had this to say:

        “What Republicans… or anyone else for that matter… don’t realize is that black folks are conservative. We’re anti-drug because we see what it does to our communities. We’re hard on crime. We’re homophobic. We’re deeply religious. We’re patriarchal. We’re old school. Yet, somehow, the Republicans can’t get us to vote for them. If they figured that out, they’d run this country.”Report

      • Kim in reply to Kazzy says:

        Too true. I suspect that may be one of the next realignments. Conservative Minorities versus the Liberals and Libertarians (running mostly on a civil liberties ticket).Report

      • Troublesome Frog in reply to Kazzy says:


        If they figured that out, they’d run this country.

        It’s not just that demographic. Out here around the Silicon Valley, we have a ton of high-earning entrepreneurial types who seem like they should be natural Republican voters. Lots of business owners and people who end up in high tax brackets by working long hours and taking big risks for their dollars. But it’s solidly blue.

        I don’t have 100% of the answer, but I have some fairly obvious thoughts. A region that’s loaded with immigrants and their immediate offspring isn’t wowed by getting rid of the estate tax. They often remember using those government services for poor people when they where kids, so “takers vs makers” rhetoric could conceivably be a little off putting. Celebrations of “real America” and the moral superiority of the small town farmer don’t hit home. Neither does in-your-face Christian rhetoric. Certainly, implying (or outright stating) that they only vote Democratic because they’re being bought off with goodies isn’t a winner. So what’s left?Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:


        I tend to think that simply looking at economic/tax factors in voting patterns is too simple. Simply looking at tax rates, I should likely be a Republican. My wife and I are currently in the top 15% or so of households in terms of income.

        But other issues are more important to me.

        That is why I think the guy’s point was a really interesting one: it wasn’t just about finances, but about so much other stuff.

        Unfortunately for the GOP, their ship might have already sailed. In large part due to Obama’s support, the African-American community(ies) are much more supportive of gay marriage than ever before. His announcement really turned the tide.

        But it does seem that the GOP has hitched their wagon to the wrong horse. Why focus on Evangelicals and Christians when sound messaging and work for limited government could bring in someone like me or sound messaging around keeping drugs out of cities could bring in a share of the black vote? Well…Report

  9. Cathy says:

    I’d say one part of it is urban/rural (an hour beyond city limits almost anywhere is very, very red), and one part of it is regional (flyover country is redder than the coasts). Living in a rural Midwestern area, you might well never encounter those OTHER white people (the liberal ones); you, living in a succession of urban coastal areas, never met Group A. Insularity breeds a downward (upward?) spiral.

    I grew up in a Midwestern city that was pretty purple, set in a surrounding region that was pretty red. When I moved to New England for college I was surprised at how much more liberal the average bear was. E.g., the supervisor of a machine shop on campus, a middle-aged man who had held mostly construction/shop jobs during his life, and lived in a small town several towns over from the college. In Home State, I would have expected someone with such a background to be conservative; he was very much not.Report

  10. Kazzy says:

    I had this conversation with a high school classmate once. Her and my situation very much mirror yours: we grew up in an inner-ring NYC suburb, attended private liberal arts schools in major northeastern cities (me in Boston, her in Philly) and lived exclusively in or just outside major northeastern cities (Boston, Philly, DC, and NYC). She is also the product of an interfaith marriage, her mother being Jewish, and she typically identifies as such.

    She is also very, very liberal and very, very active in politics, working for various elected officials.

    Anyway, we were talking slightly after Bush’s second electoral victory. “How do the Republicans win elections? I don’t know anyone who voted for a Republican!”
    “Well, about 50% of the electorate did. So, clearly, there are quite a few people voting Republican. You just don’t know them.”
    “But how could that be?”
    “Well, you’ve lived exclusively in NY and Philly. Your parents are ex-hippies. You grew up in one of the more liberal towns in America, one with huge black and Jewish populations. You watch a lot of NBC, which skews its programming toward appealing to and representing big city liberals. And you are pretty intense about your politics, meaning you are either going to drive away people who disagree with you or they simply aren’t going to share their views with you.
    “I just road tripped through Western MA, New York State, Western PA, Ohio, and Indiana. Let me tell you: there are plenty of Republicans out there.”
    “Well, yea, but they’re crazy! We shouldn’t let them vote!”
    “No. They’re not. Most of them are good, decent people. Sure, they might hold views that are wildly divergent from your own. But they are just as sincere in their beliefs as you are. And to them, you look crazy.”
    [stomped off murmuring in a frustrated tone]

    Now, I don’t know how much you mirror my friend in terms of your personality, but your situation and upbringing is nearly identical to hers and mine. The quoted section you offered noted that Republicans enjoy their strongest support among non-college educated whites. How much company do you keep with people who do not have college degrees?

    I have one college-educated white friend who I know to be staunchly conservative. And having moved up into the sticks of Orange County, NY, I have met a great number of white folks who skew conservative and Republican. Some of them are college educated, some of them are not.

    tl;dr: You live in a bubble, dude. I’ve been there. I’ve lived most of my adult life in one. That explains it. Or at least 90% of it.Report

    • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Kazzy says:

      Heh, I had that same conversation with my mom. Except it was about, uhm, Obama voters. Amazingly, she didn’t know any in her 100% white conservative protestant church.Report

    • Vikram Bath in reply to Kazzy says:

      they’re crazy!

      Another one of those little unwritten rules of good thinking is to realize that if your model of the world requires something as unlikely as 50% of the population being mentally ill in such a manner as to cause them to do something in unison then your model sucks.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Vikram Bath says:

        Rational irrationality isn’t technically crazy, but it might as well be, as far as the effects on voting patterns are concerned.Report

      • Kim in reply to Vikram Bath says:

        Plenty of models of human behavior have been time-tested to show people doing stuff in unison. That’s how folks get trampled when someone causes a stampede.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Vikram Bath says:


        “If it weren’t for everyone else, this would be a damn fine place!”

        I think, mentally, she constructed a model wherein her personal experiences represented reality. So, yes, she “knew” that approximately 50% of the electorate voted for Bush. But her experience… her reality… told her that very, very, very few people voted for Bush. So it made her easier to assume that segment of the population was crazy: she was seeing it as a handful of people she interacts with as opposed to the tens of millions of people in actuality.Report

  11. Mike Dwyer says:

    I don’t quite follow the main theme of the post. It doesn’t reference the South or rural areas in general, not to mention places like Wisconsin. Those seem to be obvious white, GOP strongholds.Report

    • Aaron W in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Wisconsin? I wouldn’t so easily typify it as a conservative stronghold. Maybe the area around Waukesha county is super conservative, but the rest of the state is a lot more purple. We are talking about a state that went for Obama in both 2008 and 2012, and also elected an openly lesbian woman as a Senator, yet also has a Republican governor and legislature.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Aaron W says:

        Mike is right that there are a lot of white people who always vote Republican in Wisconsin. Wisconsin also has a history of being a staunchly Republican state. But that history goes back to the founding of the Party, and mostly relates to the century following its founding. Since 1932, by my count Democrats have won 30 presidential and Senatorial elections to Republican’s 19 (with two of those Republican victories going to Progressive Republican Robert M. LaFollette, Jr). Gubernatorial elections during that time have been much more Republican (18 to 8, plus three Progressive victories), but exhibit the same bluing trend. So on statewide elections since 1932 excluding AG & Lt.G, its something like 38 for Dems, 37 for the GOP, and 3 for Progressives.

        White Republican voters make up strongholds throughout much of the rural parts of the state, but that’s just typical of rural areas throughout the country. Overall, the state in the modern era is competitive (as hell). I’m not exactly sure what Mike meant by singling out Wisconsin as a white Republican stronghold either – just that its rural areas tend to be Republican like rural areas everywhere? Or that Wisconsin white rural voters are even more Republican than white rural voters tend to be? Or that Wisconsin white voters in general are more reliably Republican than white voters tend to be in the country? (I’m guessing that’s false.) Or that Wisconsin is a reliably and widely-recognized Republican state that has a lot of white voters (just flatly and obviously false.)?

        Wisconsin has a lot of reliably Republican white voters, just like everywhere else. I’m not sure why Wisconsin should have stood out more than other states to New Dealer as an obvious example of a place that has a lot of white voters who vote reliably Republican, though. I mean, it clearly is such an example, but so is basically the whole midwest and middle-west. Indiana is more Republican than Wisconsin and is roughly as white if not more so, to say nothing of places like Utah or Wyoming. Wisconsin seems like a pretty muddy example to point to to try to make the point to me, too.Report

      • Mike Dwyer in reply to Aaron W says:

        My choice of Wisconsin was purely arbitrary. It’s a midwestern state but also northern. Minnesota is heading into libertarian territory so not as reliably conservative. And yes, Indiana is another good example. My general point is really just that I’m surprised ND wasn’t aware that huge parts of the country are white and lean Republican.Report

  12. rexknobus says:

    ND — Here’s a different, but somewhat similar, situation. I’m a white baby boomer who enlisted for a two-year hitch in the Marine Corps in 1969-70. Came back from the jungle. Went to college, and have been working mostly white collar or creative-type jobs since. Since starting to college in 1971 and having easily a dozen jobs in four states over the past 40 years (!), I have never worked with another Viet Nam vet. Never. Tons of men my age right next to me, but none of them vets. What the? Well, back in those wonderful days of Johnson’s and Nixon’s war, going to college got you out of military service. Full-time student? No draft. So everybody with any brains in my age group went to college and kept going, getting advanced degrees and not getting shot at. I was an idiot and enlisted, but I was brought up the same as all those other fellows — everyone assuming I’d go to college. Just didn’t go until after. So I joined the ongoing stream of privileged white kids with degrees and talents and breaks and have had a great time — but no vets. And yet millions of people my age served in that war. I guess the take-away is that we tend to hang with people like ourselves, perhaps more than we are even aware of. And, for the record, nobody I know votes Republican either. (Well, my mom does, but she’s old.)Report

    • NewDealer in reply to rexknobus says:

      My dad took a job as a teacher because there was a deferment for teaching in an inner-city school district. He went to law school at night.

      I knew friend’s fathers and professors in college who served in Vietnam. One professor had permanent burn marks from Agent Orange on his arms.Report

    • rexknobus in reply to rexknobus says:

      ND – you know, as the day passed, I started to get the idea that perhaps my comment didn’t really say what I wanted it to. First off, big over-generalizations in there (my experience, I totally understand, is anecdotal). But most important, I began to fear that perhaps I gave the impression that I look down on or resent in some way the people didn’t make the same dumb mistake I did. I blew it, and the college guys played it right. I survived and thrived, yay me, but I have absolutely nothing against people who were smart enough to take another path.Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to rexknobus says:


        I just read your comment now, and to me it came off exactly as you intended. I thought it was fascinating, a perspective I’ve never encountered before* and that was a great example of the phenomenon being discussed here. I’m not exactly sure why, but your story really struck home to me.
        * I’m probably ~15 younger than you, for reference.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to rexknobus says:

        I concur with James. It did not come off with any resentment but the same feelings I have when I read stuff like the Brownstein article. Who are these people? They obviously exist but I largely don’t know them.

        You did something honorable even if you would choose differently the second time around.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to rexknobus says:

        It was a great comment, but I’m a bit surprised by your experience. I was too young for Vietnam, but my older brother, who’s probably only a few years younger than you are, went to college after the student deferment ended. Fortunately, the lottery resulted in his getting a pretty high draft number, but I’d expect you to have met a fair number of people his age who weren’t as lucky.Report

      • rexknobus in reply to rexknobus says:

        Thanks for the responses. Like any vet, I can and will go on forever about how great my bunkmates were, but book learning and social sophistication were not the norm. A very high percentage of guys I knew had been given the choice between fatigues and jail. Many “lost souls,” I suppose. I learned an awful lot about “non-white” “non-middle class” life. (My background was straight out of “Leave it to Beaver.”) But as closely packed and inter-dependent as we all were, relationships still stratified out largely into “like with like,” and my closest buddies tended to be guys who had read a book or two. Of those who made it back none that I kept in touch with went on to college. Maybe some of the others did and I just haven’t run into them. It’s a Big Old World.Report

  13. LeeEsq says:

    Here is another post that shows we grew up in a different socio-economic gap than the norm.


    If you don’t want to read the link, a survey states that 58% of all Americans say that women should have their first kid by 25 and 43% believe that men should do the same. In our socio-economic group, it would be odd to find anybody advocating having a kid before thirty. We know couples that were dating in high school and got married and they still waited till thirty to have their kids.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

      We had our first child when we were 29. We were the second amongst our friends to have a child. It felt young. Then I remember that my mother had me, her third child, just after her 30th. Now it felt old to be starting. Then I look at the families I work with, all parents of 4- and 5-year-olds (but some with other children), and most of them are in their 40’s. Now it felt young again. As would be expected, these families skew towards the upper end of the SES scale, sometimes greatly so.

      Big picture, I’m relatively happy with when we chose to get started. If all goes according to plan, our children will be in (and possibly out) of college before we hit 60, which feels about right. And, perhaps more importantly, out of the house while we’re still in our early 50’s. And I can’t imagine having started much earlier. So, all in all, I’ll take it (even if this is all after-the-fact rationalizations).Report

  14. Art Deco says:

    My question for the readership is what do you think accounts for the discrepancy between my experience with the electorate and the statistics?

    You only associate with people who respond to particular cues and have certain sorts of tastes. These correlate with voting behavior.

    Take up hunting or skeet shooting or join an evangelical congregation if you want to meet Republicans.Report

    • Just Me in reply to Art Deco says:

      I don’t hunt, skeet shoot or belong to an evangelical congregation and I usually vote Repub. I get your point, but can we be any more stereotypical about a group of people?Report

  15. j r says:

    Roslyn? Maybe the Five Towns?

    I’m from the other side of that border and I went to a SUNY, so I know the same people. Most of the people I knew were Democrats, but I knew lots of Republicans as well. Then I joined the Army and had my first real exposure to people from the Deep South and the middle of the country and I realized that these are a whole different type of Republican. The Northeast Republicans are still here, but the party has come to be dominated by the squeaky wheel. I know because I’m one of them (the RINOs, not the squeaky wheels).Report

    • NewDealer in reply to j r says:

      Great Neck.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to j r says:

      Though I do like Roslyn and the drive over the bridge to get there past Miracle Mile/Whole Foods.

      My family used to go to Diane’s Bakery in Roslyn. I still miss it but I like the whole Northeast/New England in general and the old Industrial look. Seattle and Portland have something close in the Northwest.Report

    • Art Deco in reply to j r says:

      The Northeast Republicans are still here, but the party has come to be dominated by the squeaky wheel. I know because I’m one of them (the RINOs, not the squeaky wheels).

      To steal a notion from John Kenneth Galbraith, the ‘moderate’ Republican has no book. You’ve had 60-odd years to formulate a distinct response of your own to the sort of political economy which emerged during the Depression and the War – one that did not consist of temporizing and pastiche. You’ve also had that time to manifest a capacity for popular mobilization rather than taking advantage of extant networks of influence. The people who show up at public demonstrations are there to see Sarah Palin, not Christine Todd Whitman. The policy shops intermediating between academics and politicians are not your babies. Neither have any of your number founded publications or even produced an interesting newspaper columnist in the last 20-odd years.

      Instead, you give the world people like Robert K. Steel, whose stewardship at Wachovia, the U.S. Treasury, and Duke University reveals itself just how?Report

      • j r in reply to Art Deco says:

        The people who show up at public demonstrations are there to see Sarah Palin, not Christine Todd Whitman. The policy shops intermediating between academics and politicians are not your babies. Neither have any of your number founded publications or even produced an interesting newspaper columnist in the last 20-odd years.

        Congratulations and good luck with all of that.

        I will be curious to hear what you have to say in ten or twenty years when it becomes obvious that the only result of this nonsensical white populist reactionary movement is to make the tax-and-spend Democrats look like the only sane choice.Report

      • Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

        Thornburgh had a book.
        So did O’Neil
        The CIA will not forget Bush’s reaping of the loyal Conservatives.
        And neither will I.Report

  16. Just Me says:

    I would suppose that you self select who you associate with. How comfortable are you associating with those who are Repubs and what is your reaction towards someone when you find out they are Republican? I find that when people know that we do not like their choices they are less likely to tell us honestly what their choices are or more likely to not associate with someone who is critical of them.

    I have to admit I am shocked that you only know 3 people who voted for Mitt Romney. Either your circle is very small or it is comprised of people who are very much the same or some other option that I am not thinking about right now. I would think just statistically you would know more than that. But then I’m not a statistician, what do I know.Report

  17. trizzlor says:

    I’m also Jewish but my Jewish social group consists mostly of ex-soviet immigrants, who are deeply neoconservative and generally trend against entitlements (unless it serves the elderly). As such, they are almost uniformly staunch Republicans, and for a long time I assumed this was the norm. When I read for the first time about the Democrat advantage among American Jews I was genuinely surprised, it was in stark contrast to the Jewish community that I thought I knew. So even within this fairly homogeneous minority it still really matters what sub-group you associate with.Report

    • J@m3z Aitch in reply to trizzlor says:

      Similarly, in Springfield, IL (Lincoln’s home town) the black middle and upper middle class is almost uniformly Republican (or at least still was as of about a decade ago). Interestingly, this goes back to before the Civil War, to the very beginning of the Republican Party in the 1850s.

      But they’re not conservative. And they don’t vote Republican except locally, for similar non-conservative Republicans like themselves.

      (It’s a bit much to assume that a tradition so long-standing would have suddenly disappeared in the last decade, but at the same time it’s hard to imagine it surviving this past decade.)Report

  18. Squeelookle says:

    Your answer is: people like this.Report

    • Squeelookle in reply to Squeelookle says:

      Oops. It looks like he removed the post. Archive.org link.

      The end of liberty in America: Only course of action now is to fight back, electoral politics not working
      Time to tell any Democrats you know to fuck off and die
      by Eric Dondero

      This may be my last post here at Libertarian Republican for quite some time, possibly forever. I had a long discussion with my friend Jim “Right Guy” Lagnese last night. He has agreed, tentatively to take over this website. I cannot think of a better person to run things. He has a good head on his shoulders. He has the absolute right ideology, a Ron Paul Constitutionalist who recognizes the evils of Islam, and supports a strong military, defense of America and of course, our personal rights to gun ownership. Please give Jim all your support in the coming weeks, months, and possibly years.

      Dr. Clifford Thies will still be contributing of course. Jim will take great care to publish all his numerous articles, and witty commentary. I am deeply grateful to my dear friend Clifford for all he has done to assist me since I started this website 6 years ago.

      Now, that said. Firstly, I was wrong. I let my optimism get the best of me. I even lashed out at Thomas L. Knapp a time or two, saying he was nuts for his predictions. Tom was right. I was fantastically wrong. We were crushed last night at all levels, most especially in the Senate races. There is virtually no good news from last night’s results for the libertarian wing of the GOP. I apologize Tom. I hope you can see fit to accept my apology.

      Secondly, today starts a new course for my life. I’ve soured on electoral politics given what happened last night. I believe now the best course of action is outright revolt. What do I mean by that?

      Well, to each his own. Some may choose to push secession in their state legislatures. Others may choose to leave the U.S. for good (Costa Rica, Switzerland, Italy, Argentina, Hong Kong, Israel). Still others may want to personally separate themselves from the United States here in North America while still living under communist rule’ the Glenn Beck, grab your guns, food storage, build bunkers, survivalist route. I heartily endorse all these efforts.
      Express your hatred, shame, and outright disgust with anyone you know who voted Democrat
      However, for me, I’m choosing another rather unique path; a personal boycott, if you will. Starting early this morning, I am going to un-friend every single individual on Facebook who voted for Obama, or I even suspect may have Democrat leanings. I will do the same in person. All family and friends, even close family and friends, who I know to be Democrats are hereby dead to me. I vow never to speak to them again for the rest of my life, or have any communications with them. They are in short, the enemies of liberty. They deserve nothing less than hatred and utter contempt

      I strongly urge all other libertarians to do the same. Are you married to someone who voted for Obama, have a girlfriend who voted ‘O’. Divorce them. Break up with them without haste. Vow not to attend family functions, Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas for example, if there will be any family members in attendance who are Democrats.

      Do you work for someone who voted for Obama? Quit your job. Co-workers who voted for Obama. Simply don’t talk to them in the workplace, unless your boss instructs you too for work-related only purposes. Have clients who voted Democrat? Call them up this morning and tell them to take their business elsewhere’s.

      Have a neighbor who votes for Obama? You could take a crap on their lawn. Then again, probably not a good idea since it would be technically illegal to do this. But you could have your dog take care of business. Not your fault if he just happens to choose that particular spot.
      And start your boycott of your Democrat friends and family today. Like this morning. First thing you can do, very easy, is to un-friend all Democrats from your Facebook account.
      Boycott Business who accept Welfare payments
      Thirdly, I believe we all need to express disgust with Obama and Democrats in public places. To some extent I already do this. Example:
      When I’m at the Wal-mart or grocery story I typically pay with my debit card. On the pad it comes up, “EBT, Debit, Credit, Cash.” I make it a point to say loudly to the check-out clerk, “EBT, what is that for?” She inevitably says, “it’s government assistance.” I respond, “Oh, you mean welfare? Great. I work for a living. I’m paying for my food with my own hard-earned dollars. And other people get their food for free.” And I look around with disgust, making sure others in line have heard me.

      I am going to step this up. I am going to do far more of this in my life. It’s going to be my personal crusade. I hope other libertarians and conservatives will eventually join me.
      What I plan to do this week, is to get yard signs made up, at my own expense, that read, “EBT is for Welfare Moochers.” I will put the signs out on public property off of the right-of-way so it’s entirely legal, in front of every convenience store or grocery store that has a sign out saying “EBT Accepted Here.” I may even do some sign waving in front of these stores, holding up my “EBT is for Welfare Moochers,” sign, and waving to passers-by.

      If I meet a Democrat in my life from here on out, I will shun them immediately. I will spit on the ground in front of them, being careful not to spit in their general direction so that they can’t charge me with some stupid little nuisance law. Then I’ll tell them in no un-certain terms: “I do not associate with Democrats. You all are communist pigs, and I have nothing but utter disgust for you. Sir/Madam, you are scum of the earth.” Then I’ll turn and walk the other way.
      Buttons. Boy, you can have a lot of fun with this. I plan to make up a bunch of buttons, and wear them around town, sayings like “Democrats are Communist Pigs,” or “Welfare moochers steal from hard-working Americans,” “Only Nazis support Seat Belt laws” or “No Smoking Ban: Nanny-Staters go Fuck Yourselves.”

      There are so many other nasty little things I plan to do against the communists and those who support them. Perhaps I’ll keep Jim informed and he can report on my activities here at LR.
      For now, off to my first assignment: Telling all my friends and family who voted for Obama to “fuck off, don’t ever speak to me again you slimeball mother fuckers.” Wish me luck!Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Squeelookle says:


        I don’t get these definition of freedom at all. Perhaps it is from being Jewish and being close enough to the tenaments on the Lower East Side. Perhaps it is because I know my grandfather only escaped the notorious quota system and got into Columbia because his last name began with B but there is more to freedom than economics and business rights. There is freedom from fear and freedom from want. Freedom from knowing you are accepted into civil society even if you are not in the majority. Freedom from being free of discrimination and not at fear of being denied promotion or fired or denied a loan because of your race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, gender or gender non-conformity, etc.

        I’m of European origin and thinks makes me Caucasian to an extent but I am primarily Jewish and if whites vote Republican because they see it as a vanguard and protector of their privileges and advantages, I want nothing of it. Freedom that only deals with business and economics is no freedom at all.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Squeelookle says:

      You don’t want to start judging ideologies by their worst adherents. That’s not a game you’re going to win.Report

      • Squeelookle in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        My response is that I am no longer certain that the worst adherents constitute a minority. My anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, but fact that worst adherents keep getting elected to state and national office leads me to believe that the views of the worst adherents are becoming representative of the movements as a whole.Report

  19. Damon says:

    Pretty much what Kazzy said above.

    There aren’t many conservatives in hard blue areas, and those that do are pretty low key about it. Get away from the coasts and you’ll find them and they are more open about it. I remember reading a “progressive” newspaper in Utah talking about how white and conservative Salt Lack City was. I couldn’t help laughing, like, what would you expect? Want progressive? Go to NYC. I expect this is the inverse to the OP comments.Report

  20. ScarletNumbers says:

    Bird of a feather tend to flock together.

    It is funny that you fell into the Pauline Kael trap, even though you knew about it.

    As for me, among my Democratic friends, I am known as the conversative one.Report