Southern Parties and Elections: Studies in Regional Political Change

By Robert P. Steed; Laurence W. Moreland et al. | Go to book overview

Table 6.7. County-Level Correlations by State for Selected Demographic Variables
Independent variable Ala. Ark. Ga. Miss.
Housing value.31.13.22.12
Income.16-.07.18.18
Population.28.06.27.44
White-collar employment.07-.24.17.15
Source: Data calculated by the author.
the big winner among the variables, as each of its scores rose by at least .09. Eliminating those counties with the smallest base Republican vote also removed many of the smallest counties in each state, and this step serves to amplify further the association between population growth and GOP primary turnout growth.15It may be argued that the concept of truncation gains validity from the fact that its application has moved the two outlier categories--Arkansas and white-collar employment--somewhat closer to the others. While this method also widened the range of correlation scores within each state (and rather significantly in two of them), this effect is entirely a function of the enhanced population scores noted above.
Conclusions
None of the three middle-class variables produced consistently strong correlation values. The scores for housing value growth fell within a narrow range (.08), indicating that this variable had a similar effect upon Republican primary turnout growth in all four states. However, this relationship was not especially robust, as it exceeded .25 in only one untruncated case. On the other hand, income growth and white-collar employment growth correlated with turnout strongly in one state ( Georgia) but produced modest, minimal, or even slightly negative associations in the others.By contrast, the population growth variable recorded consistently strong correlations across state lines (at or above .25 in three states before truncation and in all four afterward). It also produced the highest values within each state in five of the eight cases.In view of these results, I am prepared to argue the following points:
1. The three middle class variables clearly explain some of the recent growth in Republican primary voting, but their correlation values are highly variable and relatively modest. A multivariable "middle classification"

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