February 28, 2013

The Red and the Blue

Here's a graph of the 50 states with the length of the bars equal to the percentage of the population that is nonwhite as of the 2010 Census. States that went for Obama in 2012 are in blue, while states won by Romney are in red. (Romney's share of the two-party vote appears following the name of each state.)

Perhaps surprisingly, when you graph it out state by state, the red-blue divide isn’t all that clear. At the top of the chart are the whitest states, Maine and Vermont, which Romney lost in landslides, then West Virginia (which Romney won), New Hampshire (Obama), North Dakota (Romney), and Iowa (Obama). Not much of a pattern.

Overall, though, you can see a little more Republican red toward the top in the whiter states and a little more Democratic blue toward the bottom in the least white states. 

I put this graph up here to show that this is the kind of hodge-podge you normally see when you graph a single factor that impacts voting at the state level. The world is a very complicated place, so it's hard to come up with any one factor that sorts the blue states from the red states.

Except ... take a look at this graph.

17 comments:

Maxwell Power said...

Wow, surprised to see the bottom place on that 2nd link. I lived in (west) Mass for a few years and thought it socially stable (if excluding the college campuses). I mean, didn't expect them to crack the top 35 or anything, but dead last with a bullet?

media-certified red states said...

Arizona, call your office...

Maxwell Power said...

Was wondering why the order never changed across 3 graphs until noticing you used the same Census. Bracketing it at the fertility cliff does skew the places with high median age like Maine, but I guess Utah would be an outlier no matter what

Anonymous said...

Only two varaibles are needed.

1/. Race
2/. IQ.

You see no-white = Democrat.
With whites, a bit of further elaboration needed high IQ whites (ie Vermont)= Democrat. Low IQ whites (ie Mississippi) = Republicans.

Conatus said...

I have met childless married white women who actually say aloud, “I do not have children so I do not care about the future."
That is it, isn't it? Childless white women are nihilists. For all their soft sounds and supposed political 'caring', they don't really care at all about the future.
They love the nonce and f**k the future. They just want to be high status now and the hell with future generations. That means making the right noises, being conspicuously compassionate and not extrapolating out to the future of their kind. I mean why should they care? There will be no more of the genetic them.
Additionally...by the timeless magic of Lysistratism(withholding IT until the guy agrees) they convert their man to their nihilistic view also.

Cass Sunstein, our former Czar of Regulations, had an article where he discussed present bias and inability to extrapolate.

"For example, many of us show “present bias”: we tend to focus on today and neglect tomorrow.3 For some people, the future is a foreign country, populated by strangers.4 Many of us procrastinate and fail to take steps that would impose small short-term costs but produce large long-term gains. People may, for example, delay enrolling in a retirement plan, starting to diet or exercise, ceasing to smoke, going to the doctor, or using some valuable, cost-saving technology. Present bias can ensure serious long-term harm, including not merely economic losses but illness and premature death as well.
People also have a lot of trouble dealing with probability. In some of the most influential work in the last half-century of social science, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky showed that in assessing probabilities, human beings tend to use mental shortcuts, or “heuristics,” that generally work well, but that can also get us into trouble.5 An example is the “availability heuristic.” When people use it, their judgments about probability—of a terrorist attack, an environmental disaster, a hurricane, a crime—are affected by whether a recent event comes readily to mind. If an event is cognitively “available”—for example, if people have recently suffered damage from a hurricane—they might well overestimate the risk. If they can recall few or no examples of harm, they might well underestimate the risk."
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/mar/07/its-your-own-good/?pagination=false

It seems to me both these ideas are at the core of the childless white women’s Weltanschauung and voting patterns.

narrative said...

For all their soft sounds and supposed political 'caring', they don't really care at all about the future.

No no, you're missing the real problem here, which is that Wall Street is suddenly now managed by sociopaths (or psychopaths, I always forget the difference). The precise cause of this state of affairs was explained scientifically by Michael Lewis and Daniel Kahneman in this great article they did recently

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid, 12:36 PM: With whites, a bit of further elaboration needed high IQ whites (ie Vermont)= Democrat. Low IQ whites (ie Mississippi) = Republicans.

Hunsdon: Wow, sir, you have impressed me. Your mastery of logic and rhetoric, the impeccable case you have laid out, and your thorough explication of root causes and alternative explanations have opened my eyes. I feel like Saul, on the road to Damascus. THXBYE

AMac said...

Steve, congrats on finding and analyzig two highly significant (both senses) correlates to vote outcome. I hope everybody clicks over to your VDare article ("this graph").

And kudos for bringing up "data dredging." BTW, that's a huge problem with paleoclimate reconstructions, e.g. the reason that the most celebrated recons of all -- those in Mann et al., PNAS 2008 -- are garbage. Check out Climate Audit or any reputable non-mainstream-consensus climate blog for details.

The best solutions to dredging are (1) use a correction like Bonferroni's, where applicable, and (2) split the experimental cohorts into two parts, Testing and Validation. This is how it's done in genomics these days, check any recently-published GWAS study.

You have done exactly that by formulating your hypotheses on AFF and years-married in 2004, then applying them afterwards to the 2008 and 2012 results.

That is a near-ironclad defense against data dredging.

Again, congratulations on some brilliant work.

Elli said...

Did you take average white age into account?

Older white people tend to vote more Republican, and an 18-44 population that averages older is going to have more possible married years than one that averages younger.

I married at 20, had my first child at 26, when I very reluctantly voted for Dukakis (mostly because I knew he'd lose), and voted Republican for the first time at 30, and it has been Republican ever since, usually holding my nose.

Elli said...

Per Conatus, the childless white women I've met, if deliberately childless and married or in a long term relationship, usually say they wouldn't bring a child into this world. More despair than nihilism.

But why are the risks that today's children face so more ghastly than those in the past? They aren't. The world has never been a gentle place.

SGOTI said...

Man, this is going to take a whole lot of clever sorting out before the next War Between the States.

Mark said...

This is probably your most important contribution, highlighting the importance of marriage in turning people into Republicans. Monogamy became prevalent because it's the only thing that really works. A country where women don't get married and rely on the welfare state for economic resources to support them and their children can't last very long because men won't keep working hard and paying taxes to support women who aren't married to them and children who aren't theirs. So it's inevitable that eventually we'll have to return to being a country where most people are married (and Republicans). Any strategies the Republicans can come up with to encourage marriage will help them get more votes and you helping them to understand the link between the two will encourage them to come up with such strategies.

Whiskey said...

Steve, great article, BUT:

The idea that government can promote marriage is likely flawed. Places like Utah etc. may be self-selected, women with lower hypergamy settling for beta males over women with higher hypergamy moving to NYC instead of Utah and pursuing non-marrying Alpha males.

The huge problem is outside heavily socialized Mormons etc, most women don't feel marrying in the twenties is a good idea, if at forty you've been married for only five years, not too much ties or care about your husband, different if you've been married nearly twenty.

Much of this is driven by the Welfare state, expansion of careers for women, reproductive technology (pill, condom) etc. and are outside government action. After all, if a woman wants a husband they could always move to Texas or Utah. But most would rather live in NYC, LA, etc. and pursue Alphas as long as possible.

Anonymous said...

The most fascinating puzzle about US politics is the so-called 'white blue-collar Republican voter puzzle', in that we have an explicitly clear example of an electorate supporting a political party and political program that not only downright despises them, but wishes to destroy them and grind them up as bonemeal for all they care.
The correlation with IQ seems relevant here. As does the racail animus (the mistaken belief that Republicans are less hostile to them). However, the gentle bearedd leftwingers of Vermont, the counterpoint to the fattie rednecks of Mississippi are, to a man, Democrat voters, having attained a'Swedish' type respcet for social democracy together with a Swedish type phenotype and character traits - call them what you will, they are no fools. The real dummies are the blue collar, fat, Republicans. Basically cattle-on-the-hoof, dumbly pledging their allegiance to fat-cats who just see them as walking pollution, worth a few cents on the dollar to be rendered down as 'blood, fish and bone'.
An expicable mystery, rather like the proverbial turkeys voting for christmas.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to have liberal leanings (esp. goodwill toward minorities) when the nearest minority enclave is a state away. In nearly all-white Maine, the white knight altruism social strategy outgames (a la tragedy of the commons) rational national-policy-level ideals.

So the blending of red/blue, I propose, follows from the fact that too few minorities in a state causes white obliviousness or apathy, and too many minorities in a state causes a minority-dominated vote.

Anonymous said...

The most fascinating puzzle about US politics is the so-called 'white blue-collar Republican voter puzzle', in that we have an explicitly clear example of an electorate supporting a political party and political program that not only downright despises them, but wishes to destroy them and grind them up as bonemeal for all they care.… The real dummies are the blue collar, fat, Republicans. Basically cattle-on-the-hoof, dumbly pledging their allegiance to fat-cats who just see them as walking pollution,...

As opposed to Democrats who support “diversity,” “integration,” and “equity” so long as they can shift the costs onto working-class Whites?

While corporatist Republicans loathe us as well, they did not constantly disrupt our lives with diversity initiatives which inevitably ended in abject failure. Nor do they constantly hector us with speeches about how, as Susan Sontag would say, “the White race is the cancer of human history.” They just want to make money at our expense.

To quote CS Lewis: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Anonymous said...

To quote CS Lewis: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

C.S. Lewis, the closet libertarian! Who would have ever imagined.