Meet The Americans

One of the big problems with the boom in enthusiasm for Jim Webb as a candidate who can appeal to Scotch-Irish Appalachians is that he doesn't appear capable of doing so, as Eve Fairbanks writes:

Thanks to their analogous symbolic roles, Webb and Obama have one more politically important and bizarre similarity: They appeal to the same voters, wine-track Democrats who come out in unprecedented droves to vote for a black man or a hillbilly white because they want their party to be bigger than themselves. While you'd expect Webb to attract poor, rural beer-trackers, in his 2006 Senate race he didn't do any better than the previous Democratic candidate had among Appalachian voters in southwestern Virginia; instead, he was propelled to victory by Northern Virginia suburbanites — Obama's base.

Basically, Webb and Obama despite similar personalities and personae both get the votes you would expect anti-war liberals to get. Possibly related, check out this map (taken from here):


What's that a map of? Well, recently the Census Bureau started asking people about ethnicity and ancestry. So you might say you were "Irish" or "Italian" or "German" or "Chinese" or "Cuban" instead of just white or Asian or whatever. But about seven percent of people identified themselves as "American." And as you can see, that "American" bloc is really concentrated in Appalachia and the southern highlands. Webb's favorite ethnic group, in short, seems to be the ethnic group with the least ethnic consciousness.