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Friday, April 20, 2012

Ward Room: Old White Guys For Romney, Young Black Women For Obama

Courtesy of Ward Room's Edward McClelland. I had intended to post this earlier but had simply forgotten. Now is the time for this to be seen:
When I voted in the Primary Election last month, I asked the election judge for a Democratic ballot. I’d been thinking about voting against Rick Santorum in the Republican primary, but his campaign looked dead. So I decided to vote against my state representative in the Democratic primary, because she had helped pass Rahm Emanuel’s speed camera bill.

“That’s surprising,” the judge said.

“Why is it surprising?” I asked. “Because I’m a 45-year-old white male? You’re doing ethnic profiling.”

“No,” she said. “Just thinking aloud.”

I can understand her surprise. According to opinion surveys and exit polls, I’m supposed to be a Republican. I’m white. I’m a man. I’m straight. I’m over 45. I go to a (Protestant) church. I have a bachelor’s degree. According to those demographics, the odds of my voting for Mitt Romney this fall are at least 75 percent. On the other hand, I’m not married and I earn less than $100,000 a year. So that may reduce my odds of voting for Romney to, oh, 67 percent. (I can tell you what the actual odds are: zero. The paperback version of Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President is coming out in September. Not only am I a longtime admirer of the president, if Obama loses, it’s going to be selling for six cents on Amazon.)

Admit it, though. You’ve looked at an older white guy before and thought “Republican.” You’ve also looked at a slim, young black woman and thought “Democrat.” Most of the time, you were right. I’m bringing this up because the 2012 election is already being portrayed as a battle between women and minorities, who favor Obama, and white guys who are grumpy about not having one of their own in the White House for the first time in history.

According to recent polls, President Obama leads Romney among non-white voters, by as much as 78 percent to 17 percent. Romney is getting around 60 percent of the white male vote.
Oh man, where must I start with this. Is it likely that "minorities" and women will vote for Obama? It's very likely that they will vote Obama. I hate the conclusion that "white guys are grumpy about not having one of their own in the White House". McClelland noted later on that in Illinois, white voters are willing to vote in Blacks on statewide tickets. Look no further than our current Secretary of State Jesse White.

Another point made by McClelland:
The point is, our surface demographics don’t always determine our political decisions. But that seems to be how both parties plan to treat us this year.
He noted the war on women. Now their tugging at the hearts of dog lovers by talking about "dog-gate". Either Mitt Romney packed the family dog onto the roof of the family automobile for a family vacation or President Obama as a young boy found himself describing the chewing texture of dog meat.

Thankfully he notes that "our surface demographics" don't determine how we vote, however, it seems he's only continuing to perpetuate who certain people are expected to vote. Yeah certain patterns and behaviors are tracked it's just not fair to buttonhole people into that!

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