took up a classic question in American regionalism last week: the regional maldistribution of Waffle House and IHOP restaurants and their correlations to political behavior. It's an age old question, but one I could no longer remain silent on, given that commentators continue to rely on state-level analysis of the problem.
As with any other regional question, one has to look beyond state lines, which don't capture the true historically-based cultural fissures in our landscape. Over at Washington Monthly, I've done precisely this for the Waffle House question, showing the regional fissures are even more stark than a state-level examination would reveal.
Waffle House is based in Georgia, and Ed Kilgore (a native of that state) adds this at the Monthly's Political Animal. I'd also note that rival IHOP was founded and based in Los Angeles County, which suggests a cultural rather than purely spatial explanation for its dominance in distant New England and the Upper Midwest.
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