The regional divide in the Republican Party

Here’s an interesting detail from Saturday’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell vote.  A total of 39 Republicans voted.

Of those, 31 voted No. Sounds like a pretty solid bloc, right?

But of those No votes, fifteen were in the South.

North of the Mason-Dixon line, the GOP vote was far more nuanced.  Sixteen Republican Senators voted No, but seven voted Yes.

Even more interestingly, not one Republican Senator northeast of Kentucky and Indiana voted against repeal.

Supporters of ending the policy picked up a remarkable five Republican votes in the Northeast. Without their support, the measure would have died.

I know this geographic divide within the GOP isn’t particularly new, but the starkness of the breakdown — from the solidly Party of No South to the far more Rockefeller Republican North — continues to shape a lot of national policy.

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16 Comments on “The regional divide in the Republican Party”

  1. oa says:

    Isn’t this actually the first time this geographic divide has shaped national policy under Obama, since it’s the first time any of the GOP moderates have actually broken ranks during his tenure?

  2. Bret4207 says:

    Kinda makes ya wonder what was promised to them for their vote. There’s a website that tracks donations on specific items. I’ll try and find it and see if anything lines up. That was how we discovered Gillibrand and and Schumer took about a quarter million and a million dollar bribes respectively to vote against small farmers recently. Oops, donations, not bribes, I keep forgetting that.

  3. Bill G says:

    I think this is because, much like Iran, there are no homosexuals in Texas or the surrounding states. Or, maybe it’s because there are large pockets of Democratic/liberal voters in many of the northern states, even where Republican Senators have been elected. I suspect it’s the latter.

  4. scratchy says:

    Many of the Northern Republican Senators are more live and let live with respect to social policy, while the Southern ones are more fire and brimstone Bible Thumper types.

  5. Mark Montgomery says:

    Today the Republicans killed the “Dream” act. Republicans hate immigrants and Mexicans in particular. To all Hispanics: please remember that the Republicans are your enemy the next time you have the chance to vote. Mark Montgomery NYC, NY boboberg@nyc.rr.com

  6. Mervel says:

    Whoever can solve this divide could very well be the next President.

    The Republicans gambled on the “southern” strategy back under Nixon. They flipped the solid South from a Democratic stronghold to a Republican one based on culture, not economics. That cultural divide still holds. It worked for them for a while, but now they must pay for it or figure it out.

  7. Pete Klein says:

    We northerners wouldn’t have these problems if we had let the southerners leave the Union.

  8. mervel says:

    I love the South. The US would not be the US without Southern Culture. Where would we be without the Blues or Jazz or Faulkner?
    Besides that our old conceptions of the South do not really hold anymore many parts of the South are now more prosperous and more advanced than the crumbling rust belt of the North.

  9. Pete Klein says:

    Would never live or even visit the south except, maybe, to see the Everglades and visit New Orleans for the Mardi Gras.
    As far as prosperous goes, take away their air conditioning, invented in Syracuse, and the south would be still no where.
    The music? Turn on the radio.
    Culture is now world wide. You don’t have to visit or live some place to take advantage of it.

  10. Brian says:

    I guess it’s good that at least there’s some accountability to constituents. Northeast senators represent constituents who generally believe in moderation and fairness and would punish naked, unconstitutional bigotry at the ballot box.

  11. newt says:

    As I have said before, most of us up here have cultural values in common with Canada than with the South. Better if South was independent, and we could visit, like Canadians do Florida and we both do Mexico ( which, behaviorally. is pretty much the South with a few more Spanish speakers and better food).
    Think of that all we in the northern U.S. would have saved from not having to fund TVA, rural electrification, and other New Deal schemes and subsequent Federal support , taxed mostly from the North, that Southerners now reject in principal, while accepting in practice, (with that characteristic hypocrisy that makes Southerners so doggone charming).

    Civil war was a mistake, and also unconstitutional. (No? Please cite provision of pre-1861 Constitution that prohibits secession. Had there been one, there would have been no Constitution).

    “Go in peace, errant sisters” (Horace Greeley).

  12. newt says:

    Correction: My memory was apparently wrong in citing Greeley, or at least I can find no citation for it. But somebody around the the start of the Civil War , said it, as I have seen it quoted several times. Sorry (Greeley also apparently did not say, “Go West young man, Go West!” I learned).

  13. Mervel says:

    You know the South has a much higher percentage of African Americans than the North does particularly up here; I guess if we wanted to mainly be around only white people it would be good to drop the South.

  14. newt says:

    Since I live in the North Country all year long, I’m around about the same number of African-Americans as I would be if, miraculously, we could escape the South’s clutches. Of course, in the fantasy world where the South were a separate country, there might be considerable black migration to the North, so I guess the reverse might be more likely.
    At least to the economically viable Plattsburgh area.

  15. Pete Klein says:

    It’s difficult to play “what if” but I’ve always thought blacks would have been better off in the long run if the north had let the south go its merry old way.
    Eventually, one of two things and maybe both would have happened.
    One – there would have been more Mat Turners and the blacks would have knocked the hell out of the whites.
    Two – a happier case would have seen the blacks winning equality because the whites would have come to realize it was either give them equality or see it taken by force.
    You are always much better off when you take your freedom than when someone gives it to you.
    It’s what the Americans did when they went up against England.

  16. Bret4207 says:

    Your thoughts were fact back prior to the Civil War Pete. That’s part of what started it. The south had recognized that in time there would be more blacks than whites and wanted more slave states to spread the population out. The Free Soilers didn’t want that. IIRC it was Missouri that forced the issue and the addition of Oregon as a free state also contributed. Lincolns election over Douglas pretty much ensured that the south would secede, even though Lincoln was trying to compromise right up till the first battle of Bull Run. That was the end of it then.

    I think slavery would have died out eventually. Industrialization and foreign cotton at lower costs (sound familiar?) were pretty much bound to end whatever economic advantage slavery gave to the south. It was the southern mindset of inferior races that kept things going for so long as it was. During the War it was the prospect of their “homeland” being invaded by the north as much as anything else that kept the south in the fight, not slavery per se.

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