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The Democrat Divide: Academics vs. Jacksonians

This is just fascinating. MIchael Barone examines all the voting results and finds what the exits polls don't explain. Who is supporting Obama and who is supporting Clinton...

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If statistics aren't your bag then skip over the individual state analysis and go right to his findings. I think that Barone has really found something and it isn't racism...

Posted by Rosemary on 04.04.2008
Ara Rubyan (www):
I remember when SPoDE discovered this analysis.
4.4.2008 8:39am
TQL:
Really interesting article. And since I'm a bit of a nerd, I found the state analysis fascinating.

I guess I am more of an "Academic" in the sense that I want a leader who has a reasoned, intelligent, and strategic approach to addressing issues and solving problems and attempts to find common ground with those who don't agree, and when that is not possible, knows when to walk away and try a different approach. If what a "Jacksonian" brings to the table is a warrior spirit, then issues are battles and those that don't agree are adversaries, or worse, insurgents. Don't get me wrong, I love a spirited warrior in certain settings... But, I think we've had enough of that approach in our politics.
4.4.2008 8:44am
Ara Rubyan (www):
I think that Barone has really found something and it isn't racism...

Enh. There are lots of ways to slice and dice the electorate. Ask Mark Penn -- he wrote an entire book about it called Microtrends. Fat lot of good it did him...or Hillary.
4.4.2008 8:45am
TQL:
Another interesting analysis that puts more of a generational slant on how the electorate is divided, which has some parallels to the Academic/Jacksonian divide.
4.4.2008 8:55am
Ara Rubyan (www):
The other thing about the academic-Jacksonian microtrend is that it presents a false choice: that you are either for academic pursuits or you are a fierce patriot. you are either a fighter or an appeaser. that's bullshit.

second: if you choose war (as opposed to having it thrust upon you) you're implicitly admitting failure: you've failed to find a way out. And as history shows us, wars are far far easier to get into than to get out of.

So, I wouldn't be so quick to elevate warmaking into some noble pursuit, some permutation of patriotism. Just because you come from a long line of soldiers doesn't make you a patriot or qualify you to become president.

As I said there are lots of ways of slicing and dicing the electorate. this is just one.
4.4.2008 9:11am
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
I remember when SPoDE discovered this analysis.

You still read him? I don't even read him anymore...unless, I'm asked, nicely, to give an opinion on something.
4.4.2008 9:47am
Ara Rubyan (www):
No, no -- this is from years ago. The Jacksonian thing isn't new. Barone is simply applying that analysis to today's voting patterns.

Speaking of his analysis, he lost me right from the git-go with this:
I was struck by the narrow geographic base of Barack Obama's candidacy. In state after state, he has carried only a few counties—though, to be sure, in many cases counties with large populations.
So shit Sherlock. His perspective reminds me of those stupid red-blue maps that Republicans were posting after the 2004 election where they red and blue counties on a map. Of course, nearly the entire map was red with a few specks of blue. This was supposed to show that Republicans were overwhelmingly dominant in the election. But that's just silly: one huge county in Wyoming has two people in it who vote for Bush and so you color that huge swath of territory red. Another small county in Michigan goes overwhelmingly for Kerry and you get -- a tiny speck of blue on the map, even though the population is 1000 time bigger than the Wyoming county.

But then you knew that, right? You knew that the Democrats generally did better in the urban areas and the Republicans generally did better in the rural and exurban areas. The suburbs are a toss-up.

But even that is simplifying things to an extent that is not illuminating.

Josh Marshall, one of the blogosphere's best and brightest observers, has an excellent rundown of the role of race in Obama's primary victories -- specifically how (and why) he does really well in states with either no black population (e.g., Iowa) or a very high black population (e.g., Louisiana). The in-between states like Ohio, not so much.

Marshall presents a couple of analyses that look at the data and come to a couple of seemingly different conclusions, although maybe the analyses have more in common that it might at first appear.

I know the idea of poring over data makes your eyes glaze over, but it is a video and he makes it pretty easy to digest. I strongly suggest you check it out.
4.4.2008 10:11am
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
Oh no... I love pouring over data and doing analysis. I am a trained scientist not a political writer - reading data is thrillville for me. Life throws outs curve balls, ya know? ;-)
4.4.2008 10:21am
Ara Rubyan (www):
Then you should DEFINITELY watch the Josh Marshall video. I'd like your take on it. I've been recommending it to all my political junkie friends.
4.4.2008 10:33am
Ara Rubyan (www):
More bullshit from Barone:

[Obama's] standard campaign statements on Iraq seem to suggest that all honor should go to the opponents of the war and none to the brave men and women who have waged it.


Barone is a partisan hack and a moron if that's what he believes. He needs to pay closer attention to what people are saying and doing.

His latest statements about leaving a "strike force" in Iraq suggest a certain insouciance or even indifference about what happens in a theater in which 4,000 Americans have died.
Obama's campaign is thick with former generals. Maybe Barone has an argument with them -- I sure don't.

He clearly lacks the military expertise of John McCain or Hillary Clinton, both diligent members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.


Yeah. How's all that experience working out for them? McCain can't tell the difference between Shia and Sunni; and Clinton idolizes McCain. Blind leading the blind. Enough said.

Barone is a partisan hack masquerading as an objective analyst.
4.4.2008 10:43am
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
I think that Marshall has just helped make the case that Clinton is trying to make to the Super-delegates.

I think that his analysis is spot on when talking about racial voting patterns and the gender divide. While I know that he was trying very hard not to sound like he was agreeing with Clinton, the data interpreted by race lines did just that.

The only real thing to do is to look at data on all the fronts, not just race and see if we find a pattern. I think that Barone's data is more helpful to Obama than Clinton because it suggests that his race is less of an issue than Clinton wants it to be.
4.4.2008 10:55am
TQL:
Oh no... I love pouring over data and doing analysis. I am a trained scientist not a political writer - reading data is thrillville for me.

I knew there was a reason I thought you were cool!! It takes a special person to find joy in pouring over data. We are, indeed, a rare breed!
4.4.2008 10:56am
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
I'm very analytical. I analyze everything! I'm also a smart mouth, who, gets drunk from a shot glass of cough syrup, starts political arguments for the sheer pleasure of debate and I kickbox for relaxation.

I'm too cool for my own good. Or incredibly annoying depending on who you ask. ;-)
4.4.2008 11:15am
Ara Rubyan (www):
I think that his analysis is spot on when talking about racial voting patterns and the gender divide. While I know that he was trying very hard not to sound like he was agreeing with Clinton, the data interpreted by race lines did just that.

First of all, let's stipulate one thing: it's been since any Democrat got a majority of the white vote. Kerry got 41% in 2004, Gore got 42% in 2000, Clinton got 46% in '96 and only 39% in '92.

Go back further if you like -- the numbers don't get any better until you get back into the 60's. And, frankly, that probably isn't going to change whether Hillary or Obama get the nomination. Anyone who tells you differently is blowing smoke up your coochie. That's Fact Number One.

Now let's look at the rest of the data through that prism:

Nyan's graph shows Obama losing the Democratic primary white vote in reliable Dem strongholds like places like Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. Does anyone believe those states will not go Democratic in 2008? No, better yet: does anyone believe that those states will go Republican because Obama is the Dem nominee? Smoke. Coochie.

On the other hand, Obama's strength among white voters in places like Wisconsin, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont and Virginia could very well auger quite well for down-ticket candidates in November.

So don't be so sure that Hillary's got a lock on anything right now. Obama's a map-changer. Lose Ohio? Tough shit (for Ohio) -- he'll make it up (and more) in any number of other states that Hillary will never stand a chance in. Lose Pennsylvania? I wouldn't be so sure -- for one thing, the primary race is tightening there. Lose Michigan? Don't bet on it: if y'all finally get your shit together up there, you might find that Obama wins a real primary, not that crap that Hillary tried to steal. Yeah, he'll probably never win Florida -- but then what Democrat ever does? Same with Texas.
4.4.2008 11:24am
Ara Rubyan (www):
Correction: it's been since forever any Democrat got a majority of the white vote. I think faster than I type, which I do faster than I proof.
4.4.2008 11:28am
IB Bill (mail):
Well, the problem with political writing is you have to fill the news hole, and you gotta say something, and something what you come up with ain't so good. It's one job I'm glad I don't have.

I'm a writer by trade. Three jobs I wouldn't want in my profession -- political writer, sports writer coverign the Super Bowl, and caption writer for nudie mag. You gotta say something, but what do you say? In the first two cases, the news hole requires you to write stuff faster than it actually happens; until it happens, then you can't keep up. In the third case, it's a question of coming up with endlessly fresh ways to say essentially the same thing, she hot.
4.4.2008 1:57pm
IB Bill (mail):
sometimes what you come up with ain't so good, not something.
4.4.2008 1:57pm
Ara Rubyan (www):
You're a writer?
4.4.2008 2:32pm
IB Bill (mail):
Yep. Surprise you given my scrawlings here, eh?
4.4.2008 2:59pm
Ara Rubyan (www):
Not at all.

Fiction? Non-fiction? Freelance? Staff? Magazine? Newspaper? Technical?
4.4.2008 3:45pm
IB Bill (mail):
I work as a business &legal newsletter writer and manage a small editorial staff. It's a pretty cool gig. What do you do?
4.4.2008 4:39pm
Ara Rubyan (www):
Training development and delivery.
4.4.2008 6:37pm
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