As Timothy Noah at Slate and others have pointed out, President-elect Barack Obama didn't do great with white voters. Nationally -- not just in the South -- Obama only got about 43% of the white vote, continuing a long trend of Democrats failing to win over white voters (Kerry only managed 41%).

As for the South, an analysis of exit poll data finds that every Southern state was below the national average (and helped pull it down) in white voters' support for Obama, ranging from Florida's 42% to Alabama's national low of 10%.

But in the "Year of the Young Voter," how did the South's younger generation of white voters go? In all but two Southern states, white voters under 30 chose Obama in higher numbers than the average for white voters in the state.

The most dramatic example is North Carolina. 56% of white voters under 30 in N.C. voted for Obama -- 21 points higher than the 35% of the overall white vote Obama garnered in the state. No other state had a bigger white generation gap, and it was likely critical to Obama's victory in North Carolina.

The next-biggest gap was in Tennessee. The state went for McCain, but it was much closer among young whites: 45% of white voters under 30 voted Obama, 11 points higher than the state average for white voters.

In the rest of the Southern states -- both red and blue -- young white voters gave a smaller edge to Obama, ranging from 2-7 points. In two states -- Georgia and South Carolina -- young white voters disproportionately favored McCain.

Here's a chart of the percentage of white voters under 30 that voted for a Democrat and the point difference between the overall white vote in the state:
RANKINGS: Southern states with biggest white voter generation gap in 2008

1 - North Carolina - 56% of whites under 30 voted Obama / +21 more than overall white vote
2 - Tennessee - 45% / +11
3 - Mississippi - 18% / +7
4 - Kentucky - 42% / +6
5 (tie) - West Virginia - 45% / +4
5 (tie) - Arkansas - 34% / +4
5 (tie) - Texas - 30% / +4
8 (tie) - Virginia - 42% / +3
8 (tie) - Louisiana - 17% / +3
8 (tie) - Alabama - 13% / +3
11 - Florida - 44% / +2
12 - South Carolina - 24% / -2
13 - Georgia - 20% / -3
Source: Institute analysis of 2008 exit poll data, www.cnn.com/election/2008

Clearly, a younger generation of white Southerners was more receptive to the Obama candidacy -- especially in North Carolina and Tennessee.

How did this compare to the rest of the country? Nationally, white voters under 30 favored Obama by an 11-point margin -- 54% of white voters under 30 compared to 43% of the white vote overall.

Most Southern states were below that; Tennessee matched it; and North Carolina's white generation gap was in a league of its own.