Lest we go overboard in emphasizing the peculiarities of working-class white southerners, however, we should remember that racially tinged, working-class white conservatism is a fixture throughout much of rural America. Is it really all that striking, for example, that nearly six in ten working-class whites in the South complained of federal favoritism toward blacks when nearly five in ten responded similarly in the Northeast and Midwest? This reflects a mindset discernible thirty years ago among blue-collar northern whites who became “Reagan Democrats” in the 1980s. To tell you the truth, I’m beginning to suspect that a lot of what may seem like North/South disparities in political attitudes and behavior these days may actually be rural/metropolitan instead.
— Jim Cobb, historian from the University of Georgia, writing in North or South, Country Folks Ain’t Very Cool These Days by Jim Cobb | LikeTheDew.com (via likethedew)