Andrew Sullivan has pointed out what others have pointed out – that the South is a voting bloc. This is nothing new, really. It voted almost always as a bloc until General Eisenhower. Once the Dixiecrats came from the Democratic Party and went to the Republican Party, it turned fully to a GOP voting bloc. Why? Because the South will vote conservative. They may from time to time, as with the case of Bill Clinton, vote for a favorite son (but to be honest, Bill Clinton was a Southern Democrat which at the time was more conservative than a Northern Republican).
I am not saying … that that the only states that will switch from Obama to Romney this year were Confederate states. Indiana is the exception. I was saying that if Obama loses North Carolina, Virginia and Florida – which I suspect he will – then the 2012 map will more closely resemble the civil war map than 2008, when the same pattern was striking. (emphasis mine)
He has some fancy pictures to prove his point; however, he misses out on a few aspects of “Civil War” history that would better explain the “exceptions”.
First, both Maryland and Delaware had units fighting for the Confederacy. Maryland was about to enjoy secession had Lincoln not stepped, and stepped over his constitutional bounds, to arrest the Maryland legislature. Delaware sent a lot of soliders south, as a matter of fact, for a very particular reason. They were a slave state that, even as the war was drawing to a close, voted to keep slavery (voted against the 13th amendment). So, why does Maryland and Delaware now vote consistently liberal? First, the nature of the metropolitan area. Delaware and most of eastern Maryland are suburbs of Washington-Baltimore. Further, I would wager that the slaver owners, after the end of the war, moved out of the areas, leaving the remaining citizens, the liberals, to continue their progressive evolution.
But, what about Indiana? And, the occasional Ohio voting red? Those who are familiar with the South’s cause during the War Between the States will recognize immediately the role Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio played. These were the copperhead states. The copperheads existed in various formers, under various names, but generally were aligned with one purpose, supporting the slave-holding States. Ohio even banned the access of the African to its borders. These states were by far the most friendly to the South, even more so, I would argue, than North Carolina. Examine, for a moment, the county voting maps for Illinois and Indiana:
Had it not been for the cities (the Chicago-Springfield-East St. Louis corridor in Illinois; Gary and the Suburbs of Chicago as well as Indianapolis for Indiana), both of those states would be part of the Southern GOP voting Bloc. In other words, Indiana voting for the Republican nominee is expected because it supported the Southron cause as well.
As a side note, and this is always something usually pointed out, the areas of the Deep South with the closest remaining ties to slavery voted for the President in 2008:
What is equally interesting is the demographics of New Mexico and Arizona, but I suspect that the changing populace there has something to do with the way these States vote. Of course, it is interesting that the southern half of those states were pro-Confederate the same southern half that is predominately red.