Race, region, and partisanship

So the Political Scientists FB group (yes, there is one, and it’s pretty useful) had a recent discussion about PS perspectives on the confederate flag issue.  Somebody linked to this excellent article (in a top journal) from 10 years ago.  Its findings are still quite relevant.  And I’m pretty damn sure they data is not faked :-).  Here’s the abstract:

Our focus is the regional political realignment that has occurred among whites over the past four decades. We hypothesize that the South’s shift to the Republican party has been driven to a significant degree by racial conservatism in addition to a harmonizing of partisanship with general ideological conservatism. General Social Survey and National Election Studies data from the 1970s to the present indicate that whites residing in the old Confederacy continue to display more racial antagonism and ideological conservatism than non-Southern whites. Racial conservatism has become linked more closely to presidential voting and party identification over time in the white South, while its impact has remained constant elsewhere. This stronger association between racial antagonism and partisanship in the South compared to other regions cannot be explained by regional differences in nonracial ideology or nonracial policy preferences, or by the effects of those variables on partisanship. [emphasis mine]

No, it’s not all about race.  But don’t let anybody tell you it’s not important in the transformation of Southern politics.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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