The “Patriotic Pugnacity” Platform

November 7th, 2008

The most striking anomaly in the recent election, to my eyes, was the strong Red countermovement among Appalachians and Okies:

These areas swung even harder right this year, while almost every other part of the country went left (excepting McCain’s home state).

Steve Sailer (he of the quite convincing “affordable family formation” thesis), explains this in a comment to a post by Andrew Gelman (he of the equally convincing Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State):

John McCain did best relative to Bush in 2004 in Scots-Irish states like Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. McCain is Scots-Irish himself and is very much in the Andy Jackson Scots-Irish tradition of patriotic pugnacity.

Is that, essentially, the only ammo left in the Republican shot-locker?

It’s worth noting that Appalachia also reared its geographic head in the primaries, with a decidedly racial implication. Counties voting >60% for Clinton over Obama (Kentucky and Illinois hadn’t voted when this map was made):

Put aside the New York home-state effect and the heavy pro-Clinton hispanic vote in southern Texas (and the huge post-Katrina population move affecting Louisiana), and you’re looking at a very similar map.

Update: I see that Sailer discusses this a bit more on his blog.

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