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White Man Date

[ 161 ] November 4, 2012 |

This actually appeared in Politico, in 2012:

If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That’s what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it’s possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000.

A broad mandate this is not.

So Obama’s coalition is broader, but it doesn’t extend to a majority of Real Americans, who are white, so it doesn’t count. Right. Shorter Politico: Democratic states should get 3/5ths representation in the Electoral College.

This makes Scocca’s recent piece about Republican identity politics even more relevant:

White people don’t like to believe that they practice identity politics. The defining part of being white in America is the assumption that, as a white person, you are a regular, individual human being. Other demographic groups set themselves apart, to pursue their distinctive identities and interests and agendas. Whiteness, to white people, is the American default.

Yet Mitt Romney’s election strategy depends on the notion that the white vote is separate from the rest of the vote, and can be captured as such.

[...]

This has been the foundation of Republican presidential politics for more than four decades, since Richard Nixon courted and won the votes of Southerners who’d turned against the Democratic Party because of integration and civil rights. The Party of Lincoln became the party of Lincoln’s assassins, leveraging white anger into a regional advantage and eventually a regional monopoly. It’s all very basic and old news, but it’s still considered rude to say so, even as Republican strategists talk about winning the white voters and only the white voters.

I’ll guarantee that if Romney ekes out an electoral college and popular vote victory, we’re not going to be hearing about how Romney’s mandate is too narrow because it’s so dominated by white men.

[Via Patrick]

Comments (161)

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  1. Kalil says:

    Lets be a bit more specific, here:
    Elderly white men.
    Romney’s numbers, even among whites, don’t look nearly so rosy in the <65 crowd…

    • mjshep says:

      As an over 65 white voter I can say confidently that Romney never lost me, because he never had me.

      • DrDick says:

        As a 60 year old voter (who already voted), let me second that.

        • Kalil says:

          Of course there are exceptions (and speaking as a youngster myself: thank you!),
          But looking at, for example, the latest NC data from PPP, the only age demographic where Obama is <53% is 65+, where Romney wins 62-36. Coincidentally, that's very nearly identical to Romney's support among white voters (63-35).
          I can't find, but I saw some time ago, a more detailed breakout, with race, gender, and age combined, and Romney's strongest demographic by far was, predictably, white 65+ male.

          • mpowell says:

            It’s kind of ironic given the Republican party’s position that it’s the Democrats that are relying on the moochers. All of those seniors, they sure aren’t getting any government benefits, no siree!

            • Kalil says:

              Right, it’s like the stereotypical picture of the tea party supporter:
              Morbidly obese, elderly, in a medicaid-subsidized wheelchair, holding a sign saying “Keep Government Out of my Medicare!”

              I’m also fascinated by the phenomenon of the plutocratic party winning the white lower-class vote, but it goes to show the level of cognitive dissonance in America…

              Me, I /like/ my union. ;p

              • I’m also fascinated by the phenomenon of the plutocratic party winning the white lower-class vote, but it goes to show the level of cognitive dissonance racist tribal identity in America…

                FTFY

                • tk says:

                  Agreed. I firmly believe that race is the dominant issue for white men. They will gladly cut their own throats to deny a black person somewhere a fucking sandwich. There is no reasoning with that and few of them come out of that mindset on their own. We just have to wait for it to die off.

                • odds says:

                  Whites earning under $50K are more likely to vote for Democrats than those earning over $50K. For the most part, Democratic candidates do better with white voters as you go down the income scale. A larger percentage of whites in the lowest third of income voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in the 90s and 00s
                  than from the 1950s-80s.

                • Wido Incognitus says:

                  I guess we will see soon if the Republicans actually do win the “white lower-class.” However, I do not think it is mere tribal aggression that has a poor white person voting for Republicans, or even racial solidarity. Affirmative action is an economic issue, and although its effects are overstated, it is a clear practice of redistributing opportunities from whites to non-whites on racial grounds. That does not sound like some mere “culture war” issue to me.

                • chris says:

                  I firmly believe that race is the dominant issue for white men.

                  Finally, it’s my turn to resent being defined by my race and gender!

                  …seriously, whoever you are. Demographics are not destiny.

          • DrDick says:

            First off, that is just North Carolina and I am quite certain that most old white Southern men (who grew up with segregation) are opposed to Obama. Nationally, it is only among those over 65 that Romney leads and polling on party identification indicates they are mostly Republicans anyway.

            • Kalil says:

              SUSA finds support for Romney strongest among 65+ in Georgia. There’s pretty much no polling elsewhere in the south, although I did find a primary poll of Tennessee that found that 65+ Republicans were the most likely demographic to believe the birther nonsense.

              I think your belief that most white elderly southerners feel regret about segregation is mistaken – you neglect the power of nostalgia to make the past seem less unjust than it was.

    • JazzBumpa says:

      I guess 65 10/12 is over 65. And, I believe I have been white for most of my adult life.

      I sincerely hope that this is the death knell for the Rethug party, as it is now owned and operated.

      I can’t say for sure that The Romneybot would actually be a worse president than Shrub, but as this point, I actually hate him more.

      Rethugs – they have worked so hard to earn my contempt.

      JzB

    • cpinva says:

      even more specific still: elderly, white, southern, evangelical christian men. a very narrow demographic. many of their wives will vote for romney also, because they share the same views as their husbands. still a pretty narrow demographic. he’ll also capture some young ayn rand enthusiasts, all 5 of them, i’ll wager.

      nothing new here really. the republicans have been whining about this, since john F. kennedy captured almost the entirety of the (very) white, irish-american catholic vote, in 1960, vs richard nixon. some of those people had the temerity to vote for kennedy, solely because he also was a (very) white, irish-american catholic. go figure.

  2. howard says:

    I’ll guarantee if he wins the popular vote, the fact that the 13 states of the confederacy will give him his margin and he will lose the other 37 states in aggregate will go unmentioned.

    Or am I repeating scott?

    • L.M. says:

      The fact that the defeated Confederacy was reintegrated into the United States

      1. without being stripped of any national-level political representation, and
      2. without (as it turned out) a rock-solid federal commitment to indefinite Reconstruction

      was probably the biggest mistake in American history.

      • Steve LaBonne says:

        +100,000

      • howard says:

        l.m., i agree as well: if we assume the 3/5 man and slavery compromises as unavoidable if there was to be a united states at all, then this was the greatest error of public policy the united states has committed.

        imagine how much better a world the rest of us would inhabit….

        • timb says:

          I’ll grant you slavery, but accounting for slaves for population purposes would have given more power to the South and Slave power in the antebellum times. Without the 3/5 compromise, much of the South would not have ratified the Constitution at all

      • Alan Tomlinson says:

        3. without all of the white people in it being sent on a boat to Antarctica.

        Cheers,

        Alan Tomlinson

      • Murc says:

        . without being stripped of any national-level political representation

        … that’s batshit insane.

        You’re talking about disenfranchising half the country at the time. And for how long? Should a twenty-year-old in 1880 have been denied the franchise because they were unfortunate enough to have been born in a secessionist state the year before it seceded?

        There should indeed have been an indefinite federal commitment to Reconstruction, but arguing that the south should have been treated like a conquered province literally forever is kind of insane.

        • cpinva says:

          hogwash.

          You’re talking about disenfranchising half the country at the time. And for how long? Should a twenty-year-old in 1880 have been denied the franchise because they were unfortunate enough to have been born in a secessionist state the year before it seceded?

          no one suggested that at all, mr. strawman. however, it would not have been unreasonable at all, to have stripped the voting rights from every man who fought for the confederacy, either in uniform, or as part of a guerilla unit.

          in any other country, most of them would have been hung, as traitors, their property escheated to the state, their survivors tossed out on the streets, to survive or perish, as they will.

          had lincoln not been assassinated, i think reconstruction would have taken a far more compassionate, but definitely controlled, turn. lincoln knew exactly who pulled the strings in the south, and he would have crushed them.

          • Linnaeus says:

            had lincoln not been assassinated, i think reconstruction would have taken a far more compassionate, but definitely controlled, turn. lincoln knew exactly who pulled the strings in the south, and he would have crushed them.

            I’m not so sure about this. Lincoln’s reconstruction plan for the South was quite lenient. The former Confederate states had to write new state constitutions outlawing slavery and 10% of the population that had voted in the 1860 election had to swear a loyalty oath to the union. That’s pretty much it. Reconstruction didn’t get harsher until after the congressional elections in 1866, which gave the Republicans huge majorities in Congress and put the Radical Republicans in the driver’s seat with respect to Reconstruction. Johnson didn’t help matters much. It’s possible that even under Lincoln, Reconstruction would have taken a harsher turn after 1866, but there would have been significant differences between the president’s preferred policy and that of congressional Republicans.

            • LeeEsq says:

              Lincoln’s initial plans for Reconstruction were lenient. However, Southern opposition combined with the demands of his own party would have made Lincoln more amenable to a harsher Reconstruction than Johnson.

              • Linnaeus says:

                Probably, though I suspect that if Lincoln had lived to finish out his second term, Reconstruction would have been somewhere in between what Lincoln proposed and what the Radical Republicans ended up doing for a couple of reasons.

                First, I’m not sure that Republicans would have won the majorities they did in 1866 if they didn’t have the Lincoln assassination and Johnson’s pardoning of ex-Confederates to rally around.

                Second, I don’t think a Congress with a Republican majority would have been as eager to override a potential veto from a president of the same party and a national hero to boot. I suppose that could also work in the other direction, i.e., Lincoln might have been more amenable to legislation coming from his own party and been less likely to veto than Johnson was. Hard to say, but my guess would be that Lincoln would have tried to moderate anything coming from the Radicals.

          • John says:

            Could you give an example of anything like this happening in the nineteenth century?

          • ajay says:

            in any other country, most of them would have been hung, as traitors, their property escheated to the state, their survivors tossed out on the streets, to survive or perish, as they will.

            This turns out to be, not to put too fine a point on it, bollocks. It didn’t happen to New Model Army veterans after the Restoration. It didn’t happen to Kolchak Army veterans after 1921. It didn’t happen to KMT footsoldiers after 1949. And so on. In fact, I defy you to find a single example in recent history where it did happen.

        • Anonymous says:

          You’re talking about disenfranchising half the country at the time.

          Half the country was already disenfranchised (the female half – remember them?). So I’m not sure that’s the greatest argument, given the context. It’s not like voting rights were equal in the first place.

        • L.M. says:

          For four decades between 1820 and 1860, the future Confederate states and their opponents were locked in a standoff in which the two sides were essentially evenly matched. This was obviously an untenable situation; in the end, it almost literally destroyed the country. Then–not long after this stalemate killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and almost destroyed the United States–we restored the Confederate states to the Union in a way that ensured that they would be just as powerful as before.(and that they would use their power in the service of the same agenda as before.

          This was obviously a mistake.

          If the federal government had somehow been willing and able to lock itself in to an indefinite and possibly permanent military occupation of the South in the service of Reconstruction, great! Several Southern states would have remained controlled by liberal, anti-Confederate Republican governments right off the bat; several others probably would have joined them over time; the remainder would at least have been much more internally contested. The Confederates and their successors would never have been able to match the power of their opponents on a national level ever again.

          But since that kind of Reconstruction obviously wasn’t in the cards (and it’s hard, even in hindsight, to figure out how such a commitment could have been made), other measures were necessary in order to prevent the Confederates from competing on an even footing in national politics as they had between 1820 and 1860. The most obvious way to prevent the Redeemers from reasserting their old power on a national level (even if they could not be prevented from reasserting their old power on a state level) would have been to strip their states of some measure of their national-level political representation. For example: a constitutional amendment stripping the occupied Confederate states of their whole representation in the Senate and half their representation in the House.

          Draconian? Maybe. Wars have consequences. Or, at least, they should: it’s disgusting that, after killing hundreds of thousands of Americans in order to continue enslaving countless others, the Confederates were able to win the peace after the Civil War. The sacrifices that Union soldiers made in the Civil War (and that Southern blacks made before, during, and after the Civil War) were basically made in vain.

          Would it be fair to penalize contemporary Southerners for the fact that their ancestors committed treason in defense of slavery? (Assuming, rather generously, that the former Confederate states were not, in this counterfactual scenario, dominated by the neo-Confederates who control most of those states today?) No. It’s even less fair to penalize contemporary African-Americans for the fact their ancestors were slaves; nevertheless, our society does so on a massive scale, and it continues to do so in no small part because of the political power wielded by the successors of those who committed treason in defense of slavery .

          If you like, we could tie restoration of the former Confederacy’s full representation in Congress to the successful implementation of a massive program of political and economic reparations for slavery.

          • John says:

            This suggestion is just as absurd and unrealistic as the idea of a permanent military occupation. Either the South should be part of the United States or it shouldn’t. If it should be, you have to treat it like every other part of the United States.

            And obviously it’s simply wrong to say that the Civil War had no results – it ended slavery, it insured that the US would remain a unified republic, and, really, it meant the end of southern domination of the government.

            You contend that southern power was the same before and after the Civil War/Reconstruction, but this isn’t true at all. Before the Civil War, southerners dominated the Federal Government itself. Presidents, cabinet members, supreme court justices, etc., were all disproportionately southern. After the Civil War southerners were systematically excluded from positions of significant power. Even the Democrats took generations to nominate a presidential or vice presidential candidate from any of the former Confederate states, and the Republican Party, which dominated the executive from 1869 to 1933 (holding power for 48 of 64 years), had barely any southern representation at all. Until Johnson was president or so, it was more or less assumed that no southerner would ever be elected president again.

            The veto power that the South gained in the Senate was a consolation prize for the loss of effective governing power.

            • L.M. says:

              Either the South should be part of the United States or it shouldn’t. If it should be, you have to treat it like every other part of the United States.

              There’s no reason to simply assume that this is true: the South worked very hard to make itself distinctive in the worst possible way, and so it deserved to be treated distinctly. But I’ll take the idea more seriously when D.C. receives voting representation in Congress. Or, more realistically, when Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is repealed.

              • John says:

                Do you really think either of those things is comparable to permanently denying an entire region of the country representation in the Senate?

                Once again, the point here isn’t really about fairness. It’s about the fact that “making white southerners feel as though they have a stake in the United States” is not just some excuse for racism. It’s a real goal, it’s one whose accomplishment was not inevitable, and it’s one in which failure could have had very serious consequences.

                • L.M. says:

                  The fact that white, neo-Confederate Southerners have had a powerful stake in the U.S. for the past 150 years has, apparently, don’t nothing to dampen their desire to hold the country hostage to their racist agenda. It’s only empowered them to destroy (1960s-present) or threaten to destroy (1930s) our national political order whenever that political order might interfere with their ability to run their region as an apartheid state.

      • LeeEsq says:

        I agree with this but I wonder how much political will there was to for a better, stronger Reconstruction policy. The amount of force needed was not something that most of the Union population could stomach.

        Although, at the very least, Confederate leaders should have been put on trial for treason and if found guilty, and they would have been found guilty, hung high. Not trying any Confederate leader was a big mistake.

        • spencer says:

          Although, at the very least, Confederate leaders should have been put on trial for treason and if found guilty, and they would have been found guilty, hung high. Not trying any Confederate leader was a big mistake.

          I’ve argued this for years, and you would not believe the pushback I get (well, okay, maybe you would – I don’t actually know anything about you). The cognitive dissonance southerners carry around WRT the confederacy and the people who led it is truly staggering.

          • LeeEsq says:

            I’m from New York, so I’m from an area of the country that would be more friendly towards trying the leaders of the Confederacy than the South. Still, its odd. I’d assume that at least some of the Radical Republicans would want to try Confederate leaders for treason. It would be perfectly legal under the Constitution and in line with how unsuccessful rebellions have been dealt with. The idea of doing so never seemed to come up though.

          • John says:

            What are we talking about here? Hanging high officials wouldn’t have done much good. Hanging all Confederate officers would have just inspired massive resistance.

            The old consensus school arguments about the need for national reconciliation were racist and have been rightfully rejected, but surely there’s something to the idea that it was necessary to reconcile the white population of the South to rejoining the Union, and that this couldn’t simply be done by the employment of brute force.

            • Citizen Alan says:

              Hanging all Confederate officers would have just inspired massive resistance.

              I dunno. Would we have gotten the KKK if that bastard Forrest had been hanged for war crimes as he should have? I think the nation would have been better off if the North had treated the South like the Allies did Germany after WW2 — a serious financial commitment to rebuilding the devastated South but made conditional on fully integrating blacks into their society, coupled with trying and eventually executing the leaders of the Confederacy so there would be no nucleus of leadership for anti-Americanism.

              • John says:

                De-Nazification was a joke. The highest officials of the Third Reich were indeed tried and executed, as were other obvious war criminals, but the vast majority of people who had been involved in fighting Germany’s war suffered no consequences at all. Erich von Manstein, one of the highest ranking generals in the Wehrmacht, who issued pretty despicable orders in the course of the war on the Eastern Front, got to become the father of the West German army. Plenty of other war criminals escaped any kind of punishment, either.

                And beyond that – the Germans who were executed, and many of those who escaped punishment were actual war criminals. They were involved in actual atrocities and crimes against humanity. Deeply implicated individuals like Albert Speer weren’t even executed.

                The Confederate leaders, whatever one may think of them, did not violate the rules of war in the same way. The slave system itself was of course a moral atrocity, but the contention here is that these people should be executed for treason, not for owning slaves.

                And very few major Confederate figures had any substantial political role as redeemers. Most of the leading political figures in the post-war Democratic/Conservative Party were ex-Whigs who had opposed secession. Jefferson Davis and the rest of the major Confederate leaders never played a significant role in politics after the war – and, indeed, Davis himself was disenfranchised for the remainder of his life, with his citizenship only restored posthumously in 1978.

                • Dave says:

                  It’s amazing how many votes you can get for a Carthaginian peace from people who wouldn’t have to actually enforce it.

        • Linnaeus says:

          I agree with this but I wonder how much political will there was to for a better, stronger Reconstruction policy.

          By 1877, there really wasn’t. Radical Reconstruction ultimately failed not just because of massive white opposition to it in the South, but also because the political coalitions in both the North and South necessary to sustain it were falling apart.

          • bill says:

            Correct. By 1877, “the whole public are tired” of dealing with the problems of black Americans under Reconstruction, said President Grant. Americans had other concerns (westward expansion, industrialization, etc.) and were looking forward not backward … wait a minute, where have I heard that before?

          • LeeEsq says:

            Non-Southern Whites were only slightly less racist than Southern Whites in this period. This meant that very few of them had the political will to carry out a decades long Reconstruction of the South, which is really what it would have taken. By massive opposition, Southerns were able to agitate the North to antipathy.

        • John says:

          There certainly was not – Grant barely won in 1868, and by 1876 it was quite clear that the North had no patience for or interest in a “Reconstruction Forever” policy.

      • Manju says:

        I Would just like to point out that there would be no Kennedy or Carter presidency under these rules.

        I’m typing from a stupid iPad in a stupid fun cafe due to the stupid storm, but if I had my regular excel spreadsheets I would drop some long list of votes on liberal legislation sans the 22 senators from the 11 former confidante states just for stupid fun.

        But basically the American right wing hearts you.

        • The Dark Avenger says:

          would drop some long list of votes on liberal legislation sans the 22 senators from the 11 former confidante states just for stupid fun.

          The Lord moves in mysterious ways.

        • Malaclypse says:

          I Would just like to point out that there would be no Kennedy or Carter presidency under these rules.

          Two conservative Democrats would lose? The hell you say!

          I’m typing from a stupid iPad in a stupid fun cafe due to the stupid storm, but if I had my regular excel spreadsheets I would drop some long list of votes on liberal legislation sans the 22 senators from the 11 former confidante states just for stupid fun.

          Would the legislation setting up FEMA be on the list?? Because that would be ironic…

          • John says:

            I don’t think it makes much sense to refer to Kennedy as a “conservative Democrat.” He certainly was not perceived that way during the primaries, where he was seen as one of the more liberal candidates (although not so liberal as Humphrey, certainly).

            And the alternative was Richard Nixon. No Kennedy election in 1960 and no Great Society, I should think.

            • Malaclypse says:

              Yes, but the Great Society was not Kennedy. And Kennedy’s big thing was that Eisenhower/Nixon were allowing a Missile Gap that would make us all Communists.

              • The Dark Avenger says:

                And Kennedy’s big thing was that Eisenhower/Nixon were allowing a Missile Gap that would make us all Communists.

                Gore Vidals’ summary of the K/N debates as an exchange of “Quemoy!” “Matsu! demonstrates this as well.

                And Kennedy passed tax cuts on the highest brackets, usually not an activity one associates with a liberal Democrat, then or now.

        • DrDick says:

          I would drop some long list of votes on liberal legislation sans the 22 senators from the 11 former confidante states just for stupid fun.

          I may have to reconsider my position on the existence of god.

    • Davis says:

      Bush won in 2004 by 3 million votes, but won the South by 5 million, so yes, you’re right.

    • John says:

      11 states of the Confederacy.

    • Wido Incognitus says:

      11 states of the Confederacy, not 13.

      • J. Otto Pohl says:

        Yes, but did they not claim Missouri and Kentucky as rightly being parts of the CSA that just got occupied by the Union before they could secede? Also eventually the Confederate Territories of Oklahoma (Indian Territory) and Arizona probably would have become Confederate States had the CSA managed to maintain independence. So that is 15 states in an actually successful CSA bid.

  3. Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    What I find most bizarre is that Independents (a group to which I used to belong pre-2000) is going for Romney. Is it mainly libertarian drone-rage? Taxes? Cultural hard-on for anyone white from the Business Sector? I don’t see how Romney would appeal to Independents unless they are exceedingly forgiving of lies, in favor of austerity, or just plain politically ignorant.

    • Mr. Upright says:

      Tea Partiers often call themselves independents. This probably explains the imbalance.

    • mjshep says:

      If Romney appeals to “Independents,” it’s because many of them are actually Republicans who, given the recent behavior of the Republican Party, are just too embarrassed to call themselves that.

    • I think it’s two factors. One, there are a number of people who define themselves as independents, but who almost always vote Republican. Two, people who identify as independents are less affected by policy choices and more affected by “How are things going right now?”

    • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

      It’s fundamentally wrong to think of Independents as a single ideological group or voting block. People from far left to far right register Independent for a variety of reasons. Often the media lazily equates Independents and swing voters. But most registered Independents vote very regularly for one or the other major party (full disclosure: I’m a heavily Democratic-leaning registered Independent, who, like a lot of heavily Democratic-leaning independents, am independent because I’m pretty consistently to the left of the Democratic Party).

      • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

        If there are, in fact, more Republican-leaning Independents than Democratic-leaning Independents, it may have to do with the Republican Party’s current ideological narrowness. The Democratic Party is a much bigger tent, so it’s perhaps not surprising that more of its voters feel comfortable fully identifying with it.

        However, this is kinda the opposite explanation for the one offered by Mr. Upright upthread, i.e., that the Tea Party is the best explanation of the preponderance of Republican-leaners.

        • Bijan Parsia says:

          Random data point: I identified as independent for a while in the 1990s. This was partially due to my disenchantment with the Democrats (i.e., hoping to pull them left) and imbibing some of the “Vote issues; not party” stuff floating about.

          I don’t remember when I came back. Either Bush or Gingrich pushed me to become Democrat again (probably Bush). Opposing Republicans is such a priority these days that I put every little bit in.

      • Malaclypse says:

        As a socialist, I show up in MA as legally Independent. My favorite irony this election cycle is that Scott Brown keeps sending me junk mail assuring me that he is independent, just like me. Um, no, dude, trust me, you’re not. But thanks for spending money this way…

      • witless chum says:

        In Michigan, there’s no partisan registration at all. Do other states do this?

        • Linnaeus says:

          You don’t indicate partisan registration in Washington, either. If you want to participate in, say, the Democratic caucuses here, you go to the caucus meeting place for your precinct and sign a form declaring that you are a Democrat. But that’s for the party’s use, not the state’s.

          And because of our funny top-two primary system here, candidates running for state office are marked on the ballot as “preferring” a particular party, instead of being straight-up identified as Democrats, Republicans, Greens, etc.

    • Eric says:

      The level of independents rose in the last 6 years, while the percentage people identifying as Republican dropped a roughly equivalent amount. The percentage of people identifying themselves as Democrats stayed mostly the same.

      This is all that you need to know about the surge in Romney support among independents compared to McCain 4 years ago. It’s just conservatives who identify as Independent rather than as Republican.

      • vogon pundit says:

        @ Eric– I haave had the same feeling here; in particular, I’ve met “independents” for whom Sarah Palin was a deal breaker in 2008, but for whom Romney/Ryan are acceptable. They’re just returning to the fold this year.

    • Major Kong says:

      Most so-called independents I meet are just Republicans who don’t want to admit it for some reason.

      “I’m not for either party, I vote for the most qualified candidate (who just so happens to always always always be the Republican)”

      • sparks says:

        I’ve been registered independent (or as they put it here, Decline To State) since I started voting and when asked why I just tell them because I vote for the best interests of me and people in the same economic/social boat as I am in. They often don’t realize that means I vote Democratic essentially all the time. At least a couple of people assumed I was a Republican, which amuses me.

    • Identity crisis says:

      Why did you vote for Nader in 2000? That might help answer your question.

    • timb says:

      tons of Republicans have left the Party since 2006 and they are conservatives, but call themselves independents

    • jjcomet says:

      How many true independents are left who can’t simply be categorized as politically apathetic? Given the unmistakable illumination of the stark differences between progressive and conservative political philosophies over the past 30 years, anyone who still says they see no discernable difference between the two really can’t have been paying much attention. I certainly don’t think the DNC is God’s gift to the body politic – not nearly progressive enough for my particular tastes – but to say, as some have, that there’s no significant difference between the Dems and the GOP is simply to deny reality.

  4. Sly says:

    Byron York, ca. 2009:

    On his 100th day in office, Barack Obama enjoys high job approval ratings, no matter what poll you consult. But if a new survey by the New York Times is accurate, the president and some of his policies are significantly less popular with white Americans than with black Americans, and his sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are.

  5. c u n d gulag says:

    I suppose the fact that President Obama will capture a higher percentage of white men and women than Mitt does Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Gays, naturalized furriners, and EVERY other minority group, escapes the feckin’ morons at Politico – but then, SOOOOOOOO much does!

    IOKIYAR!
    And IYWIAR – If You’re White, It’s ALL RIGHT!

  6. Incontinentia Buttocks says:

    A side note: As an historian, I always feel that I have to point out that the 3/5 clause was inserted by the northern states. The South would have much preferred to count every slave as a whole human being as it would have increased their representation in the House (and the Electoral College).

    The three-fifths clause is a monument to the evils of slavery, but what’s problematic about it is a lot more complicated than its partial discounting of enslaved people. The more politically just outcome–assuming the existence of slavery–would have been not to count slaves at all when apportioning Congress.

    • mpowell says:

      It’s actually really odd to me that it was ever considered appropriate for representation to be based on the number of people as opposed to the number of voters. If you have a limited franchise, I would assume the latter to be the more appropriate metric. But I really can’t access the political norms that would have tolerated a limited franchise anyhow so it’s not surprising that it doesn’t make sense to me.

      • Kalil says:

        Yes you can – after all, the franchise is still limited to 18+, and to American citizens, and to human beings. Of course, these restrictions seem perfectly rational in the context of our society, but remember that lowering the voting age was a radical change at the time, and remember that the other disenfranchisements seemed rational in their temporal context: giving slaves or women the right to vote would have disproportionately empowered their owners, after all.

        I can imagine Future Americans looking back in equal horror at the barbaric times when we disenfranchised AIs (especially under the age of 18). ;p

        • It’s worth mentioning that the denial of the franchise to noncitizens is not a Constitutional feature, but one of state laws. Various states have in the past allowed noncitizens to vote.

          This is something of a sore spot with me – I work for a Minnesota state agency, pay income and payroll taxes etc, and yet, because I’m a permanent resident, I cannot vote.

        • Hogan says:

          lowering the voting age was a radical change at the time

          If it got the support of 2/3 of each house of Congress and 3/4 of state legislatures, it may not have seemed as radical as all that.

          • Kalil says:

            The 26th amendment passed in the context of the Vietnam War, where people too young to vote were being drafted to die for their country in a war they largely opposed. As late as 1970, Texas and Oregon successfully challenged and overturned a federal law lowering the voter age to 18 in the SCotUS.

            • Hogan says:

              They challenged it on the grounds that Congress didn’t have the authority to lower the voting age. Apparently the consensus of public opinion was if you’re old enough to be drafted, you’re old enough to vote, whether you support the war or not.

      • John says:

        Representation is still based on number of people rather than number of voters.

    • cpinva says:

      true:

      The more politically just outcome–assuming the existence of slavery–would have been not to count slaves at all when apportioning Congress.

      which is exactly what they started out with. however, no southern state would have ratified, absent the at least partial inclusion of slaves, as citizens, solely for congressional slots/electoral college purposes. hence, the 3/5′s compromise.

      bear in mind, every member of the constitional convention knew slavery was going to come back and bite the country in the ass. it was simply a matter of when, not if.

    • UberMitch says:

      I also recall hearing somewhere that if slaves had counted as 0/5 for EC purposes Adams would have won the 1800 election

  7. dan says:

    From the same Politico article:

    The demographic trends are brutal: With each passing election, the share of white voters shrinks, from 87 percent in 1992 to 83 percent in 1996 to 80 percent in 2000 to 77 percent in 2004 to 74 percent in 2008 and likely smaller this time around.

    Why is this “brutal”? I don’t have a problem with it. Why does the Politico see a declining white share of the vote as a bad, even brutal, thing?

    • c u n d gulag says:

      If you were to find a Politico staff photo, I think you’d find that a Romney family get-together has more minorities.

    • Steve LaBonne says:

      It’s brutal for Republicans, and that’s what matters to Politiwhore.

      • dan says:

        That’s obviously one way to interpret it (“bad for the Republicans” rather than “bad for the country” or “bad for me”). A lot racist statements are susceptible to a non-racist interpretation, and the people who make them seem to believe that they’re entitled to the benefit of the doubt on these ambiguous statements. But I’ve decided that giving white people who make ambiguously-racist statements the benefit of the doubt is itself racist, and now just interpret them the way I think it should be interpreted.

    • Informant says:

      All I can conclude is that you’re willfully ignoring the immediately preceding sentence of that section which reads, “Even if Mitt Romney wins, the Republican Party has, at most, one more election it can compete in without addressing its gaping gap with Hispanics and women,” to say nothing of the rest of that section, which includes statements like “Romney, if anything, set Republicans back in their efforts to win over Hispanics.” The “brutal” statement is clearly in reference to the impact of demographic trends on the viability of running a campaign based on getting a majority simply by winning white (and particularly male) voters, not that the trend is “brutal” for the country or to suggest that it would be objectively desirable for whites to make up a larger share of the electorate.

      Do you assume an article is anti-Chrome/FireFox/etc. if it says, “This is the last year Microsoft will have a plurality of the browser market. The market trend is brutal: for each of the past four years, Internet Explorer’s share of users declined by more than 15%,” and then goes on to explain how Microsoft alienated users?

  8. Mr. Upright says:

    I love the distinction of “highly educated urban whites.” If the racial breakdown doesn’t fit your narrative, just cut out the ones who are mucking it up.

  9. Woodrowfan says:

    So let me get this straight..

    No mandate=winning the majority of young voters, women, African-American, East Asians, South Asians, American Indians, Hispanics, GLBT, Jews, Muslims, non-believers, and the poor.

    Mandate=wining the majority of Mormons, RW Xtians and old white guys.

    OK, got it.

    • TT says:

      Shorter Politico: “Only Republicans are allowed to decide if a president has a mandate.”

    • JKTHs says:

      Everyone knows you don’t have a mandate just cause you won the votes of shiftless minorities voting themselves huge welfare benefits, women voting themselves free contraception and abortions on demand, and college students who have been swayed by Communistic propaganda from lefty perfessors

  10. Who is one of the co-writers of that Drudgico article? Mike Allen!! Allen’s dad was a Conservative activist and John Birch Society member. Is it any wonder Allen peddles such trash?

    • cpinva says:

      he peddles it, because the rubes pay him well to do so. that, in fact, is the underlying basis for most of rightwing “media”, the ability to separate the rube republican base from their cash, simply by telling them what they desperately want/need to hear. truth is irrelevant, if it doesn’t put coin in ann coulter’s purse.

  11. Anderson says:

    Just gotta chime in: that is some fucking racism. Fuck Politico.

  12. JoshA says:

    Even Shorter Politico: WHITE POWER!

  13. cpinva says:

    i have one question: who is going to be responsible, for cleaning up the mess, when all those republican/tea party heads explode, when obama handily wins on tuesday?

    this is important to me, as there are an awful lot of them in my fair city, and the roads could become treacherous as a result.

    • Green Caboose says:

      I cannot even imagine what the reaction in my reactionary little community will be. We’re dominated by retired military officers … you’ve never seen such an intense sense of personal entitlement as this group shows (well, except perhaps among the Romney income class). They draw fat pension checks and fat Tri-Care health insurance and all kinds of other subsidies long before Social Security and are INCENSED about people getting government handouts.

      There are literally streets where every house has a Romney sign … often several. But the second most popular sign is “FIRE OBAMA”. The anger is intense, but so is the conviction that Romney is heading toward a landslide win.

      I am afraid of the reaction.

      • Davis X. Machina says:

        I’m not. As Aneurin Bevan said of the British Medical Association and the coming of the NHS, we’ve stuffed their mouths with gold.

        They’re officers, and old enough to have retired. Our American Stahlhelm will have to come from somewhere else.

  14. Xof says:

    Wow. They’re not bothering to even put the smallest fig-leaf on it anymore, are they?

  15. herr doktor bimler says:

    I have a confuse. Does this mean that elections don’t have consequences after all?

    So Obama’s coalition is broader, but it doesn’t extend to a majority of Real Americans, who are white, so it doesn’t count.
    What you forget is that the people supporting Obama are the Real Racists, while those white Real Americans are representatives of post-racism America.

  16. Chester Allman says:

    The fact that Politico is taken even remotely seriously by any significant portion of our political/media is a profound embarrassment to American democracy.

  17. mch says:

    I’d be interested in a more careful breakdown of white men above 65 and white men, period.

    I suspect (because I think I’ve seen such breakdowns before) that younger white men still break more Republican than their agemates of other colors and sexes. In other words, while things get better as white males get younger, a lot of prejudice is still built in. I’d also like to see a proper break down of men of color, not along the lines of Republican/Democrat/Independent (whatever the last may mean) so much as along the lines of positions on specific issues.

    Canvassing for Elizabeth Warren over the last few weeks here in MA, my husband (+65 white male!) and I have repeatedly been struck by the support she is receiving from women of all ages — and by the outright support for Scott Brown, or the sullen silence with which we Warren canvassers are often greeted, by white males, including registered Dem’s tabbed as regular voters.

    Anyway, let’s be careful that we not underplay the “male” in this “white male” phenomenon, and overplay the age part.

  18. dlankerlanger says:

    he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites.

    A broad mandate this is not.

    is part of the handbook for writing this kind of shit putting enough sentences between the first sentence and the second sentence that it’s not immediately idiotic if you don’t think about it?

  19. [...] Lemieux, over at Lawyers, Guns, and Money, points out that the media presents Obama’s support differently because of who does, and who does not, support him. While Politico claimed Obama does not have a [...]

  20. Lisa Graas says:

    No, dear. Color-blindness is the American default. That’s the Republican position, same as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s.

    We want people to be judged based on the content of their character, not on the color of their skin. Democrats certainly don’t want anyone judged on the basis of character.

    Affirmative action is judgment based on the color of one’s skin. Character is what matters. Not skin color.

    • The Dark Avenger says:

      In that case, Romney is as black as the Ace of Spades when it comes to character.

    • Wido Incognitus says:

      1. If that were clearly the case, then it is not
      easy to explain why Politico is publishing an article questioning the breadth of Obama’s support because of the narrowness of his support among white people. Unless you are making an assupmtion that non-white support for Obama as opposed to Romney is because of his skin color (which some of it is, but a lot of it is because of his policies).
      2. I think affirmative action as a system is foolish, but for non-white people to prefer another non-white person (and in certain cases, for a white person to prefer a white person) as a kind of racial solidarity does not really go against judging somebody based on the content of their character. You use it as a tool so there is somebody who is like you who can work with you. When they work with you, you can be protected against people who would discriminate against you based on the color of your skin when there is no reason for racial solidarity. I am rambling, but I do think that there is a place for racial solidarity in a fair United States.
      3. I suggest you read more far-right blogs to understand their opinions about Martin Luther King, Jr.
      4. I suggest that you read more far-right blogs to understand their opinions about people who are not white.

    • herr doktor bimler says:

      Character is what matters. Not skin color.

      What does this have to do with Politico’s statement that lack of support from the ‘white male’ demographic matters whereas support from everyone else does not matter?

    • Malaclypse says:

      Oh goody, someone who knows all about Teddy Bear [*] Martin Luther King, who gave one speech, that was one sentence long. Shame that guy never said anything else ever.

      * Shamelessly stolen from JFL.

    • DrDick says:

      Color-blindness is the American default.

      As someone who actually studies race and ethnicity, just let me say you could not be further from the truth. We are in fact a highly racialized society and are incapable of not seeing the world through a racial lens. Blindness to white privilege is more like it.

    • Walt says:

      So U take it that you were offended by the implication in the Politico article that Obama won’t have a mandate because not enough whites are voting for him? That’s definitely not a color-blind sentiment.

  21. Wido Incognitus says:

    I’ll guarantee that if Romney ekes out an electoral college and popular vote victory, we’re not going to be hearing about how Romney’s mandate is too narrow because it’s so dominated by white men.

    I dislike the Republican racial paranoia, but I think there is a lot of criticism about the narrowness of support for Republicans, including in the mainstream media (I am thinking of Juan Williams’ questions at the Republican debate where Newt Gingrich got mad at him.)

  22. floopmeister says:

    Or you could just go with the Westminster Parliamentary system.

    In it’s favour is the fact that it works.

  23. [...] Scott Lemieux: “Shorter Politico: Democratic states should get 3/5ths representation in the Electoral College.” Hah. [...]

  24. [...] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}Speaking of Republican identity politics, one set of races that should receive more attention than it has is in Virginia. Right now, Silver [...]

  25. sherparick says:

    Brad DeLong has a very interesting chart breaking down the white vote in 2012, at least according to Pew. As already noted above, “real murikans” do not include New Englanders and their desendants across the upper Midwest, but do include those whose ancestor committed treason, or sympathize with those for tribal, racialist, reasons. http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/11/american-politics-in-the-south-the-past-is-not-dead-it-is-not-even-past-weblogging.html

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