Racial and Religious Breakdown of the 2012 Vote in the South

It was an ethnic (or ethno-social) census-via-ballot-box, in some ways. The USA’s 2012 presidential election, that is.

This is especially true among Nonwhites, but it can also be true among Whites. For instance, only 2% of married White Baptist men in the Deep South voted for Obama, according to the Reuters exit poll. Romney won that group 50-to-1.

These kinds of demographic analyses are fascinating, and incredibly important. In the Northeast, Romney won comfortably, nearly 3-to-2, among non-Episcopalian White-Protestants, despite getting only 38% of the overall vote.

Here is the racial and religious breakdown for the Southern states:

(Data is from here. I exclude Florida because even its White population has become so…’distinct’ from internal migration, that it would obscure any patterns).

Commentary

Ethnic bloc voting
White Baptists and ‘Other Protestants’ went most strongly for Romney, as would be expected from Steve Sailer’s Core-vs.Fringe theory — the Baptist church is seen as a core church of the White-South. White-Baptists and “Other-Protestants” voted for Romney at about the rate Nonwhites voted for Obama. (Both were nearly 6-to-1 for the candidate of their race in the South).

Episcopalians, again
There is some discussion here about why Episcopalians are so much more liberal than other Protestants. “Elite groups who vote less heavily Republican, such as Episcopalians…, tend to find aspiring to belong to the core of America déclassé. “

Lutherans
There is a popular notion that Lutherans in the USA are particularly liberal. However, both in the South (see above) and in the Northeast, Whites who self-identified as Lutherans were among the most pro-Romney of all.

Catholics
According to the Reuters exit poll, White-Catholics in Louisiana voted 5-to-1 for Romney, about the same vote-share as the White-Baptists. “Catholics in the South” are not a monolithic group: Those Cajuns are very different from the ancestrally Ellis-Islander Catholics, i.e. “Yankee transplants”, who are probably the bulk of Catholics in the South. White-Catholics in Virginia, for example, “only” voted 56% for Romney — far below the White average in the South (and below the 70% for White-Protestants in Virginia). Perhaps a majority of White-Catholics in Virginia live in Northern Virginia, which is a defacto part of the Northeast Corridor, as its Whites are almost entirely from somewhere else (“transplants”). (And hence the logic to exclude Florida from this analysis entirely).

Whites of No Religion
It surprises me how strongly this group of White Southerners supported Obama — nearly as strongly as support by “No-Religion”-Whites for Obama in the liberal Northeast. A lazy (but probably at-least-partly-correct) explanation would be that this 8% of the Southern electorate is heavily drawn from non-Southern-origin internal White migrants, again. However, maybe a better explanation is that religion matters more in the South, and so, declaring oneself an atheist on a form (such as on this exit poll response form) is a bolder statement than it is anywhere else in the USA. Thus, to some extent this 8% of the South’s electorate may form a self-selecting group of misfits (see here, e.g.), which tends to also mean ethnomasochists.

Other Religions
I’m not sure what these “other religions” are, but I suspect in the South a certain share of non-denominational evangelical Christians will not be satisfied with the choices given for Christian affiliation, and will answer as “Other Religion”. One commenter at Steve Sailer’s has some other ideas on what “other religions” could mean. This group is dramatically more conservative relative to the overall White vote of its region than “Other-Religion”-Whites in the Northeast are.

The Solid South: Slipping
In the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, there was no region of the USA whose electoral votes were deemed as safe for the Republicans as the ex-Confederate states. Look at the overall result for this region in 2012, though: Only 55.4% of votes cast were for Romney. In an era of the curious “inevitable natural phenomenon” of population replacement, 55% can tip to 45% within a decade or two. Yes, Whites in the South are still voting 70%+ for the White-Republican, but serious structural faults have appeared in the Solid South’s electoral wall: (To say nothing of Florida), Virginia and North Carolina are now “swing states”, both having gone for Obama in 2008, and Virginia going for him again in 2012. (Excluding VA and NC, the region went 57.4% for Romney) — This comes down to the dual trends of more Northern transplants (Hunter Wallace was upset about this earlier this month) and to a lesser extent, more Nonwhite immigration. The big prize is Texas, of course, with its 38 electoral votes. The anti-White Left presents a compelling case that Texas will become a “swing state” by perhaps as early as the 2020s.

– — –
In the Northeast, the core-American population is outnumbered and outvoted. It is not, yet, in the South, but it may be one day. Core-Americans are not welcome in the Obama coalition — only aggrieved minorities, please — and core-Americans increasingly know it. What, next?

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5 Responses to Racial and Religious Breakdown of the 2012 Vote in the South

  1. A. says:

    If anything, you should add Oklahoma before WV, especially when discussing religion. OK tails only MS and AL when it comes to percentage of Southern Baptists. Just look at this map:

    http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_sbc.html

  2. Wanda Staley says:

    I have requested removal from your database several times – what is the problem????

  3. Steve Sailer says:

    I figured out a way to get a reading on groups too small to get a readout on the Reuters polls. Reuters’ American Mosaic Polling Explorer is set up to not let you see the results for groups with a sample size of less than 100 respondents, such as Southern Mormons. But, you can figure out the numbers by combining groups below the cutoff with groups a little above the cutoff. For example, in the 12 Southern states, there were 180 Jewish voters (excluding 3rd party voters), who went 45% for Romney. If I select Jewish _and_ Mormon, now I get a sample size of 266, suggest 266 – 180 = 86 Mormons in the South. Romney carried 63% of the Southern Jewish+Mormon group, so that would suggest he got 78 of the 86 Southern Mormons, or around 90%. (I’m doing the arithmetic in my head, so I might be off by a little.)

  4. acilius says:

    “There is a popular notion that Lutherans in the USA are particularly liberal. However, both in the South (see above) and in the Northeast, Whites who self-identified as Lutherans were among the most pro-Romney of all.” Maybe this would look different if you disaggregated the various Lutheran denominations. So the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or ELCA, is quite similar to the Episcopal Church, in fact those two groups are very closely intertwined. On the other hand, the Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Synod are among the most rightwardmost of America’s major religious groups.

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