Friday, July 31, 2009

It's not THAT bad

By Ellipses

The Huffington Post has a story up about a recent Daily Kos poll that finds that only 42% of Republicans believe, affirmatively, that Barack Obama was born in the United States.

If you take the inverse of that figure, 58% of Republicans either don't believe, or are not sure whether our president is an American citizen.

This sounds downright incredible... that 58% of one of the two "legitimate" political parties in this country are essentially crazy...

But it's not that bad, really.

Depending on which poll you look at, those that actually identify as "Republican" number somewhere around 20% of registered voters. Of those 20%, 58% are birthertards. The number of birthertards, therefore, is only really about 12% of the registered voter population. That's actually kind of promising. I would have guessed that a much higher percentage of Americans were looney toons. 12% is not bad at all... unless you are a Republican who hopes to have some political relevancy in the next decade... Sphere: Related Content


LittleJ said...

Here is an idea for yinz guys and your blog: So, if you look at the electoral map by county for the 2008 presidential election, you will see that nearly every county (even in Utah, I think) voted more Democrat in the election than they did in 2004. The exception is Appalachia, with a finger of an extension coming up through Greene, Fayette, and (I think) Washington counties, who voted more Republican than Democrat.

Now, of course I think we'd all start with "racism" as the initial explanation. However, this answer does not satisfy me intellectually, because there's a ton of racism everywhere. Our culture has made progress to be more tolerant, but there's still racism everywhere. Also, I've noticed, even amongst my friends from home, a strong current of "birther" support, which one would assume means that the far right-wing fringe is alive and well in Western PA, and possibly more prominent than in other areas of the country.

So, my question is, why is Western PA so anti-Obama, even compared to other rural areas, and areas further south? If the answer is racism, why is it worse here than in other places where racism certainly still exists? What makes SW PA different?

I can only comment on this from afar, as I don't live there anymore. I have family members who registered to vote for the first time in their lives just to vote for Obama, and I have family members who go to Tea Parties and swear he's a socialist Kenyan/Indonesian.

I know you guys will have interesting perspectives on this!

Ellipses said...

Can you provide a link supporting the electoral map data you referenced? I am working up a post now, but I can't find an adequate county-by-county election map from 2004. I'm good for '08, though.

Thanks, and GREAT points...

Cylinsier said...

My guess: A larger percentage of the population is baby boomer and older than most areas of the country. Pittsburgh, being the core reason to be in Western PA, has seen a mass exodus of people with the ability to walk to other areas of the country over the last couple decades. Who' left? The people to old or ingrained to leave and older people coming to take advantage of Pittsburgh's hospitals like UPMC which still do groundbreaking research. Therefore, the vast majority of your population is rural Christian conservative mostly middle-aged and older, a voting block which leans very right and has a tendency to attract racists.