4. Good question. I saw an article somewhere that southern whites vote overwhelmingly Republican
whereas in other regions of the country whites vote Republican by much smaller margins. So even though a lot of southern states have large minority populations, very few southern whites vote Democratic.
Here are some notes / snips I made about an article on this:
...poll conducted a few weeks ago by the Public Religion Research Institute in Washington, D.C., ... that poll found that in the South, among white working class voters, Republican Mitt Romney leads Obama by the astounding vote of 62-22 percent ó a 40 percentage point difference.
The poll defined working class as having less than a bachelorís degree and being paid by the hour or by the job.
No other region in the country had anywhere near that differential. In the West, Romney led by just 5 percentage points among white working class voters. In the Northeast, he leads by 4 percentage points. And in the Midwest, Obama leads Romney by 8 percentage points among white working class voters.