Southern Whites Want Inequality

Paul KrugmanPaul Krugman posted an article today, Identity Voters. In it, he discusses a Pew research poll that showed that five demographic groups did not vote as their incomes would indicate. Those groups were: Black, Hispanic, Jewish, Asian, and Southern Whites.

As you have probably already guessed, the first four of these voted more for Obama. The Southern Whites voted more for Romney.

Here is the graph where the blue line indicates the average vote:

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Krugman presents this graph to demonstrate that it isn’t just “urban” voters who are voting different than their incomes would suggest. And even more distinct: southern whites are voting way more for the white candidate. I think there’s more to this graph than that.

Given the active hostility that the Republicans show towards people of color, it is natural that all four of these Obama demographic groups would turn away from Romney. (Jews may “pass” for white, but they are only too aware of racial discrimination.) Southern whites, on the other hand, were not attacked by the Democratic Party or the Obama campaign. So why were the southern whites so inclined to vote for Romney?

I’m not going to say this is racism. (But I could.) It is clear, however, that southern whites are voting for Romney far out of proportion to their economic interests. So the next time some conservative tells you that minorities just want “stuff,” you can reply, “Yeah: equality. And southern whites want stuff too: inequality.”

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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