Attached below is a news story retrieved from which examines recent polling data obtained by DailyKos/Research2000. The polling data indicates that the "net opinion" of every geographical region in the country is that the country is headed in the wrong direction. This is not the interesting part.

The polling data also indicates that the South is the only geographical region with an unfavorable opinion of President Obama, and it's not even close. The Northeast has a +39% favorable opinion. The Midwest has a +18% favorable opinion. The West has a +20% favorable opinion. This is only marginally more interesting. I mean, I live in the South and like Obama. I could have told you without the benefit of polling data that I am always in the minority at the dinner table when the topic arises.

No, the interesting part is this: The President enjoys a 91% national favorability rating among African-Americans and a 69% national favorability rating among Latinos, "and while there's no regional breakdown in the Daily Kos/Research2000 poll by race ..., I'm not aware of any data to suggest the approval of those groups is significantly lower in the South." I'd say that is a safe assumption.

Why are white southerners more apt to dislike Obama than say whites from the midwest? The cheap answer is to say that southerners are more racist. While racism is certainly alive and well, the suggestion that racism is the sole answer is lazy and unfulfilling. Just a few years ago, Thomas Frank wrote an excellent book entitled "What's the Matter with Kansas?" in which he examined the transformation of that midwestern state from a Democratic hotbed to a Republican stronghold. What is different now? I don't claim to know the answer, but I am willing to bet the answer is far more complex than most of what you will read in the media.


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