Friday, January 21, 2011

More on ethnicity and voting among whites

In the comments of the last post, The Cold Equations raises a good point that region should be controlled in a model of how whites vote. Here are the results with region added to the model (all the regions are being compared with New England, chosen as the reference group because it is a particularly blue region):

Logistic regression coefficients

English .39*
Scottish .16
Scots Irish .17
Dutch 1.18*
German .57*
Swedish .35
Income .09*
Town size -.01
Mid-Atlantic .27
East North Central .61*
West North Central .35
South Atlantic .95*
East South Central .84*
West South Central .1.28*
Mountain .75*
Pacific .28

*statistically significant

Even after adjusting for region (and income and population size), Americans of English/Welsh, Dutch, and German descent are significantly more likely to vote Republican, compared to other whites. Implicit ethnicity at work? 


SFG said...

Ehh, you gotta wonder if it's genetic.

Here's a theory I haven't heard, let's hear your take on it. A lot of whites are 'ethnic mutts': a quarter German, a quarter Scotch-Irish, a quarter English, etc. People more conservative might be more inclined to identify with their German or Dutch roots given those countries' associations with thrift, order, etc. Interesting the Dutch-Americans were the most conservative, given what their relatives are doing in Amsterdam!

What's interesting to me is the low scores for Scots-Irish, given what David Hackett Fisher tells us about their role in shaping the American South. Maybe there are lots of blue-collar Scots-Irish who just think of themselves as 'American' and don't know where their heritage comes from?

Ron Guhname said...

I can isolate white "American only." They voted about the same as whites in general--a little less Republican than self-identified Scots-Irish.

SFG said...

Nice work.

There probably is something about either German/Dutch genetics or people who identify with German/Dutch culture that's conservative.

How'd the Dutch get so liberal in Holland? It's sort of ironic that a lot of these places are the most liberal in Europe. (Sweden?) My theory is that people from groups with a high level of prosociality (trust, honesty, etc.) tend toward socialism in an isolated state because they're risk-averse and wish to hedge against life risks through a welfare state; in a country with less honest groups, the reverse occurs.

Any way to test this?