One interesting aspect of the political spectacle surrounding this year’s presidential election is the percentage of whites, particularly white males, who prefer Mitt Romney to Barack Obama. Tom Scocca of Slate takes a look at the polling gap between whites and non-whites. He writes:
White men are supporting Mitt Romney to the exclusion of logic or common sense, in defiance of normal Americans. Without this narrow, tribal appeal, Romney’s candidacy would simply not be viable. Most kinds of Americans see no reason to vote for him.
This fact is obfuscated because white people control the political media. So we get the Washington Post reporting that the election is “more polarized along racial lines than any other contest since 1988”:
Obama has a deficit of 23 percentage points, trailing Republican Mitt Romney 60 percent to 37 percent among whites, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national tracking poll. That presents a significant hurdle for the president—and suggests that he will need to achieve even larger margins of victory among women and minorities, two important parts of the Democratic base, to win reelection.
That’s not polarized. Polarization would mean that various races were mutually pulling apart, toward their favored candidates. “Minorities” is not a race (nor, you may have noticed, is “women”). Minorities and women are the people standing still, while white men run away from them.
Scott 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 broad mandate based on his supporters, Lemieux argues 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.”
Of course, all of this would be moot if whites would just listen to Chris Rock’s assertion that Obama is white:
He makes some good points. Chris Rock is black, though, so I’m guessing that whites are unlikely to listen to him.