Thursday, March 15, 2007

Back to Philly---'76 and '80

As we continue our look at Philadelphia, we focus now on the 1976 and 1980 races. Again, we're interested in what happened to those voters that gave the highest support to Wallace in '68. Our running hypothesis is that the Wallace vote was a step on the way to becoming more Republican in orientation. Our look at 1972 saw evidence to that effect. How lasting was it?

A few things first. In '76, Carter carried the city of Philadelphia easily, winning 66% of the vote and carrying 63 of 66 wards. Therefore, we're not so much interested in whether Ford won "Wallace Wards," but how Republican they were, relatively speaking. In 1980, Carter also won Philly garnering 59% to Reagan's 34% and John Anderson's 7%. Ward by ward, Reagan fared better than Ford, winning 24 of the 66 wards.

Finally, we should note that over the time period we've been looking at, the African-American population of the city has been growing, both in raw number and percentage of the city population. The African-American population grew 24% between 1960 and 1970 and then lost 2% from 1970 to 1980. As a percentage of the overall population, African-Americans were 26% of the city population in 1960, 34% in 1970, and 38% in 1980.

Looking back at our "Wallace Wards," remember that the 10 wards that Wallace did best in were: 40, 7, 45, 31, 33, 25, 41, 66, 65, and 39. Below, I've listed how Republican each of these wards were in '72, '76, and '80 (1 being most Republican, 66 being least Republican).

Ward 40: 25, 28, 26

Ward 7: 18, 31, 25

Ward 45: 22, 23, 19

Ward 31: 13, 17, 24

Ward 33: 17, 20, 18

Ward 25: 15, 24, 21

Ward 41: 11, 11, 11

Ward 66: 2, 4, 1

Ward 65: 12, 18, 13

Ward 39: 5, 15, 5

What we see is that the gains that Republicans made under Nixon in 1972 seem to have held by the time we get to 1980. While these wards are not the most Republican in the city, they have nonetheless given considerable support to Ford and especially Reagan. Any gains that Carter made disappeared four years later.

An obvious point to remember, of course, is that population shifts would have certainly caused the demographic portraits of each of these wards to change. Many of the white ethnic voters that we're interested in probably left the city for the suburbs between '68 and '80. However, it doesn't seem as if these voters were replaced by African-American voters. Otherwise we would have expected these wards to become considerably more Democratic. Thus, absent more sophisticated data, it seems reasonable to conclude that our running hypothesis has some validity to it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wallace and 1968

"The true cause for concern, however, is not what Wallace might have done, but what he did. When Wallace said he made both the major parties talk his own language of law and order, he was wrong. They would have done it without him. He was not the cause but an effect; he was one way of measuring the growth of resentment...Wallace offered neither palliative nor real cure; just a chance to scream into the darkness. It was a kind of perverse exercise in honesty--a proclamation that the darkness is there.

Garry Wills, "Nixon Agonistes"

More from '68---Charm City

Baltimore is a city that we would have expected Wallace to do well in, given everything we've seen in other cities so far. It is industrial with a large number of white ethnics, yet also very southern in orientation. A true border city. As we see, Wallace's performance in several wards doubles his national vote and triples his "non-southern" vote. We should also remember that in 1968, Baltimore's own Spiro Agnew was on the Republican ticket. Wallace's performance is, thus, all the more impressive.

The Baltimore area also saw a considerable amount of anti-war protesting under the direction of Daniel and Philip Berrigan. One can imagine how well the reaction to this among white ethnics played to Wallace's strengths.

Friday, March 09, 2007

More From Philadelphia

Of interest here is what happened to Wallace's 1968 voters. Did they return to the Democratic fold or did they become Republicans. By looking at the subsequent election, 1972, we see clear movement to the Republican camp.

Philadelphia has 66 wards. In '68, Wallace received 11.95% of the vote in the city. To look at the movement rightward among these voters, I've decided to concentrate on the 10 wards where Wallace did best (wards 40, 7, 45, 31, 33, 25, 41, 66, 65, and 39). If Nixon did well in these wards in '72, there's reason to believe that many of these Wallace voters were becoming more Republican.
In the '72 election, Nixon received 48.3% of the vote in the city of Philadelphia. Thus, despite the nationwide Nixon landslide, McGovern managed to win the city. Of the 66 wards, Nixon won 28.

In looking at the "Wallace Wards" from '68, we see that Nixon won all of them. In fact, 2 of the most Republican wards in 1972 were among the top 10 Wallace wards in '68. Here is a ranking of each top Wallace ward in terms of how Republican it was in 1972 (1 being most Republican, 66 being least Republican) as well as Nixon's vote %.
Ward 40---25th most Rep. (55.9%)
Ward 7----18th most Rep. (58.4%)
Ward 45---22nd most Rep. (57.0%)
Ward 31---13th most Rep. (59.3%)
Ward 33---17th most Rep. (58.4%)
Ward 25---15th most Rep. (59.0%)
Ward 41---11th most Rep. (60.1%)
Ward 66---2nd most Rep. (65.4%)
Ward 65---12th most Rep. (59.8%)
Ward 39---5th most Rep. (62.9%)
One might wonder whether this Nixon support is simply a "pro-incumbent" effect. Next up we'll look at what happened in these wards in 1976 and 1980.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Another Way to Look at the Wallace Vote

For the past several posts, I've been looking at the performance of Wallace in several northern cities. In all of these, I've been comparing the Wallace vote against his national performance--13.5%. As we know, Wallace's core strength was in the south where he won five states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

To look at this another way, I ran the numbers to allow me to look at Wallace's "non-southern" performance. When we separate out Wallace's southern support, his performance in northern cities becomes all the more impressive, and hence worth dwelling on.

In doing this, I used Kevin Phillip's "The Emerging Republican Majority" as the model. His work, which emphasizes the regional dimension of party competition, defines the south as including: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. So, when we take these states out of the equation, Wallace received 8.8% nationwide.

Looking at the maps posted below in this light, we can see just how important Wallace's candidacy was. In many of these northern urban wards, he more than doubled his "non-southern" performance. Wallace's candidacy was important not just for what it said about American politics in 1968, but for years afterwards.

Philadelphia 1968

Here is the Philadelphia map portraying the Wallace vote in 1968. As with many of the northern cities I've shown so far, Wallace meets or exceeds his national performance in several wards. Again, urban white ethnics seemed, despite Wallace's "southernness," drawn to his candidacy.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Wallace in the Northern Cities, Cont.

Here we have the '68 Wallace vote in two northern industrial cities---Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Again, Wallace's nationwide vote total was about 13.5%. He exceeds that support in many of these urban wards.

Cheese and Cracker

Here is the 1968 Wallace vote in the city of Milwaukee. This is a city that I would have initially thought he would have done very well in. Just prior to the '68 race, Milwaukee had been going through some extremely turbulent protests, mostly centered around the issue of open housing, headed by Fr. James Groppi. These protests galvanized much of the urban white ethnic population.

Milwaukee has historically been an extremely segregated city. The urban white ethnic population (mostly Polish and German) is most concentrated in wards 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, and 19. This is where one would expect to see Wallace do the best. In fact, we see that his vote performance, while slightly below his national average, is not as strong as we saw in some Chicago wards. As I'll be showing in future posts, other northern industrial cities, most notably Cleveland, saw Wallace do extremely well.

What may explain Wallace's lower than expected performance here is a greater Nixon share of the vote than one would expect. In other words, rather than stopping off with Wallace on the movement to the Republicans, Milwaukee's urban white ethnics may have skipped the Wallace step altogether. We shall see in future posts.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

More From Chicago

Here is a comparison between the Republican vote in the 1964 and 1972 presidential election in Chicago. In each ward I've written the Republican % of the vote. As I argued yesterday, the '68 Wallace vote can be viewed as a stopping point for urban white ethnics from being solidly Democratic to much more Republican. We see some more evidence of that trend here. The wards that I'm most interested in are the south side and north west side. These wards tended to have the highest concentration of urban white ethnics.
Obviously, we must remember that there will have been population shifts and demographic changes between these elections. Nonetheless, using this rough representation, we see some pretty clear movement. As I suggested in my previous post, my suspicion is that there is a strong "backlash" dimension to this trend as urban white ethnics responded to the turmoil of the civil rights movement as well as the "great migration" that witnessed an explosion in the African American population in northern industrial cities like Chicago.
More to come.