Friday, July 31, 2009

Where are the birthers?

The answer, as the graph illustrates, is in the former Confederate states. I would have loved to have seen these results broken down by ethnicity. I will bet my entire life's savings (that's right, I'll wager the only nickel I have to my name) that the overwhelming percentage of those Southerners who answered the question regarding Obama's citizenship with a "no" or "unsure" where white, nonhispanic; and that if one looked at the percentages for African Americans and Hispanics living in the Southern US, for example, the results for these ethnic groups would largely mirror the results obtained for the rest of the US. Apparently the surveyors did get a national breakdown by political party (Dems, GOP, and the catchall "Independents"), and the results for those affiliated with the GOP look, unsurprisingly, highly similar to those in the South.

None of these results really surprised me that much. I come from a Southern background and my ethnicity is pretty similar to most Southern whites (in my case it's mostly English, with Irish and Scottish Protestant thrown in for good measure). I have just enough relatives who still identify themselves as Southerners or who live in the South to know what the general mindset is for those of my ethnicity in the region. Let's just say it's a demographic that has always struck me as very tribal and more than a bit resentful and paranoid since the worst of the segregationist laws in the region were struck down back in the 1960s.

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