Discussing What’s the Matter with Kansas?

Over at Talking Points Memo, there’s a discussion of Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter With Kansas?  Thomas Frank, the author, is participating in the debate.  The blogosphere, being what it is, has been proving to be a salon, with discussion of the book and the debate at Majikthise.

Relatedly, those who are interested in the issue of why economically poorer but culturally conservative people seem to vote for the Republicans may also be interested the research of Andrew Gellman, Boris Schor, Joseph Bafumi and David Park.  The paper is still being worked on, but their  presentation (follow the link) from the Midwest Political Science Association Conference back in April is available.  Their paper:

For decades, the Democrats have been viewed as the party of the poor with the Republicans representing the rich. In recent years, however, a reverse pattern has been seen, with Democrats showing strength in the richer “blue” states in the Northeast and West, and Republicans dominating in the “red” states in the middle of the country. Through multilevel analysis of individual-level survey data and county- and state-level demographic and electoral data, we reconcile these patterns. We find that there has indeed been a trend toward richer areas supporting the Democrats–but within states and counties, and overall, the Democrats retain the support of the poorer voters. This pattern has confused many political commentators into falsely believing that Republicans represent poorer voters than Democrats.