A follow-up: Ethnicity and Politics
In my previous entry, I noted that the ethnic origins of White Americans can’t be neatly correlated to their political attitudes. This appears to be because Whites within each part of the country hold similar political views to the other Whites in that region. At least, so it appeared from comparing the maps of the distribution of the various European ancestries in America with each region’s voting habits.
So I decided to see if this is in fact the case when one looks at the political orientation of the different ethnic groups in the different parts of the country. Once again I turned to the GSS data, using the ETHNIC variable to identify the ancestry of the various whites.
I have sorted White Americans into the following categories:
English (England and Wales).
Scottish and Scotch-Irish (Scottish, American only)
German (German, Austrian, Swiss)
Scandinavian (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland)
French (French, French Canadian, Belgian)
Slavic (Polish, Czechoslovakian, Russian, Yugoslav)
Mediterranean (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece)
The last category seems justified because Italians make up the overwhelming bulk of that category in every region. As well, the “American only” category of the GSS is assumed to be overwhelmingly Scotch-Irish, which seems to be the case in most of the country.
The regions of the country are the same as before, with the “West” area split between the Mountain states and the West Coast.
This chart are the totals for all ethnicities across the country:
As well, here the results, grouped by ethnicity, compared in each of the different regions of the country:
While there is some variation, these data show a fairly strong regional consistency between the various ethnic groups, especially in the Northeast and in the South. Most groups are fairly liberal in the Northeast, and most groups appear highly conservative in the South. The classic divide between the Britons of the Northeast and those of the South a la Albion’s Seed is very evident here. Mediterranean groups seem to be quite liberal in the Midwest and points west. We can assume that this is due to these groups being primarily urban dwellers in the West.
Patterns in the Mountain West, which would be of interest here, are probably weakened by small sample size and the outsized effect of populated urban cores in this region, such as Denver or Las Vegas.
It is worth noting that this is based on self-reported political orientation. Audacious Epigone has discovered that liberals in Red States are much more conservative that those in Blue States—likewise for conservatives and moderates. As such, these charts may somewhat mask the true political lean of the people in these areas, and may underestimate the degree that Southerners and Westerners are to the Right. However, overall, it seems that the effect of region is stronger than that of ethnicity, just as described by the fast-breeding pioneers hypothesis.
Edit, 10/4/2012: See also Being the Dutch | West Hunter