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View Poll Results: Which non-Confederate state is the most Southern?
Oklahoma 63 23.33%
Kentucky 163 60.37%
West Virginia 44 16.30%
Voters: 270. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-02-2015, 11:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studying Okie View Post
I really do find stuff like this fascinating!

I think that when most people from Oklahoma think of the South, they similarly think of Charleston, Savannah, or Montgomery and not OKC, Dallas, etc., but they do think of Arkansas as being part of the South. At the same time, lots of people in Oklahoma refer to Oklahoma as the Midwest, but not because they think we are culturally more akin to Iowa, Illinois, etc., but because most people think it means "middle of the country".

What's most frustrating about the ambiguous use of "Midwest" is that some Okies who are Southerners (i.e. their family came here from the South, they have Southern accents, attend a Baptist church, and could be from literally anywhere in the South) consider Oklahoma the Midwest or the Southwest and, therefore, themselves as Midwesterners or Westerners. These folks will consistently acknowledge that Oklahoma is culturally like Texas, Arkansas, and the rest of the South rather than the states that make up the Census Bureau's Midwest or West, but to them we are not the South because of stuff like lack of grits at McDonald's or not being a state during the Civil War.

There are tangible traits that are universally Southern, and the presence of those traits in the people of a state is what makes a state Southern, in my opinion. Oklahoma, as a state, has Southern qualities much more than qualities typical of the Midwest or any other region.

There are people in Oklahoma who aren't from a Southern background, whose families came to Oklahoma from Kansas and farther north, and who have little exposure to Southern culture that will argue that Oklahoma is the Midwest, like Kansas, Nebraska, etc. There is a part of the state (the Northwest part, excluding the Panhandle) where the people and the agriculture do not resemble those in the South, but this is not most of the state at all, and Southern culture (accents, religion) is still found up there.

I got a kick out of this example of Oklahoma's inaccurate image. The lyrics of a Jason Aldean's (from Georgia) song "Flyover States":

"Thirty thousand feet above, could be Oklahoma,
Just a bunch of square cornfields and wheat farms"
Jason Aldean - Fly Over States Lyrics | MetroLyrics

The problem is we don't have much corn in Oklahoma. In 2004, for example, Oklahoma grew less corn than just about every state in the South, including Jason Aldean's home state of Georgia. Cotton and wheat have historically been Oklahoma's biggest crops. I guess 50% correct is good enough for Jason Aldean.
Corn for grain - State Agricultural Production Rankings from StuffAboutStates.com

I enjoy discussing Oklahoma's culture and history, so I enjoy hearing other people's interpretations of our state, but count me in with the folks who think Oklahoma is the South.
Even Maryland isn't as hard to pin down!

In my opinion, there are definitely similarities between Oklahoma and Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, etc. For one, Oklahoma is extremely conservative and Bible Belt-ish. People think we're conservative over here in North Carolina, they really need to visit Oklahoma. This is one aspect that is quite southern, and it's mainly due to the fact that many southerners moved into Oklahoma and you don't have a ton of outside influence from transplants. For example regarding the Bible Belt aspect, you can draw similarities between Oral Roberts and others like Billy Graham or Jerry Falwell.

Accents in Oklahoma are like Texas, in fact the whole state isn't too dissimilar from Texas IMO. I've heard someone say, "Oklahoma is basically a giant suburb of Dallas." Wasn't me, though! In all seriousness, I doubt people in Dallas sound extremely different from people in Oklahoma City. I've visited both states, and I've noticed a similar "twang" in the speeches between the two.

One thing about Oklahoma, the eastern half of the state is actually a little Ozark-ish. Not really the tornado valley image that often comes to mind. These areas have more in common with Arkansas or Missouri, as opposed to Texas or Kansas. However, you still have Tulsa holding the "Oil Capital of the World" nickname for the longest time, which isn't typical of the South.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:04 AM
 
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West Va fortunately.Have lived there and wife's from there...very southern.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Branson, Missouri
622 posts, read 945,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJayCB View Post
Even Maryland isn't as hard to pin down!

In my opinion, there are definitely similarities between Oklahoma and Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, etc. For one, Oklahoma is extremely conservative and Bible Belt-ish. People think we're conservative over here in North Carolina, they really need to visit Oklahoma. This is one aspect that is quite southern, and it's mainly due to the fact that many southerners moved into Oklahoma and you don't have a ton of outside influence from transplants. For example regarding the Bible Belt aspect, you can draw similarities between Oral Roberts and others like Billy Graham or Jerry Falwell.

Accents in Oklahoma are like Texas, in fact the whole state isn't too dissimilar from Texas IMO. I've heard someone say, "Oklahoma is basically a giant suburb of Dallas." Wasn't me, though! In all seriousness, I doubt people in Dallas sound extremely different from people in Oklahoma City. I've visited both states, and I've noticed a similar "twang" in the speeches between the two.

One thing about Oklahoma, the eastern half of the state is actually a little Ozark-ish. Not really the tornado valley image that often comes to mind. These areas have more in common with Arkansas or Missouri, as opposed to Texas or Kansas. However, you still have Tulsa holding the "Oil Capital of the World" nickname for the longest time, which isn't typical of the South.
The funny thing is I talk to peiple from Tulsa all the time, and only a small minority of them have southen accents. Most all peiple in rural areas of eastern Oklahoma outside of Tulsa do though.
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:44 PM
 
Location: OKIE-Ville
5,412 posts, read 7,704,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studying Okie View Post
I really do find stuff like this fascinating!

I think that when most people from Oklahoma think of the South, they similarly think of Charleston, Savannah, or Montgomery and not OKC, Dallas, etc., but they do think of Arkansas as being part of the South. At the same time, lots of people in Oklahoma refer to Oklahoma as the Midwest, but not because they think we are culturally more akin to Iowa, Illinois, etc., but because most people think it means "middle of the country".

What's most frustrating about the ambiguous use of "Midwest" is that some Okies who are Southerners (i.e. their family came here from the South, they have Southern accents, attend a Baptist church, and could be from literally anywhere in the South) consider Oklahoma the Midwest or the Southwest and, therefore, themselves as Midwesterners or Westerners. These folks will consistently acknowledge that Oklahoma is culturally like Texas, Arkansas, and the rest of the South rather than the states that make up the Census Bureau's Midwest or West, but to them we are not the South because of stuff like lack of grits at McDonald's or not being a state during the Civil War.

There are tangible traits that are universally Southern, and the presence of those traits in the people of a state is what makes a state Southern, in my opinion. Oklahoma, as a state, has Southern qualities much more than qualities typical of the Midwest or any other region.

There are people in Oklahoma who aren't from a Southern background, whose families came to Oklahoma from Kansas and farther north, and who have little exposure to Southern culture that will argue that Oklahoma is the Midwest, like Kansas, Nebraska, etc. There is a part of the state (the Northwest part, excluding the Panhandle) where the people and the agriculture do not resemble those in the South, but this is not most of the state at all, and Southern culture (accents, religion) is still found up there.

I got a kick out of this example of Oklahoma's inaccurate image. The lyrics of a Jason Aldean's (from Georgia) song "Flyover States":

"Thirty thousand feet above, could be Oklahoma,
Just a bunch of square cornfields and wheat farms"
Jason Aldean - Fly Over States Lyrics | MetroLyrics

The problem is we don't have much corn in Oklahoma. In 2004, for example, Oklahoma grew less corn than just about every state in the South, including Jason Aldean's home state of Georgia. Cotton and wheat have historically been Oklahoma's biggest crops. I guess 50% correct is good enough for Jason Aldean.
Corn for grain - State Agricultural Production Rankings from StuffAboutStates.com

I enjoy discussing Oklahoma's culture and history, so I enjoy hearing other people's interpretations of our state, but count me in with the folks who think Oklahoma is the South.
Spot on, StudyingOkie. Right on the money.

When pressed most Okies would say that Oklahoma is in the South, or at the very least some derivative of it given the many traits present in the state which you mentioned. Some might casually say, "Well, Oklahoma is in whatever region Texas is in."

Oklahoma IS different than the Deep South. If the Deep South is what constitutes the "true" South then Oklahoma ain't it. However, if the South includes states like Arkansas & Texas then Oklahoma is in too because it is most culturally akin to these states (particularly North/Central Texas and Western Arkansas).

I think the Census gets it right by putting Oklahoma with Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas in the subregion of the South known as the "West South Central." I prefer to call Oklahoma the South-Central as it is the most geographically and culturally encompassing correct designation. Southwest works too as in the sense of SOUTHwest (Arkansas, Texas, and slices of Northern Louisiana) not SouthWEST as in New Mexico and Arizona. Southern Plains is okay, but actually not too accurate as much of Oklahoma is not covered in the Plains, but Crosstimbers topographically.

And you are right, the few Okies who call Oklahoma the "Midwest" are referring to it not in the historically understood connotation of the definition of what constitutes true Midwestern states like Kansas and states north and to the east of Oklahoma. They are using "Midwest" only in the geographical sense of Oklahoma is in the "middle" or "Middle West" of the country. Most of these folks would probably call Texas/Arkansas something similar geographically. Unfortunately, many many folks disregard cultural markers and only think of geography as the overriding factor. A much better designation for Oklahoma other than the South would just be the West or the Southwest. Those are much more accurate designations when given Oklahoma's geography, the social norms which comprise its culture, and its history.

Well done, StudyingOkie.

As per the OP's original question: there is no denying that most of Kentucky is much more like the typically Southern states of the Deep South. Obviously, as the poll shows, Oklahoma is more Southern than West Virginia. But, it is notable that all three states might be considered border states to some, but all three have strong Southern distinctions and tendencies which tie them into the "Greater South."
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Old 04-06-2015, 01:55 AM
 
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I know I have posted these figures before, but for those who haven't seen them they are the averaged-out result of a 7 year, bi-annual, regional -identification poll -- totaling 14 separate surveys of 17,000 people from the Southern Focus Poll (done by the Center for Southern Culture out of the U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

************************************************** *****

Percent who say their community is in the South (percentage base in parentheses)

Alabama 98 (717) South Carolina 98 (553) Louisiana 97 (606) Mississippi 97 (431) Georgia 97 (1017) Tennessee 97 (838) North Carolina 93 (1292) Arkansas 92 (400) Florida 90 (1792) Texas 84 (2050) Virginia 82 (1014) Kentucky 79 (582) Oklahoma 69 (411)

West Virginia 45 (82) Maryland 40 (173) Missouri 23 (177) Delaware 14 (21) D.C. 7 (15)

Percent who say they are Southerners (percentage base in parentheses)

Mississippi 90 (432) Louisiana 89 (606) Alabama 88 (716) Tennessee 84 (838) South Carolina 82 (553) Arkansas 81 (399) Georgia 81 (1017) North Carolina 80 (1290) Texas 68 (2053) Kentucky 68 (584) Virginia 60 (1012) Oklahoma 53 (410) Florida 51 (1791)

West Virginia 25 (84) Maryland 19 (192) Missouri 15 (197) New Mexico 13 (68) Delaware 12 (25) D.C. 12 (16) Utah 11 (70) Indiana 10 (208) Illinois 9 (362) Ohio 8 (396) Arizona 7 (117) Michigan 6 (336)

************************************************** *****
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Branson, Missouri
622 posts, read 945,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
I know I have posted these figures before, but for those who haven't seen them they are the averaged-out result of a 7 year, bi-annual, regional -identification poll -- totaling 14 separate surveys of 17,000 people from the Southern Focus Poll (done by the Center for Southern Culture out of the U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

************************************************** *****

Percent who say their community is in the South (percentage base in parentheses)

Alabama 98 (717) South Carolina 98 (553) Louisiana 97 (606) Mississippi 97 (431) Georgia 97 (1017) Tennessee 97 (838) North Carolina 93 (1292) Arkansas 92 (400) Florida 90 (1792) Texas 84 (2050) Virginia 82 (1014) Kentucky 79 (582) Oklahoma 69 (411)

West Virginia 45 (82) Maryland 40 (173) Missouri 23 (177) Delaware 14 (21) D.C. 7 (15)

Percent who say they are Southerners (percentage base in parentheses)

Mississippi 90 (432) Louisiana 89 (606) Alabama 88 (716) Tennessee 84 (838) South Carolina 82 (553) Arkansas 81 (399) Georgia 81 (1017) North Carolina 80 (1290) Texas 68 (2053) Kentucky 68 (584) Virginia 60 (1012) Oklahoma 53 (410) Florida 51 (1791)

West Virginia 25 (84) Maryland 19 (192) Missouri 15 (197) New Mexico 13 (68) Delaware 12 (25) D.C. 12 (16) Utah 11 (70) Indiana 10 (208) Illinois 9 (362) Ohio 8 (396) Arizona 7 (117) Michigan 6 (336)

************************************************** *****
I have never bought this poll. I don't think people from Maryland think they are more southern than missouri. That makes no sense. I wonder where they polled all these people at in missouri?? People from Stl or kc don't consider themselves southern...but people from the southern part of the state overwhelmingly do. To say that Missouri is neck and neck with Delaware and New Mexico on southern culture is laughable.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,416 posts, read 11,913,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imbored198824 View Post
I have never bought this poll. I don't think people from Maryland think they are more southern than missouri. That makes no sense. I wonder where they polled all these people at in missouri?? People from Stl or kc don't consider themselves southern...but people from the southern part of the state overwhelmingly do. To say that Missouri is neck and neck with Delaware and New Mexico on southern culture is laughable.
Remember that the DC metro attracts people from all over the country, including the South. Indeed, look at the relatively high self-reported % southerner in Utah, Arizona, and Michigan. None of these states had an indigenous southern population (or even southern-ish, like Eastern New Mexico or far Southern Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio). The percentage is entirely the result of transplants. When you add the relatively high percentage of "indigenous southerners" in Maryland to the (presumably somewhere between 5%-10%) people who moved to Maryland from the South, the numbers make total sense.
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:35 AM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,108,570 times
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Quote:
=imbored198824;39110360]I have never bought this poll. I don't think people from Maryland think they are more southern than missouri. That makes no sense. I wonder where they polled all these people at in missouri?? People from Stl or kc don't consider themselves southern...but people from the southern part of the state overwhelmingly do. To say that Missouri is neck and neck with Delaware and New Mexico on southern culture is laughable.
All I know is that it is the most extensive poll of its type ever done. But if you have another that disputes it, then by all means post it. Regional studies have always fascinated me.

I don't really know what most Marylanders or Missourians, etc, think -- I for sure don't doubt that Southern identity in Missouri is strongest in the southern part of the state -- but there was another one of its type done by James Shortridge -- from the geography department at the U. of Kansas -- and its results pretty much matched this one.

Anyway, I am not the least surprised to see that along with the 11 Old Confederate States, it was in Kentucky and Oklahoma...with West Virginia right up there, where a majority consider themselves to live in the South and think of themselves as Southerners. So the OP selected the three non-Confederate states to be included in the poll on solid reasoning, borne out by the results of polling.

Last edited by TexasReb; 04-07-2015 at 02:22 AM..
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Old 04-07-2015, 04:59 AM
 
Location: OKIE-Ville
5,412 posts, read 7,704,410 times
Reputation: 3054
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
All I know is that it is the most extensive poll of its type ever done. But if you have another that disputes it, then by all means post it. Regional studies have always fascinated me.

I don't really know what most Marylanders or Missourians, etc, think -- I for sure don't doubt that Southern identity in Missouri is strongest in the southern part of the state -- but there was another one of its type done by James Shortridge -- from the geography department at the U. of Kansas -- and its results pretty much matched this one.

Anyway, I am not the least surprised to see that along with the 11 Old Confederate States, it was in Kentucky and Oklahoma...with West Virginia right up there, where a majority consider themselves to live in the South and think of themselves as Southerners. So the OP selected the three non-Confederate states to be included in the poll on solid reasoning, borne out by the results of polling.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:28 AM
 
351 posts, read 550,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
All I know is that it is the most extensive poll of its type ever done. But if you have another that disputes it, then by all means post it. Regional studies have always fascinated me.

I don't really know what most Marylanders or Missourians, etc, think -- I for sure don't doubt that Southern identity in Missouri is strongest in the southern part of the state -- but there was another one of its type done by James Shortridge -- from the geography department at the U. of Kansas -- and its results pretty much matched this one.

Anyway, I am not the least surprised to see that along with the 11 Old Confederate States, it was in Kentucky and Oklahoma...with West Virginia right up there, where a majority consider themselves to live in the South and think of themselves as Southerners. So the OP selected the three non-Confederate states to be included in the poll on solid reasoning, borne out by the results of polling.

Oklahoma wasn't a state but was part of the Confederacy.
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