Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In Voting, White Men Don't Jump

The final days find male Caucasians in the spotlight as John McCain pushes his white hope, Joe the Plumber and David Brooks focuses on Patio Man.

In a time of unprecedented fear and worry, traditional male breadwinners seem to be the Republicans' best target, but the question arises: Will they make enough difference?

One striking answer can be found in a study of the American electorate over 20 years by the National Journal, which shows:

"Over the past five elections, no Democratic nominee has carried even a plurality of white voters, although Bill Clinton came close in 1992 and 1996 when Ross Perot siphoned a substantial number of them away to his independent candidacy.

"White men have been particularly cool to Democrats. Only once since 1988 has the Republican nominee amassed less than a double-digit lead among white men. (That was in 1992, when Perot reached his high point.) And in both 2000 and 2004, white men provided George W. Bush with crushing margins of about 25 percentage points over his Democratic opponents."

The dominance cuts across class lines with the five most recent Democratic nominees averaging 36.6 percent of the vote among white men with less than a college education (blue-collar workers) and 36 percent among white men with a college education.

For whatever reasons, when it comes to voting for a president, white men don't jump party lines and, in concentrating on them, are John McCain and Sarah Palin wasting their time preaching to a very convinced choir?

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