Jacksonians Vs. Academics

Michael Barone, the columnist for U.S. News and the geography buff behind the Almanac for American Politics, posted a fascinating breakdown yesterday evening of the “divide between Democratic constituencies.” Jacksonians are for Clinton and academics are for Obama, Barone surmises.

This is basically another analogy for the tired beer track/wine track model that pretty much every JV political analyst has written about. But I give Barone, whose geographic analysis I admire greatly, props for weaving history and geography into this model in a way that no other political commentator can (save maybe only Charlie Cook) .

It’s a long post that takes into account every county and congressional district in the United States, and I don’t have time to summarize it right now. But its a must-read, especially if you’re an Obama fan because it (at times) casts academics as self-righteous peaceniks and Jacksonians as determined warriors.

Here’s a snippet of his commentary:

“In the Northeast on Super Tuesday, Obama carried only enclaves. In New York, where turnout was lower than in Illinois, Clinton carried 61 of 62 counties, losing only Tompkins (Ithaca, Cornell University). Obama carried three of 29 congressional districts, all with black voting majorities, the Sixth in Queens and the 10th and 11th in Brooklyn. New Jersey was a similar story, though Clinton’s margin was slightly lower. Obama carried Essex County (Newark, large black percentage), Union County (Elizabeth, many blacks), Mercer County (the state capital of Trenton and Princeton University), and Somerset and Hunterdon counties (upscale suburbs and exurbs).

“Connecticut, 51 percent to 47 percent for Obama, was a boundary land. Obama carried upscale Fairfield and Litchfield counties and heavily black central cities, but Clinton carried the grittier and less fashionable eastern part of the state. Massachusetts, despite Edward Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama, was a similar story. Leip’s map, which breaks down the vote by county but not, alas, by city and town, misses some helpful detail but gives you the general picture. Obama carried Hampshire and Franklin counties in the Pioneer Valley (Amherst, Smith, UMass), the central city of Boston, and Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard”


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