In High poverty counties tend to vote Republican in Washington State, I observed that Washington State counties with a higher percentage of people living below the poverty line tend to vote Republican. In this article, I extend my analysis to other states.

The following scatter graph shows, for counties with population greater than 10,000, how the conservativeness of the county relates to the poverty rate. It shows that in Washington State, high poverty counties tended to vote for Romney.

Conservativeness versus poverty for Washington State counties with population at least 10,000

Poverty is defined as the percentage of residents living below the poverty line, according to the 2010 US census. Conservativeness is defined as the proportion of voters who voted for Romney (versus Obama) in 2012. Source of data: US census and 2012 election results from The Guardian.

Here’s a similar graph for Oregon. It too shows that in Oregon poorer counties tended to vote for Romney.

Conservativeness versus poverty for Oregon counties with population at least 10,000

The graph for California is similar: wealthy counties (Silicon Valley?) tended to vote for Obama. But there are few or no poorer counties that voted for Romney.

Conservativeness versus poverty for California counties with population at least 10,000
But for Texas it’s different: poorer counties in Texas tended to vote for Obama. (The effect is pronounced.)
Conservativeness versus poverty for Texas counties with population at least 10,000

South Dakota is are even more extreme: the poor counties are much more likely to vote for President Obama.  I surmise that those are the African American counties.
Conservativeness versus poverty for South Dakota counties with population at least 1,000

For New York too, poorer counties in New York tended to vote for Obama (though the effect is small).
Conservativeness versus poverty for New York counties with population at least 10,000

Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and North Carolina are similar to New York and Texas: high poverty counties tended to vote for Obama. In PA Philadelphia stands out as a high poverty city; in Philly 85% of votes went to Obama.

Nationwide, there’s a small relation between conservativeness and poverty: there’s a cluster of some high-poverty, Obama-voting counties on the upper left of the following scatter plot graph, as well as a smaller cluster of high-poverty, Romney-voting counties on the upper-right.
Conservativeness versus poverty for US counties with population at least 10,000

So, my question is: why in Oregon, Washington, and California — but not in Texas or New York — do poorer counties tend to vote Republican?

By the way, the 20 poorest counties are all in red (Republican) states

+-------------------------+------------------------------------+
| name                    | persons_below_poverty_line_percent |
+-------------------------+------------------------------------+
| Shannon County, SD      |                               49.5 |
| Clay County, GA         |                               47.7 |
| East Carroll Parish, LA |                               44.9 |
| Sioux County, ND        |                               44.8 |
| Todd County, SD         |                               44.6 |
| Hudspeth County, TX     |                               42.7 |
| Holmes County, MS       |                               42.6 |
| Corson County, SD       |                               41.7 |
| Wolfe County, KY        |                               41.4 |
| Humphreys County, MS    |                               41.2 |
| Jefferson County, MS    |                               41.1 |
| Mellette County, SD     |                               41.1 |
| Ziebach County, SD      |                               41.1 |
| Starr County, TX        |                               39.9 |
| Wilcox County, AL       |                               39.4 |
| Leflore County, MS      |                               39.3 |
| Brooks County, TX       |                               38.6 |
| Sumter County, AL       |                               38.1 |
| Quitman County, MS      |                               37.8 |
| Willacy County, TX      |                               37.7 |
+-------------------------+------------------------------------+
20 rows in set (0.02 sec)