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October 02, 2009


One cause of the Republicans' unpopularity is ongoing attacks by the intelligentsia. E.g., blogger James Taranto often points out examples of attacks on conservatives included in newspaper columns about non-poliltical topics.

I saw an example myself last week, in a new play called Equivocation. It's about the Gunpowder Plot. Even though the action takes place in England 400 years ago, the dialogue includes a reference to current-day American conservatives (supposedly) being in favor of torture.

So, I offer a theory to explain the regional differences pointed out in Brendan's post: Southerners may have less respect for the intelligentsia than people from other regions of the country.

Or proud of being ignorant. When I was a kid in the south, a very common bumper-sticker: Hell no, we ain't fergettin'. (That is, we're still mad we don't have slavery etc.?) There's a very strong contrary streak in southern culture--if New Englanders think one thing, they think different. Even if it means being dumb on purpose.

The Daily Kos poll looks wildly out of line to me. I simply can't believe that there is such a sharp distinction across broadly defined regions. In Kos's poll, 7% of Northeasterners have a positive view of Republicans while 50% of Southerners do?

I might believe the difference between voters in Massachusetts and Alabama is that high, but Kos's Northeast includes West Virginia and his Southeast includes Virginia. There simply isn't that large a difference between voters in those two states.

We know roughly based on the last election how support for the Republican and Democratic parties varies from state to state and we didn't see such a sharp variation.

I'd be interested in seeing the breakdown on a state by state basis (rather than a regional one). My guess is that there is a severe sampling problem here.

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