February 2, 2016

Evangelical betrayal of Trump came from right half of the bell curve, left half was solid pro-Trump

The recent upset provides a good occasion to point out that the airheads in Iowa and out West generally are above-average in IQ and education. Gelman et al showed that the red state vs. blue state culture wars are primarily fought among the better-off, who don't have to worry so much about basic economics and politics, and can indulge in their airy-fairy values contests.

Studies of the Tea Party members also find them to be more educated and wealthier than the average American, even if they're not 1% Ivy grads.

True to form, the entrance poll results in Iowa show that Trump did the best among those with no college education, and had lower support for each additional level of education. Rubio was the other way around, and was the winner of those with college or more. Cruz was in between, peaking with those who had some college, losing to Trump among no-college voters, and edging out Trump on college-and-beyond voters (though below Rubio).

Trump won handily among the non-evangelical voters, while Cruz won just as handily with the evangelicals.

Do not fall for the "what's the matter with Kansas?" narrative, which Gelman et al have already demolished. Not that there isn't something wrong with out-West states, but that it is driven by the right half of the bell curve whose battle over values comes in red-state and blue-state flavors, each of them eclipsing the fight for basic economic and political matters like a healthy economy, low debt, good incomes, solid borders, keeping the culture American rather than foreign / cosmopolitan, not wasting our military on video game shit in the Middle East, etc.

The lower-status folks vote primarily on those economic issues, and therefore do not show so much polarization around the country. They went solidly for Trump in Iowa, and they will do so everywhere else. Ending the culture war means restoring the franchise to the blue-collars.

It is not the left half of the bell curve that is to blame, as the IQ fetishists would have you believe. They want a "cognitive elite" uber alles? -- well then what else do you expect than voting for a non-American, Ivy slimeball with deep ties to Goldman Sachs?

This realignment election season is revealing a deep rift in the "alternative right" between populists and elitists -- both may want some form of nativism, but is it for the benefit of all classes, or for helping the strivers reach the elite and stay cushy once they get there, freeing them from having to take out million-dollar mortgages to avoid the brown hordes? Something that the blue-collar majority cannot afford to do, aside from having their jobs stolen by foreign scabs.


  1. Very solid, can't add anything.

  2. BTW, I try to like and retweet everything Trump tweets when he's had any kind of setback. And of course, sending the encouraging tweet, too. The man really thrives on his supporter's encouragement in times like these.

  3. Yes,but why were the polls so wrong?

  4. A.B. Prosper2/2/16, 3:14 PM

    re: Trump in Iowa.

    Iowa basically never calls it right and no expected Trump to win a cuckseravtive state like that one. As such coming in a second place is pretty good.


  5. The polls weren't wrong -- Trump and Cruz were basically neck-and-neck in the month leading up to it, including a time when Cruz was ahead by a hair. Back in the fall, it was Carson who was neck-and-neck and for a time ahead by a hair.

    Cruz rose to fill Carson's place in the polls when Trump bumped him off, so there was a period of a month or so when it was Trump far out on top -- both Carson and Cruz were low, although one was falling and the other rising.

    The only surprise was Rubio doing as well as he did, but that's not much of a big-picture story -- official Establishment choice receives bulk of the procrastinating wimp vote.

  6. As a 20/20 hindsight, I think Trump bumping off Carson as early as he did fueled the rise of Cruz, who was always better positioned to challenge Trump than an affirmative-action "surgeon" with no experience in dealing with or being a politician.

    Cruz is well connected with Wall Street, has held high political office, anointed by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, and doesn't put you to sleep by talking.

    Trump should have left Carson alone since nobody would have rallied around him at the Convention, if it came to that. Cruz offers enough to the Establishment -- aside from being crypto-Establishment himself -- to give them someone to rally around. And Carson would have failed even more pathetically with the grassroots voters.

    Also, the Trump movement is about going easier on the black man, and sticking it hard to the Hispanic man.

    But hey, none of us saw it at the time either. It would have paid to have had an insightful advisor or pollster, although those are hard to come by.

  7. Prof. Revilo P. Oliver theory was that Christianity was the original Jewish conspiracy.

  8. Do you consider Iowa, the Dakotas, and Nebraska to be Western states? I guess I thought they had more in common with the Midwest (Catholic & Lutheran farmers) than with the West. I had assumed that the west as you define it begins at the Rocky Mountain states.

  9. Strange you should mention that, Bruce, as I was going to post a new map I found about the regions of America, but not in this thread.

    This is the most accurate map I've found so far about how different regions break down politically and culturally. Notably, unlike other schemas, it correctly identifies Appalachia as being a region separate from the South. Its called "the 10 regions of American Politics" and was posted by the Boston Globe in 2004.


    If you notice, its actually more than 10 regions, because regions that aren't continguous, but have similar politics, are put in the same category. Thus, upstate Maine is classified as "Sagebrush" with the rest of the Mountain West and Alaska; Pacific Northwest is classed as "Upper Midlands" with New England; the Dakotas and Kansas are put in the "Farmbelt" category with much of the Great Lakes states; and Chicago is classified with upstate New York as being a "Great Lakes" state.

  10. You can find descriptions of each region at the Freerepublic, which transcribed the original article from the Boston Globe.


    For kicks, here is their description of "Appalachia":

    "Democratic consultant James Carville once described Pennsylvania as consisting of Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west, and "Alabama in the middle." That sentiment is reflected in the outlines of the Appalachia region, which follows the mountain range across 12 states. It is the only region in our survey that doesn't touch an ocean or a Great Lake, and it is the most rural. It is also the oldest, poorest, and least educated. But the region keeps pace with the national average in terms of population growth, and it shows signs of economic progress.

    Politically, the region has changed fairly rapidly. The old Appalachia is personified by Robert Byrd, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, who is famous for funneling federal money to his state. Even Republicans from this region were once known for bringing home the bacon, an example being former US Rep. Bud Shuster of Pennsylvania, once the powerful chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. More recently, the region's center of gravity has shifted south, and it is better known for prickly conservatives such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, of northern Georgia, and US Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina (who, as a House member, was part of a group that wanted to overthrow Gingrich because he wasn't true enough to conservative principles). Other than Byrd, the most prominent Democrat currently from Appalachia may be Georgia Sen. Zell Miller, who has announced his retirement and recently wrote a book denouncing his party for moving too far to the left. One of the last upholders of old-fashioned Democratic politics may be Alabama Congressman Bud Cramer, who votes with his party on most spending issues but defects to the Republicans on just about everything else. His district, centered on the city of Huntsville, benefited mightily from the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1930s and was once solidly Democratic; now its economy is based on defense spending and the federal space program, and its increasingly white-collar workforce has a strong preference for the Republican Party.

    Few presidential aspirants have come from Appalachia; the last one of any consequence was Republican Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who incorporated his cherished bluegrass music into his campaign. In Democratic primaries, the region follows its conservatism on social issues and national defense, but often finds little to choose from among the increasingly liberal candidates, so turnout tends to be low. Carter did carry it overwhelmingly in 1976 and 1980, and it was Gore's strongest region against Dukakis and Jackson in 1988. Clinton won here easily against token opposition in 1992, but there was a noticeably high number of "uncommitted" votes in parts of the region."

  11. As you can see, the author - Robert David Sullivan - noticed the disaffection in the Appalachian region - "noticeably high number of uncommitted votes in parts of the region".

    This schema also correctly identifies the West - "Sagebrush" - as being strongly libertarian.

    "Occupying about half the land area of the United States, the Sagebrush region includes all or part of 17 states -- all of them a long way from Washington, DC. Most are in the west, but the region also includes like-minded parts of New Hampshire and Maine. The former is known as a libertarian stronghold (so much so that a national anti-government group called the Free State Project is trying to get its members to settle there and take over local politics); the latter distinguished itself as Ross Perot's strongest state in 1992.


    "It ranks first in the number of residents who are under 18, and first in the number of adults who have attended college but not obtained a bachelor's degree.(wonder why that is?) In 2000, it was Gore's worst region, but only third best for Bush; in presidential races, Sagebrush customarily delivers the most votes to minor candidates, from Greens to Libertarians."

    "Even in Democratic primaries, voters prefer candidates with more libertarian views (liberal on social issues, conservative on fiscal issues). It was Gary Hart's strongest region against Walter Mondale in 1984."

    This schema was written in 2004, when crime began to rise, which probably explains why its somewhat more accurate.

  12. 10 regions is too many to explain things or notice patterns. You might as well do 100 if you're aiming for micro-accuracy.

    I'd be happy with three regions, which are reflected in accents as well (hinting at long-term roots) -- North, South, and West.

    Iowa definitely belongs out West -- the Louisiana Purchase states only came into the Union in 1803, and were not settled in any numbers until the middle of the 19th century. And even then, they were far more heavily immigrant than founding stock.

    They have almost no history of making stuff, whether it be artisanal like the furniture, lightly mechanized like clothing makers, or heavy industrial equipment -- all flourishing back East, from Wisconsin and Michigan, down through Tennessee, Alabama, and out to New England, Virginia, and the Carolinas.

    The out-West economy is primarily pre-industrial, feudal, and ancient -- food production, resource extraction (with ethanol, Iowa agribusiness has shifted from the first to the second), trade / retail, and financial and other business services to oil the machine.

    The more I look at things, the more it looks like the Mississippi River is the most convenient marker for East vs. West, tying into the history of when those territories were acquired by the nation, settled, and used as a way for making a living.

    Anything after the original 13 colonies, the few stragglers after that in Appalachia, and the Northwest Territory, is out West.

  13. The ten region thing is interesting if not terribly original (a book was written in the early 80's dividing the U.S. into 9 regions). I guess it is distinctive (and kinda ridiculous) to put areas on either coast into the same region. I mean, Bostonites can talk a good liberal game but they're nowhere near as nutty as whoever happens to be inhabiting San Francisco at the moment.

    Agnostic made a good point (not sure in what thread) about people "out West" being not necessarily nihilistic mavericks (though many are) as much as being simply naive and foolish. Just pulling up stakes and high tailing it to the West is itself indicative of an impulsive and immature temperament.

    There's also a multiplier effect of taking people who are already flawed and putting them in an atmosphere that emphasizes the self over community, short term gratification over long term planning, and free wheeling hi jinks/progressive goofiness over moderation and tradition.

  14. "10 regions is too many to explain things or notice patterns. You might as well do 100 if you're aiming for micro-accuracy.

    I'd be happy with three regions, which are reflected in accents as well (hinting at long-term roots) -- North, South, and West."

    True, but I was thinking more along the lines of what would the future self-autonomous regions of America look like, if elites fail to handle rising inequality and the American government collapses. I don't think America would bifurcate into three big blocs, but rather into the regions portrayed in the map I posted.

    "Iowa definitely belongs out West"

    plus its part of the Mississippi River cultural sphere, which leans libertarian - remember the river boat gambling, which in modern times has transformed into Indian casinos.

  15. One distinction about West vs East seems to be smoking rates, if memory serves. Part of this could a lifestyle issue (the health nuts/strivers gravitate West), part of it could be the logistics of sunnier/dryer weather (which make already health people more likely to get off their duff and avoid bad habits).


    What do the 10 low smoking states have in common?

    Lifestyle/progressive snobbery (Utah, Cali, Minn, Washington, Colorado, Arizona)
    Old money/Yankee puritan snobbery (Mass, New Jersey, Maryland)
    Both: (certain areas of Cali and Minn)

    Western region (Utah, Cali, Minn, Washington, Colorado, Arizona)
    Mormons! (Utah)
    Both (Utah)

    Scandinavian civic mindedness among the whites of the area (protect teh children)/do gooder lawyers (Utah, Cali, Minn, Washington).

    The only state that doesn't quite fit anywhere is Rhode Island. I dunno much about that area though. The articles points out smoking bans, but that's a chicken or the egg thing IMO.

    Is it a racial issue? The demos of Cali and Arizona speak for themselves, while Kentucky has the highest rate (though it's substantially whiter than quite a few other states),

    1. Demographics play a part. Generally, smoking is most common among downscale whites which is a reason Kentucky ranks #1. Relatively few Hispanics smoke which explains Arizona and California near the bottom. Plus the whites in the large coastal cities in Cal very much look down on snoking.As for Rhode Island, I think it's simply a matter of how high their cig tax is. Same with NY and NJ, also the high ethnic mix plays a role.

  16. Donald Trump is still very much in the game. Organization and retail stumping still matter in Iowa and Trump was not prepared for that. It's worth noting that Ted Cruz is hardly an establishment favorite.


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