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Monday, September 24, 2007
Krugman: Yes, Southern Whites Are Bigots, But Only the Rich Ones

That's what I get out of the combination of his column today combined with the blog. Starting from the column:

And yes, Southern white exceptionalism is about race, much more than it is about moral values, religion, support for the military or other explanations sometimes offered. There’s a large statistical literature on the subject, whose conclusion is summed up by the political scientist Thomas F. Schaller in his book “Whistling Past Dixie”: “Despite the best efforts of Republican spinmeisters to depict American conservatism as a nonracial phenomenon, the partisan impact of racial attitudes in the South is stronger today than in the past.”

But from the blog:

In fact, if you look at voting behavior, low-income whites in the South are not very different from low-income whites in the rest of the country. You can see this both in Larry Bartels’s “What’s the matter with What’s the Matter With Kansas?” (pdf), Figure 3, and in a comprehensive study of red state-blue state differences by Gelman et al (pdf). It’s relatively high-income Southern whites who are very, very Republican. Can I get away with saying that rich white trash are the problem?

Of course you can, Paul. God only knows how Krugman manages to keep so many contrary thoughts in his head at one time. Democratic voters are smarter than Republicans, but poorer than Republicans and less likely to be racists. Got it?


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