Culture Trumps Self-Interests for U.S. Southerners on Aid

Jeri Bilbo would seem a natural supporter of the Democratic Party’s vow to protect the social safety net during the spending-cut debate in Washington.

Her husband gets disability payments and government-funded health care after leaving his dock-worker job in New Orleans because of rheumatoid arthritis. They live in a drafty farmhouse in southern Mississippi having lost their home to foreclosure. …

Yet Bilbo, who registered as a Republican to vote as a high school senior, said she’s stuck with the party out of tradition. She’s an example of the contrarian nature of U.S. politics, where people often vote against their economic self-interest because of family, culture or such issues as abortion and guns. [cont.]

John McCormick & Frank Bass, Bloomberg