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On that oh so “Broad” Demographic

Whether Politico is a right wing hack organization I don’t know, but this whining about how Obama has every demographic locked except one jut really hits me as fitting the stereotype of the white male grandiose sense of entitlement and virtue.

 “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.”

Really!  You earn all of the demographic groupings except for cranky rural white people and you don’t have a mandate!  It explains why President Bush came away with fewer votes than his opponent in 2000 and ruled like he had the mandate of centuries.

  1. Steve
    November 5, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Eric, you and your readers might also enjoy this piece by Tom Scocca at Slate. Here’s an excerpt:

    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.

  2. November 5, 2012 at 9:58 am

    This also explains why so many uneducated white American men think most Americans are against America.

  3. Casey Jones (the Grateful Dead version)
    November 5, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Golly…. I’m a cranky rural white person and I already voted for Obama.

    Maybe I’m just out of touch.

    Let’s not start talking mandates until the votes are in. Even then… “Dubya” never looked goofier than after his second term win when he declared he had a mandate and was going to spend it.

    Abraham Lincoln once said, “The chicken is the wisest of creatures, because she doesn’t cackle until after the egg is laid.” (Apologies to AL if I didn’t get it exactly right.)

  4. tra
    November 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Meanwhile, if Romney wins, he will have the kind of All-American “mandate” that is conferred by winning majority support among a very broad, diverse group of Southern white makes.

  5. tra
    November 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    ““Dubya” never looked goofier than after his second term win when he declared he had a mandate and was going to spend it.”

    Except perhaps for after his first term win, in which he actually lost the national popular vote by about half a million votes, but came in all a-bluster as if he had won in a landslide.

  6. Casey Jones (the Grateful Dead version)
    November 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Also true tra. I guess if you held a contest to determine “Dubya’s” goofiest moment in the White House the competition would be very brisk indeed.

    I guess “Dubya” always felt he was an illegitimate choice for the presidency and tried over hard to convince everyone (including himself) that he had earned his rent-free stay in the White House. But that’s just speculation on my part.

  7. Not A Native
    November 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Gee, so Romney voters are likely White, Independent, Rural, not highly educated? Sounds to me thats a good description of HumCo demographic.

    But I think a Romney voter factor was left out of the assessment: Middle Class. That’s where HumCo populace diverges from Romney voters.

  8. Anonymous
    November 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Such arrogance & prejudice. Maybe the ignorant and uneducated people are those that are voting for Obama.

  9. tra
    November 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm


    If your point is just that Humboldt is a relatively low-income county, and that the majority of low-income folks here in Humboldt (along with, I would be willing to bet, the majority of middle-class folks here in Humboldt) are voting in their own economic interest by siding with Obama, then sure, I’ll certainly agree with that.

    But it’s also true that in some parts of the country, a majority of poor and middle-class white voters in poor, rural counties are in fact siding with Romney, especially in the South. I don’t think it’s a stretch to surmise that historic and sadly persistent prejudice based on skin-tone probably accounts for some significant part of that equation, but clearly there are other ideological factors and cultural norms here that come into play, too.

  10. Anonymous
    November 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Surely the South is “entitled” to rise again, isn’t it? Romney’s supporters sure seem to think so.Let’s see. If you’re a white Romney voter, you must be ‘entitled’ to rule. But if you’re entitled to anything from the government, you must be part of the 47% and thus not eligable to rule. Hmmmm. Is a puzzlement!

  11. 69er
    November 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Think about this before you vote, I did….

  12. November 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    John Scalzi nailed it back in May.

    “In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is.

    This means that the default behaviors for almost all the non-player characters in the game are easier on you than they would be otherwise. The default barriers for completions of quests are lower. Your leveling-up thresholds come more quickly. You automatically gain entry to some parts of the map that others have to work for. The game is easier to play, automatically, and when you need help, by default it’s easier to get.”


  13. Eric Kirk
    November 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    foxstudio – that’s a really concise way of putting it.

  14. tra
    November 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I agree with all of that, but I would also note that this analysis conspicuously leaves out a very major variable — wealth and income level. Yes, all things being equal, the average poor but straight, white and male person has considerable cultural advantages (though not nearly as much in the past), but it’s not like life is easy and the path upward is smooth for poor straight white males.

    IMHO the main weakness of so-called identity politics type analyses is when they ignore or minimize the fact that a good deal of inequality of outcomes is due to differences in the wealth and income of individuals, not just their race, gender, sexuality, etc. — which creates some understandable (if misplaced) resentment among those straight white males who also happen to be dirt poor and struggling like hell just to survive.

    Emphasizing to these poor, straight, white, males how much easier they have it than people of a different gender, race, or sexuality just isn’t that well received. Better, in my opinion, to put most of our emhasis on highlighting how much all poor people have in common and how their interests coincide, even as we acknowledge that some “identity groups” do have a harder time — in significant part (though not entirely) due to the fact that members of at least some of those groups (including women, African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities) are starting from a position of lower wealth and education, due to historic factors. Yeah, I know, major chicken-egg dilemmas, or something like that, but I think you get my point.

  15. anonymous
    November 6, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Those poor, straight, white, males should be grateful for your kind, patronizing and condescending approach to their problems with intelligence. After all, you liberals are so much smarter, purer of thought & deed and more noble than they.

  16. Not A Native
    November 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    TRA IMO, having low income doesn’t mean you’re not middle class. It just takes more personal effort. And conversely, having median income doesn’t mean you’re middle class, unless you adopt the attitudes and behavior. My guess is that low income Southern Romney voters are mostly middle class in their habits, self images, and aspirations.

  17. anonymous
    November 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Not everybody can be a doctor NAN. Somebody has to clean your house & cut your lawn.

  18. Romney Fan
    November 6, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Fuck that nigger! Vote Romney!

  19. Casey Jones (the Grateful Dead version)
    November 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    RF #18: I imagine real Romney supporters would say to you “Do us a favor and please don’t be on our side.”

    As for me, all I can say is you are a nit wit.

  20. Plain Jane
    November 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    This is an automatically updating site with interactive “path to the WH” so you can switch the states between red and blue as the counts proceed. So far things are looking good for for Obama.


  21. High Finance
    November 8, 2012 at 7:16 am

    “Romney Fan” isn’t.

    He is a leftie trying to make conservatives look bad in a childish & immature way.

  22. November 8, 2012 at 7:34 am

    High Finance is probably correct. “Romney Fan” needn’t bother trying to make conservatives look bad. Ponder z and Just Watchin and notafan and others, including HiFi, have it under control.

  23. Just Watchin
    November 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Mitch :High Finance is probably correct. “Romney Fan” needn’t bother trying to make conservatives look bad. Ponder z and Just Watchin and notafan and others, including HiFi, have it under control.

    If it wasn’t for us “bad guys”, this would just be a mutual admiration club with everyone congratulating each other for being like minded, and that would get old quick. We add a little color to the conversation! ( and I just started the clock to see who is first to call me a racist for using the term “color”)

  24. November 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Absolutely true, JW. Thing is, comments that contribute only snark with no actual information or argument just make the “bad guys” look stupid as well as bad. I don’t mind, but I’d think you’d find that bothersome.

  25. Smart 5th Grader
    November 8, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    jw. “Moronics” does not count as “adding color to a conversation”. Adding means adding value. Drivelling hate in illiterate sentences is not adding value.

  26. Just Watchin
    November 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    SFG…..such a hateful person. Your welfare check must be late, so I’ll excuse you.

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