April 22, 2009

TPM Book Club: Me on California v. Texas

I have a new post up on Talking Points Memo in the discussion of Andrew Gelman's Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State on why California went from being the Republican to the Democratic anchor state in the Electoral College, while Texas went from being a swing state to being the GOP anchor state.

You can read all the contributors here. Things are finally heating up there, with lots of pointing and sputtering at my hatefacts, hatestats, and hategraphs.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Garland said...

Do you get to start a blog there too? That would be great. Though I am both heartened and disappointed there has not been more pointing and sputtering in the comments over there (yet).

John Seiler said...

One thing you may have pointed out elsewhere, but don't on the TPM post, is the great increase in divorces beginning c. 1965, much faster in California than in Texas. 2 households take up more space than one, even if some of the new households combine with other new households

Also, you wrote, "In 2005, the median Dallas home only cost 2.8 times the local annual income, while the median Los Angeles home cost 12.7 times what the median Angeleno was making."

But 2005 was an absurd year for housing prices in California, as you and others have detailed. What was the differential in a more "normal" year, before or after the boom/bust, such as 2000 or 2009? Maybe we won't get the 2009 numbers for some time -- although first quarter might be available now. But 2000 is available.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer Said -
Why the change?

There are many popular theories for this. Most are designed to appeal to either Democrats or Republicans, with explanations often invoking either the Southern racism of Texans or the Hollywood decadence of Californians.

The only problem with your analysis, and quite interesting given your area of interest, is that it neglects to consider the fundamental differences between the "white" populations of Texas and California.
The vast majority of Texas Democrats, as well as all Southern Democrats, were always quite conservative, especially on issues of race. Liberal Texas Democrats, such as LBJ and Yarborough, were usually liberal in regards to issues such as New Deal funding for federal programs for the poor 9emphasis being white poor) and knew quite well that the Democratic Party was signing away the South when the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 was signed.In contrast, a California Republican named Earl Warren, appointed by Dwight Eisenhower to the SCOTUS, is the beta noire of Conservatives. Warren served three terms (a record) as the Republican Governor of California. In fact, according to Wikipedia, in 1948, he was nominated as governor by BOTH the Democratic and Republican parties. The difference in political attitudes between Californians and Texans pre-dates the mid 70s increase in home prices. The meaning of party affiliation has changed since the mid 1960s.

Here is a good gauge:
The Senate version of Civil Rights Bill of 1964

Southern Democrats: 1-20 (5%-95%) (only Senator Ralph Yarborough of Texas voted in favor)
Southern Republicans: 0-1 (0%-100%) (this was Senator John Tower of Texas)
Northern Democrats: 45-1 (98%-2%) (only Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia opposed the measure)
Northern Republicans: 27-5 (84%-16%) (Senators Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa, Barry Goldwater of Arizona, Edwin L. Mechem of New Mexico, Milward L. Simpson of Wyoming, and Norris H. Cotton of New Hampshire opposed the measure)

California Republican Thomas Kuchel worked with Humphrey and Mansfield to break the filibuster of the bill led by "Southern Bloc" of southern Senators led by Richard Russell (D-GA).

Anonymous said...

The white people who live in California, especially Southern California, are largely from TX, AR and OK.

michael farris said...

I think what the elections of 2004 and 2008 prove beyond a doubt is that Americans won't vote for a gigolo.

If a man is perceived as having married into money (especially not a first marriage) then there's no reason to make him your party's nominee because there's no way he'll win the general (again I suspect the republican decision makers wanted to lose this time around).

Lucius Vorenus said...

I don't know whether I agree with your geography theory - I think it's just a coincidence that the most beautiful locales tend to lie beside a body of water, or nestled at the foot of a mountain range - but if it's true that the unbridgeable Left/Right political divide is segregating itself along geographical lines, then it just makes our pending secession all that much easier.

I had been thinking for a while now about some sort of a virtual secession - where we continue to live among the Nihilists [at least physically], while secretly creating our own [underground] currencies and legal systems and militias and whatnot - but the more closely the geographical divide mimics the political divide, the easier it will be for us just to turn our backs on them and say, "No Más".

Along those lines, I was thinking that if Obama & Gates are successful in killing the F22, then a handful of Red States - Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, and the like - could get together and agree to continue production of the plane - arming their own Air National Guards in the process - and we could use those armaments as a foundation for the air force we will need to defend ourselves against the Blue State nihilists and the Chicoms [were the Chicoms to decide to pursue an expansionist foreign policy and place us in their crosshairs].

PS: Do you have any figures on whether the racial divide is also segregating itself along geographical lines?

Are blacks & hispanics trending to the Blue States, or are they heading to the Red States looking for work?

PPS: Does anyone know the politics of the Canadian Northwest?

Could we convince the Northwest [with the exception of Vancouver - Seattle can have them] to secede from Canada and thereby give us a contiguous land mass from Idaho/Montana all the way up to Alaska?

If so, then we would have ocean-going access in both the Northwest and also down in the Gulf of Mexico.

Of course, it would split the Nihilists in half, and they'd scream bloody murder about it, but, quite frankly, at this point, I don't care.

TH said...

Steve, two of the three graphs in your AmCon "Value Voters" article do not show. Are they available elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

people should get over there and defend steve. mytpm isn't letting me log in or i'd do it myself.

someone should quote a post by andrew gelman (see bottom) as a ressponse to aaron swartz's latest. Gelman as a professional political scientist knows that kind of correlation almost never occurs.

I would keep the discussion technical because swartz seems to want to discredit sailer on points and with a passive aggressive labeling strategy ("i didn't say you were evil, just a scientific racist") -- yet the technical points are in steve's favor.

Gelman's post:


Sailer notes that Republicans do better among married voters, and he has the following impressive graph:


Even excluding D.C., the correlation is high. (Sailer has some discussion about why he's only looking at white women here. I don't follow all his reasoning here; you can read his article to get the details.)

Anonymous said...


Foreclosure leaders focused on 4 states in new metro list
Wednesday April 22, 9:47 am ET
By Catherine Clifford, CNNMoney.com staff writer
The 26 cities with the highest foreclosure rate in the nation are all located in four hard-hit states, with Las Vegas topping the list, according to a report released Wednesday.
Metro areas in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona topped the foreclosure filing list for the first quarter of 2009 in a report from RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed properties. A foreclosure filing includes default papers, auction sale notices and repossessions
Las Vegas had the highest rate of foreclosures of any city, with one in every 22 homes subject to a foreclosure filing in the first three months of the year. The rate of foreclosure filings was 4.5%, seven times the national average.
Merced, Calif., had the second highest rate, with Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., Stockton, Calif., and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., rounding out the top five.
"The metro areas with the highest levels of foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2009 paint a picture of concentrated problems in a relatively small number of hard-hit areas," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a written statement.
Foreclosure rates have been very high in the 4 key states throughout the bursting of the housing bubble, and so it was to be expected that cities from those states would pepper the top of the list.
However, it was a surprise to see the list so top heavy, according to Rick Sharga, senior vice president at RealtyTrac.
"The concentration of troubled metro areas within the hardest-hit states, candidly, was even more severe than we expected it to be," Sharga said. "The degree to which those four states dominated the rankings surprised even us."

anony-mouse said...

Maybe this is one reason the left tends to worry more about global warming than the right.

Those rising sea levels can really put a 'damper' on your property values.

anony-mouse said...

"... Americans won't vote for a gigolo..."

What about that guest blogger Steve had on just a little while ago?

Concerned said...

Wow. You are on the uber-lib Tpmcafe? Way to go, Steve! I am sure Josh Marshall will catch major flak for this.

Anonymous said...

Its interesting to see the standard of comments there.

Are they all liberal cry babies?

Smug, shallow, humor that is the wrong side of vapid, devoid of any worthwhile insights.

Over there on TPM its the intellectual equivalent of trying to gain sustenance from chewing cardboard.

Whats doubly worrying for me is that my pre-9/11 liberal self would have probably have joined in, tried to emulate these titans.

Statsquatch said...

Who is the guy who "said plug the numbers into Tetrad." Does he know what tetrad does to correlated data?

JamesD'Troy said...

I want to agree with what you've written Steve, but it seems that the real change in political affiliation and demographics occured at the end of the Cold War when numerous military bases throughout California were closed.

What followed in the early 1990's was that military families who tended to vote Republican moved away, as did the families who depended on industries dependent on military contracts that shut down, especially the aerospace industry. The exodus of pro-military and pro-republican families were successively replaced over time by people who had fewer ties and loyalty to the miitary and were less supportive of Republicans like Hispanics, immigrants, and civilians.

Lover of Wisdom said...


Tetrad is program from Carnegie-Mellon's Philosophy, Comp. Sci., and Math departments that is supposed to output models of causal graphs from inputs of correlation values from regression and factor analysis.

It is interesting work, but it has many fundamental methodological flaws. I personally wouldn't trust the possible causal diagrams you will find from your own research.

Ronduck said...

Let me state the obvious then: the Democrats benefit from the destruction of the American family, with Blacks being on the bleeding edge. The Black family doesn't exist anymore, and Blacks vote 9 to 1 for the Dems. Or to put it another way the long term goal is turn every woman into a single mother, every man into a bi- or homosexual, and every city into Detroit. If the Democrats already had the research proving this then it would far more damning than the Watergate tapes, and yet I bet no one would care.

But then their natural revulsion, if not outright hatred, of America is really all that they need to guide them without any research needed. All that they need are leaders who are not cowards who believe in the party's goals.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"... Americans won't vote for a gigolo..." - What about that guest blogger Steve had on just a little while ago?But those were the voters of 1792. We all know they weren't real Americans. Why hell, most of them had never even heard of Ellis Island, let alone been there.

eh said...

You're wasting your time over there Steve. Engaging in such personal back-and-forth with ideologues (and idiots) who despise you, and whose minds you will never change, or perhaps even influence.

Statsquatch said...

Lover of Wisdom,

Thanks, I have Glymour's book but I haven't yet figured out how Tetrad works. In particular I am not sure it would work with data that is not independent (like voting data by county). I also suspect that Mr. Schwartz may not know how it works since he used the phrase "plug it into Tetrad" Which makes it sound like a washing machine.

silver said...

You're wasting your time over there Steve.Swarz calls Steve "prolific" and says "as can be seen here" but links to wikipedia instead of Steve's blog. Can't risk people reading and deciding for themselves now.

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Sailer Failure said...

You at TPM Cafe is interesting to watch. You'Ve been needlessly rude to Yglesias. You flood posts with non-sequitor and off-topic comments. You don't meaningfully engage the arguments of other discussants, and you generally behave like an autistic kid at a adult dinner party.

One participant was deliberatly rude to you -- a great opportunity to show that Steve Salier is capable of taking the high road? Not.

I think it's great they invited you -- "affordable family formation" is an interesting pundit idea that could be influential, and make you more successful. It's sad that you're trying to sabotoge your own success.

Somehow, I think you prefer to play a boor. You can keep pretending that your inability to break into the mainstream is becuase you are an "uncompromising truth-teller". Easier than actually having to compete and prove yourself.

Concerned said...

Haven't you ever heard of the Bolshevik long march thru the institutions?

I don't think Steve is wasting his time at all. It's pretty amazing progress that he's allowed to post at TPM, the bastion of cyberliberalism.

Most of the commenters are idiots but most of the writers are not. AND ONE DAY THEY WILL ADMIT THAT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS BAD FOR BLACKS AND WORKING CLASS WHITES. When that day comes you can thank Peter Brimelow, Steve Sailer - and Josh Marshall.

Go to it, Steve!!

Reader said...

Something seems screwy with the comments over there - I checked yesterday and there were four comments, now there are six, and the ones from yesterday are no longer there. A few of the comments seem somewhat positive at least.

Glad to see that Talking Points Memo had the guts to at least run the piece - I don't think you'll be seeing National Review, FrontPageMag, or any of the other big Republican sites running this kind of material any time soon.

eh said...

Easier than actually having to compete and prove yourself.

Look at the people over there, e.g. the one who, right at the beginning, said he was not comfortable sharing that platform with Sailer. Or the person who cut right to the chase and just called him a ("scientific", whatever the hell that means) racist. How the hell is he supposed to "compete" with that? Or 'prove himself' to people like that?

Some people deserve rudeness. For example, those who, you know, parade their smug moral superiority in front of your nose, and the ones who call you a racist.

AMac said...

Alas, login problems for me at TPMCafe. The quality of comments in the Book Club has been good; better than other times I've checked.

Though Book Club contributor Aaron Swartz maintains SWPL standards in his entry, Race, Racists, and Journamalism [sic].

"But I'm not particularly honored to be in the company of Steve Sailer, one of the country's most prominent... scientific racists."

40 minutes later in the comments,

"...I just noted that you were a prominent scientific racist, a fact I've been pointing out to people for years."

2 hours later,

"Why are you so embarrassed about your position? I merely pointed out that you believe that scientific findings suggest racial differences. If you really think that's true, why would holding it be 'evil'?" [emphasis added]

Swartz enjoys necklacing Sailer with the moniker racist, twice, then follows with the straight-faced "I merely pointed out..."

I know of no currently-fashionable showstopper akin to "racist," and of course it only goes one way. Bolshevik, Red Guard, Year-Zeroer? All obscure, even quaint.

In the next public-policy debate at TPMCafe, may I label a leftward correspondent as a child pornographer? If offense is taken, I'll demurely respond with "I merely pointed out that you like kids."

Anonymous said...

AMac said...

"Though Book Club contributor Aaron Swartz maintains SWPL standards in his entry, Race, Racists, and Journamalism [sic]."

They probably got the idea from JournoList.