Monday, April 12, 2010

Education and the election by region: Interior South

Due to a string of computer problems, I haven't been able to update people fully on the wonders of demographics and politics. But now I am able to do so, and I am going to move to the next region, the Interior South. I originally just did "The South", but that was too large of a region, so I decided to break it down into the Interior South and the Coastal South. The Interior South consists of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. As always, this is a somewhat artificial group of states, but I think it makes sense in some ways.That being said, lets see what we have:
There are probably three major stereotypes that apply here: that compared to other regions, the Interior South is less educated, more conservative, and the vote is split more along racial lines than in any other region. And this plot shows that that is indeed the case.
There are only 11 counties with over 30% college graduates, and those counties voted for McCain over Obama 7-5. The most educated county in this region voted for McCain, and that seems to also be unique. Also, while the less-educated counties the Great Plains and western regions hovered around the 15% mark, here they seem to be clumped around the 10% mark.
Even the counties that did vote for Obama that have higher education rates seem to be the most African-American, and so the education here is mostly an artifact.
In the interior south, race and not education is probably the defining mark of the electorate.

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