Writing Archive

Where Does the South Begin?

The Post had an interesting article last weekend about how the Washington, D.C. region has lost most of its southern identity in recent decades as northerners move in and the federal capital’s culture, food, and dialect became more standardized.  The article raised the inevitable question — Was D.C. ever a southern city?  And it so, [...]

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How Solid was the South for Democrats?

I was browsing the 1982 Almanac of American Politics and came across a fascinating chart detailing the control of state legislatures.  We all know that the South used to be solidly Democratic for generations post-Appomattox, but did you have any idea it was this solid?
State Legislature Split in 1982, measured D-R
State Upper Lower Gov.
Alabama       35-0 [...]

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Obama’s Electoral Math Getting Trickier

If the electoral map wasn’t looking difficult enough for President Obama in 2012, consider that the electoral math is about to get much more daunting for him. New Census figures released on Friday estimate that blue states in the Midwest and Northeast are due to lose 10 electoral votes (and 10 fewer seats in [...]

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Southern Democrats in Better Shape than Northerners

Fewer politicians are more unpopular in the South than San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi, and so it was no surprise that the Speaker has given a pass to southern Democrats who have openly criticized her to constituents. “I just want them to win,” she told Judy Woodruff. “They know their districts.”
Indeed, many southern Democrats [...]

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Map of the Day: Oil Fields Now Open for Exploration

[Source: New York Times]
Does President Obama’s call to authorize oil exploration off the Southern coast and in Alaska help him in those states?  Marginally. Maybe in Virginia and Alaska; probably not in Florida.
Does it help him nationally with voters? Most definitely.

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Iraqi Electoral Map Clearly Illustrates Divides

I usually focus solely on American electoral maps, but considering the sizable American investment in Iraq, I thought that I’d post the electoral map of the recent parliamentary elections there.
Here’s a great map from our friends at 538.
Ayad Allawi’s Iraqiya (Iraqi nationalism) coalition is intended as a secular party that cuts across sectarian [...]

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Political Geography Week in Review: Happy Holidays

I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday vacation.  If you were like me and took a few days off from news, then you may have some digging out to do.  So I pulled together a review of some of the biggest stories in political geography from the last few weeks.  Here it goes:
We learned [...]

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Southern Piedmont: Where NASCAR Meets the NASDAQ

When Andrew Jackson roamed the hills of the Carolinas, northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee, it was still frontier, and for generations the southern Piedmont remained economically and culturally isolated.  Today, however, Old Hickory might be surprised to learn what this area has become.
Atlanta, a railroad junction with a few thousand souls before the Civil War, [...]

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Southerners Confused about Obama’s Birthplace

A new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll shows that most Americans think Obama was born in the United States. The exception was the South:

[Chart credit: Political Animal]
More specifically, it was white Southerners who are most uncertain about his birth. David Weigel at The Washington Independent writes:
The proportion of white Southern voters with doubts about [...]

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The Geography of Lincoln and Lee’s Legacies

On President Lincoln’s 200 birthday earlier this month, I posted a map showing that most states who fought for General Lee and the Rebs voted for John McCain, while most states that supported President Lincoln and the Feds chose Barack Obama. Most people know that this is an axiom of modern American politics. [...]

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