The Politics of Southern Accents

Jeff Sessions speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Candidates with a Southern accent are viewed more negatively — even in the South

New research indicates that Americans are less likely to say they would vote for a candidate with Southern accent compared to a candidate without an accent.

The study, conducted by researchers at Western Carolina University and published in the journal American Politics Research, found that candidates with a Southern drawl are viewed more negatively on a number of traits.

“All four of us are interested in campaigns and elections (why and how voters make the decisions they do) and the politics of the American South,” said study author Christopher A. Cooper. “We were compelled by a number of other studies that have noted that voters often use non-policy related candidate characteristics to help steer them towards (or away from) particular candidates.”

“At the same time, we were struck that none of those studies had examined region of origin as a characteristic that might affect voters decision-making — and we believed that the accent is the most readily available cue of region of origin. Conversations around those themes brought the four …

Read more at Southern Partisan Online
(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)

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