Have White Voters Been Taken for Granted?

Have white voters been taken for granted? That’s the basic thesis of a recent piece from Politico’s John Hohmann, who argues that if Mitt Romney wins, it will be proof that “white voters still matter.” This, we suppose, is true. Mitt Romney is winning by historic margins among white voters, and Barack Obama's re-election depends on his ability to win over at least 40 percent of them.

The problem with Hohmann’s argument, of course, is that no one has said otherwise! There is no one in American politics arguing that white voters somehow “don’t matter.” In fact, the exact opposite is true. At the moment, the campaigns are obsessed with winning voters in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Colorado. What do these states all have in common? They are fairly white compared to the rest of the country. Obama has been campaigning with Bill Clinton in an explicit effort to increase his margins among the “Bubbas” of American politics.

African Americans are nearly taken for granted by Democratic politicians, and Latinos are well on their way to the same status—after all, their only alternative is a party that has institutionalized hostility to Hispanic immigrants. The only swing voters left in this country are whites, and both parties have bent over backwards to accommodate them.

Put another way, the idea that white voters are “overlooked” is so ludicrous that the only proper response is to mock it. Mercilessly. Have fun.

 

So They Say 

"I’ll wash John Boehner’s car, I’ll walk Mitch McConnell’s dog."

President Obama's last-resort fiscal cliff tactics, as explained to radio host Michael Smerconish

 

Daily Meme: Homework for Undecideds

  • Election coverage has turned into a poll-chasing, swing state-version of Carmen Sandiego, which is, of course, no help to undecideds. If you're still trying to narrow down your choices, or want something a little chewier to read this weekend, we have some suggestions. 
  • We already have a good idea of what the Obama presidency would look like—we've seen quite a bit of it the past four years. But what about a Romney presidency? What does a Romney economic plan and foreign policy look like?
  • Here's a list of Romney's top advisors for more background on how he would lead.
  • How do Obama and Romney differ on immigration? It's an issue that hasn't gotten much play in the final lap before November.
  • Whoever is president come January 21 will have a lot of power in shaping the Supreme Court for decades to come. ProPublica explains how the candidates differ when it comes to the Court.
  • Climate change is an increasingly pressing problem, but it hasn't been mentioned at all on the trail, even though voters acknowledge it is something we need to deal with. Here is what Obama and Romney might have planned for the environment.
  • Christian Science Monitor has a handy guide that breaks down the differences between the two candidates, issue by issue.
  • What about us voters? Are we better off than four years ago? Read this special report from  Bloomberg Businessweek and decide for yourself.

 

What We're Writing

  • Harold Meyerson checks in on Osceola County, which may decide where Florida's electoral votes end up.
  • Abby Rapoport discovers that your mail-in ballot may not be as reliable as you think.

 

What We're Reading

  • Nate Cohn lays out what needs to happen for Obama to win Ohio.
  • Conservatives are very angry about Lena Dunham's new Obama ad, which is basically a double entendre about voting and sex. Too bad Ronald Reagan made the same joke 32 years ago.
  • You know who is a big Obama donor? The real first black president. Also, Trekkies and Lisa Simpson.
  • Ohio voters, who get bombarded by electoral politics more than anyone else in the country, are a bit disenchanted by all the promises.
  • GQ talks to Key and Peele about their most excellent "Obama Anger Translator" skit. 
  • Jonathan Alter says don't count on Moderate Mitt sticking around for New Year's.
  • Romney's new favorite thing to like? The word "big."

 

Poll of the Day

New polls from Ohio show Obama still holds an edge, albeit an increasingly narrow one. The CNN/Opinion Research poll holds the score at 50-46, while the Purple Strategies and ARG polls hold the advantage at 46-44 and 49-47, respectively.

For more polling information, go to the Prospect’s 2012 election map.

Comments

New York Times:
November 27, 2011
The Future of the Obama Coalition
By THOMAS B. EDSALL
For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class. All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.

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