Why Does Mississippi Vote Republican?

This post will attempt to explain why Mississippi is a Republican stronghold today.

But before doing that, let’s describe another state – call it State X. Looking at State X is very useful for analyzing why Mississippi votes Republican. I invite you to guess what state it is.

Here is a description of State X. Demographically, State X is very rural and very white. There are no major cities in the state; one has to cross state lines and drive more than a hundred miles to find the nearest metropolitan area. Racially, the state is homogeneously white; indeed, it is the second whitest state in the entire nation.

State X has almost always been a one-party stronghold, and that party has generally been the Republican Party. The Republican Party has almost always taken this state’s electoral votes; indeed, it voted for a Republican president for more than a century. State X has only elected one Democratic senator in its entire history.

I am talking, of course, about Vermont.

Despite its history of supporting Republicans, Vermont is currently a one-party Democratic stronghold. In 2008 it gave President Barack Obama 67.5% of the vote. It currently sends Socialist Bernie Sanders to the Senate (in addition to Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, the only Democrat the Green Mountain state has ever sent to the Senate).

What does this have to do with Mississippi voting Republican?

Well, Vermont and Mississippi almost never vote the same way for president:

Indeed, there are only seven elections out of 48 total (since Mississippi became a state) that the two have supported the same candidate for president: 1820, 1840, 1872, 1972, 1980, 1984, and most recently 1988.

Oftentimes during presidential landslides, Mississippi or Vermont are the only states which refuse to go along with the rest of the country. In 1936 President Franklin D. Roosevelt won an enormous landslide, taking the highest percentage in the electoral vote since the beginning of the two-party system. The only states to go against him? Maine – and Vermont.

In 1964, on the other hand, President Lyndon B. Johnson likewise won a stunning landslide, taking the highest percentage in the popular vote – again, since the beginning of the two-party system. This time, however, it was Mississippi that went against the president.

In 2012, barring an epic meltdown on either the Democratic or Republican nominee, Mississippi will vote Republican and Vermont will vote Democratic. This trend is likely to continue as far as the eye can see into the future.

It seems that there is just something that drives Mississippi and Vermont different ways. Vermont is a symbol of the Yankee North; Mississippi of the Deep South. Since the founding of America, the two have been culturally and socially at odds. Sometimes this division occurs in trivial ways, such as nasty stereotypes or different voting patterns. Sometimes the division takes on much more significance, most famously in the Civil War.

So to answer the question in the post’s title, Mississippi votes Republican because Vermont votes Democratic. Or, to put it another way, Vermont votes Democratic because Mississippi votes Republican. And as long as presidential elections continue to happen, Mississippi will probably be voting the opposite way of Vermont.

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5 Responses to Why Does Mississippi Vote Republican?

  1. Jarrod says:

    It’s sad that MS simply votes Republican when it’s obvious that Republicans don’t care about them. Republicans are simply “all talk” towards the residents of MS and they believe anything the GOP says. The residents never actually look at the candidates and evaluate the potential for change, the opportunity to improve our state. Yes, I’m from MS. I’m proud of my birth state but saddened by the lack of knowledge my fellow constituents have. Historically, MS was “better off” when it voted blue. So how did my state lose sight of tomorrow. They lost it by listening to Republicans “talk” and being fooled that action was coming when in reality, nothing came.
    That’s why I will be running for governor in 2019 and leading my great state of MS into prosperity. Then, the rest of the nation won’t laugh at us for being at the bottom cause I plan to lift my state higher in the socioeconomic class.

  2. Anonymous says:

    call the go gop my number is 772 332 9418 in fla paul here

  3. Anonymous says:

    yes mississippi gop

  4. greg says:

    Vermont does not have the same millstone around her neck. Every public policy in Mississippi has to weighed against the same problem. Nearly 1/2 of the population is indifferent to western cultural norms. It problem shadows everything. The result is that the people that might otherwise look and act just like Vermont folks, but live in Mississippi, have a siege mentality. It isn’t their fault and it is the only way to make anything work.

    There, I said it. Start the name calling……

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