The nano-second after the polls closed in Kentucky, CNN announced Clinton to be the winner of the primary there–and she won the primary with a 30 point lead. Over the last week, the press has been obsessed with Clinton being stronger against white working-class voters, as opposed to Obama, who is popular among Black (and Black people are simply Black, no nuances about class/gender divides necessary. The little discussion of other racial groups and voting as all but disappeared.) and White upper-class liberals.
But I decided to look up the Census data on both states to see if this is really true. And I am not sure that this definition explains Clintons wins in the Appalachian states (OH, PA, KY, WV, IN, TN).
High School Grads: 74.1%
College Grads: 17.1%
Median Income: $37.0K
% Living in Poverty: 16.3
Now, let’s look at Oregon:
High School Grads: 85.1%
College Grads: 25.1%
Median Income: $42.5K
% Living in Poverty: 12.9
Now, when you compare those numbers, are they really statistically that different, enough to explain the difference between what’s happening in two states, who, by the numbers, look fairly similar compared to what the press is saying explains their differences? If you want my humble opinion, there is something happening in these Appalachian states that cannot be accounted for simply by “white working class.” Just this weekend, Obama spoke in front of 75,000 people in Oregon, and from what I could tell, most of them white. He also won the Oregon primary by about an 18 point lead.
What do you think is driving the difference?
A friend pointed me to this website called US Election Atlas, which breaks down the primary results by county. We looked at some states where we know the race/class breakdown by county, and many cases, the media narrative doesn’t seem to fit.