The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005
 

Southern Dems still more racist than GOP - apparently


The Poole paper I mentioned just now has interesting graphics (pp14-15) charting the House in the 80th to the 107th Congresses.

The 1st dimension - the liberal-conservative axis - shows a clear margin of GOP over the average for the Dems - even over Southern Dems - at all times. On the -1.0 to 1.0 scale, Republicans start around 0.33, plateau at around 0.28 from the late 1960s to mid 1970s before heading higher - plateaus at around 0.35 in the 1980s, around 0.45 following the 'Gingrich Revolution'.

Southern Dems plateau at around -0.05 during the 50s and 60s, gradually declining to around -0.18 in the 102nd Congress, dropping precipately thereafter with the effect of the racial gerrymander (oft discussed here) following the 1990 Census and the consequent squeezing out of white moderate Dem Representatives from the South.

Northern Dems are remarkably consistent, their average 1st dimension score sliding from around -0.38 to -0.43 over the 50 odd years.

But the 2nd dimension...

This dimension represents the issue of race - desegregation, civil rights - and acknowledges the existence for a long while of the Jim Crow liberal: a supporter of New Deal/Fair Deal/Great Society programmes, but also of the Southern way of life.

Poole says this has ceased to matter in the last 30 years. The numbers are not so definite. In the 80th, the racist party was clearly the Democratic Party: Republicans 2nd dimension score was around -0.13, Southern Democrats 0.27, all Democrats 0.16, where - I surmise - a score of 1.00 is a supporter of the Final Solution whilst one of -1.00 denotes a diversity fanatic.

These scores converge between the 80th and 107th, but are far from meeting in the middle: even with the large black delegation, Southern Dems in the 107th still score 0.11, whilst Republicans - with a heavy conservative contingent from Dixie - are still the liberal side of the line with -0.04.

The death of the 2nd dimension much exaggerated, I reckon.

(The 33 seat GOP majority in the Confederacy in the 109th may have swung the GOP 2nd dimension score over the line into positive territory. We'll see.)


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