Thursday, November 06, 2008

McCain Wins Over "American" Americans

This second map is based on census data and shows what the largest (self-reported) ancestry is in county of the United States. Take a look at it and you'll see that the interior south, where Obama could get no traction and almost the only part of the country where people voted more Republican in 2008 is the part of the country dominated by people who describe their ancestry as not German or English or Spanish or Irish but "American."

This sounds at first blush like simple ignorance of the concept of ancestry, but the map's annotation notes that "The region had very low levels of immigration for 200 years. ... According to the 1870 census, less than 2% of the south was immigrants." In most of the rest of the deep south's counties the biggest ethnic group is African-Americans descended from slaves. While the rest of the country has gotten more ethnically mixed recently, the south, and I'd guess particularly Appalachia, has had a nearly static, isolated population for two centuries.

And now those "American" Americans are the most reliable Republican voters.
via Ben Smith and Ben Smith


Audacious Epigone said...

Reading Albion's Seed is critical. The McCain belt is the "Scots-Irish" belt. Those who trace their ancestry to the UK's borderlands do not consider themselves English, and of course not Irish. I wonder why the legend doesn't include a "Scotish" option.

Fat Knowledge said...

Interesting, thanks for the info.

Audacious Epigone said...

And as a further endorsement of Albion's Seed, it is not a political book in the contemporary sense in any way. It provides a detailed account of what Fischer identifies as the four different "English" groups (by geography, primarily) that settled the US. I'm not trying to hoist politically-charged stuff on you--at least not in this case ;)

Fat Knowledge said...

Well, you convinced me to take a look at the book, but then the 970 page length scared me away. If they have a Readers Digest version though, I am in. :)

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