Regionalism in American Politics


Joshua Tucker:

One other interesting point from the Daily Kos data: despite all the noise about Obama’s falling approval ratings, outside of the South of 82% of those in the Northeast have a favorable view of Obama (vs. 10% having an unfavorable view), 62% have a favorable view (vs. 31%) in the Midwest, and 59% (vs. 34%) have a favorable view in the West. It is only in the South, where 67% (!) have an unfavorable view of the president (vs. 27% holding a favorable view) that Obama appears to have a serious problem. Again, the regional distribution is quite dramatic.

Taken together, I wonder if we’ve hit the point where the mainstream media ought to be reporting support for the president, congress, political parties, etc. not in terms of the country as a whole, but rather by providing two numbers: support in the South and support in the rest of the country excluding the South?

I certainly think it would be interesting to see these regional splits more. I wouldn’t want to overstate the point, on some level saying “Barack Obama’s super-popular if you ignore the southerners” seems about on a par with saying “Obama’s super-unpopular if you ignore the non-white people.” Obviously dislike of a Democratic president is going to be concentrated in the most-conservative part of the country. But it is an interesting angle. And it would be particularly interesting to compare southern whites to non-southern whites.