To explain President Obama’s dismal performance in the Kentucky and Arkansas primaries last night, Alec MacGillis points Taegan Goddard to a map that shows the regions where Obama received a smaller percentage of the vote in 2008 than John Kerry did in 2004.
“It is a virtually contiguous band of territory stretching from southwestern Pennsylvania through Appalachia and across the Upland South, finally petering out in north-central Texas. It is, almost to a T, what Colin Woodard, in his fascinating new ethnographic history of North America, American Nations, defined as the territory of the ‘Borderlanders’ — the rough-hewn Scots-Irish who arrived in this country from the “borderlands” of northern Ireland and Scotland, and claimed for themselves the inland hill country, far from the snooty Northeastern elites and Southern gentry. And look more closely at the map — where was Obama’s 2008 dropoff particularly heavy? In eastern Kentucky and most of Arkansas.”
“Keep in mind: this was at the peak of Obama’s popularity. It was before he began his ‘war on coal,’ before Obamacare, before all the things that pundits will point to to explain why this part of the country is so dead set against the president.”
Via the Political Wire.