Skip to comments.So long, white boy (Author says Dems should abandon search for white male "Bubba" voter)
Posted on 09/16/2007 9:33:49 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Those who have been closely following the politics of the Democratic primaries may have noticed that someone is missing -- and I'm not referring to Bob Shrum, the Rev. Al Sharpton or an as-yet-undiscovered "Gravel Girl."
I'm talking about the white male voter, or at least a certain long-coveted variety thereof. He is variously known as "NASCAR dad" -- that shirt-sleeved, straight-talkin', these-colors-don't-run fella who votes his cultural values above all else -- or "Bubba," as Steve Jarding and Dave "Mudcat" Saunders affectionately call him in their book, "Foxes in the Henhouse." Start looking on milk cartons for Bubba because he has vanished, and not a moment too soon: The Democratic obsession with the down-home, blue-collar, white male voter, that heartbreaker who crossed the aisle to the Republicans many decades ago, may finally be coming to a merciful end.
The simplest explanation for Bubba's absence to date is that none of the 2008 Democratic presidential contenders provides an obvious home for his vote. Despite accusations that Hillary Clinton is prone to dropping her "g's" when talking to rural or Southern audiences, it's difficult to imagine the former first lady making overt appeals to a group that regards her with something verging on rabid disgust. Barack Obama? The former Chicago street activist is not easily mistaken for a good ole boy. Ditto for Christopher Dodd, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson.
But the underlying reason may be demographics. In 1952, according to calculations performed by Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz for Salon, white males were nearly half the American electorate. Thanks to the recent growth in the Latino population, however, the white male share is now dropping about a percentage point a year, accelerating a decline that began with the increased enfranchisement of African-Americans in the civil rights era. In next year's election, white males may account for fewer than one out of three voters. Bubba is no longer a kingmaker.
In the current primary season, only Delaware Sen. Joe Biden has bothered to make so much as a feint toward the Bubba vote, with an absurd analogy between his home state and the South. In January, when pressed by "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace on how a "Northeastern liberal like Joe Biden" hoped to compete in South Carolina, the senator responded: "You don't know my state. My state was a slave state ... My state is anything [but] a Northeast liberal state." Biden's comment left Southern politics expert Merle Black scratching his head. "That's just really quite bizarre," the Emory professor told the Wilmington News Journal. "That's not how you appeal to Southern voters."
But the candidacy that most testifies to Bubba's declining stock is that of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.
At first blush, Edwards, the Southern populist nonpareil, seems ideally situated to corner the market on working-class, white male voters. But aside from his homegrown accent, Edwards displays none of the affectations or semiotics that might once have signaled his intent to woo them. There are no Lamar Alexander-style flannel shirts; there is no sponsorship, à la Florida Sen. Bob Graham four years ago, of a NASCAR racing team. Instead, Edwards -- whose father worked in a textile mill -- hammers the issue of economic justice largely, if not completely, without overt cultural appeals. If he were a character from Southern literature, the former trial lawyer would be Atticus Finch of "To Kill a Mockingbird," not Henry Drummond of "Inherit the Wind."
Tens of millions of white men still vote Democratic, of course, and not just Prius drivers, eggheads, grunge-band leaders or Warren Beatty's Hollywood buddies. Most notably, working-class white men who are current or retired union members cast their votes for Democrats, in the stubborn belief that only Democrats will protect and promote their economic interests. "The 2004 CNN exit poll data shows that [John] Kerry lost white males by 31 points if they weren't in a union, but won them by seven points if they were -- a 38-point difference," says Mike Podhorzer, deputy political director of the AFL-CIO. "It's no accident -- union members understand that their votes make a difference, for their wages, their healthcare and their pensions. If, as they say, 'there's something the matter with Kansas,' there's nothing the matter with union members."
In 2004, according to New York Times exit polls, Democrat Kerry won 38 percent of the total white male vote, confirming a familiar pattern. Kerry's share was basically the same that every Democratic presidential candidate has received since Michael Dukakis. In the four elections between 1988 and 2000, in fact, using New York Times exit poll results, the Democratic nominee won 36 percent, 37 percent, 38 percent and 36 percent, respectively, of votes cast by white men. Because white men cast between 33 and 36 percent of all votes in 2004, that means a mere 12 to 13 percentage points of Kerry's 48 percent nationally came from white men -- about one vote in four. Nevertheless, and despite running against an incumbent in the first post-Sept. 11 presidential election, Kerry still came within one state of winning the Electoral College. Four years earlier, Al Gore also came within one state of reaching the magical 270 electors, and actually won the popular vote nationally -- while, like Kerry, receiving only about one-fourth of his support from white men.
What about Super-Bubba himself, Bill Clinton? By siphoning off 22 percent of the white male vote in 1992, Ross Perot would appear to have prevented Clinton from breaking the Democrats' pattern. But more revealing is the fact that when in 1996 Perot's support among white men fell by half, to 11 percent, Clinton's support improved by a meager 1 percent. The truth is that Clinton was no more dependent on white male votes for his two wins than Gore and Kerry were penalized for garnering the same level of support from these voters in their two defeats.
Yet centrist Democrats continue to urge the party to find new ways to lure white male voters back into the fold. Bill Galston, former domestic policy advisor to Bill Clinton and one of Washington's sharpest analysts, is a proponent of a Democratic reinvestment in white male voters. "Today, white males form about 39 percent of the electorate," Galston wrote in Blueprint, the monthly magazine of the Democratic Leadership Council, in the summer following the 2000 election. "The Republican margin of 20 to 25 percentage points among white males thus translates into an edge of between 8 percent and 10 percent of the entire electorate. By comparison, African-Americans form 10 percent of the electorate, and the Democrats' 80-point margin in this group translates into an eight-percent edge in the electorate as a whole. Republican strength among white men more than offsets Democrats' dominance of the African-American vote."
That's one way to look at it. But Galston's own math reveals an obvious alternative view, namely, that Democrats are able to neutralize their white male voter problem with votes from African-Americans -- even though the latter group is only about one-third the size of the former. While Galston was right in 2000 about the "more than offsets" effect of white male votes relative to black votes, by 2004 the share of all votes cast by white men had shrunk by 3 percent while the share cast by African-American voters has increased by 2 percent; today, the black vote fully compensates for the Democrats' deficit among white men.
The real story, however, is that the white male share of the electorate continues to decline. In 1976, Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford while garnering what by today's standards would be an eye-popping 47 percent of the white male vote. But in 1976, according to Abramowitz's math, white non-Hispanic males were 39 percent of the American electorate. (Abramowitz's figures, based on numbers from American National Election Studies, are slightly lower than those produced by exit polling, which may oversample white males.) The white male share of the electorate, which had fallen seven percentage points between 1952 and 1976, then stayed roughly constant for 20 years, but after 1996 began dropping again. It fell to 36 percent in 2000 and 33.1 percent in 2004, and it is still falling.
The remainder of the electorate, meanwhile, is composed of white women, among whom Democrats are competitive, and other minority groups that lean Democratic. Kerry won Hispanics, Asian-Americans and Native Americans by margins of at least 20 points in 2004, and all are growing as a share of the total electorate.
So should Democrats really be all that worried about Bubba? After snubbing him during primary season, should they revert to form during the general election, and begin their familiar, unrequited quest for his affections? Republican pollster Whit Ayres has a clear preference. "I would dearly love for the Democrats to spend millions of dollars trying to persuade NASCAR fans to vote for the Democrats," Ayres chirped last summer. "They tend to be disproportionately southern, disproportionately white and disproportionately male, which pretty well defines the core of the Republican Party." In other words, it's a waste of time and resources for the Democrats to pursue them -- a classic sucker's bet.
Meanwhile, as Biden's blunder proves, there are risks to trying to make phony cultural connections with working-class white men, most notably perpetuating the perception of Democrats as a party that is uncomfortable in its skin. With few if any votes to be gained -- and plenty of votes to be lost for being inauthentic -- Democrats finally seem to realize that cultural contortionism in the pursuit of Bubba produces little more than smiles on the faces of Republican consultants like Ayres.
More important Journalism going about discovering the obvious. I know some white guys who are all going to vote for Hillary, but they all have gray pony tails and law degrees.
Voter ID. Paper ballots.
They still have the white jewish vote though. Amazing that they do...the rats will sell the jews and Israel out in a second if they ever get the WH back.
Unfortunately, there’s no place for conservative white males in the Republican party, either...
If the NASCAR dads are so dead, why did the rats have to field the blue dogs to win ‘06?
1) The presidential election is by electoral votes, not the popular vote. Minorities are unevenly spread out in this country, so while winning an overwhelming number of black votes will cover a shortfall of white male votes in Maryland, for example, there are too few black and other minorities in states like West Virginia and Iowa to win without at least gaining a competitive number of white male votes.
2) White men are not isolated. When the Democrats insult white men, it is reasonable to believe that they drive away their wives as well. Statistics show that married white women vote Republican.
*Bump* for later
I’m sure the Democrat tushy lickers over at the AFL-CIO will put a positive spin on this to the rank and file.
>>most notably perpetuating the perception of Democrats as a party that is uncomfortable in its skin.<<
In fact, that’s all the Democrats notice is skin. The Democrats and their leftist liberal allies have done a great job dividing people into what they call “interest groups” based on the amount of skin pigment or ethnicnity. The notion that the pale penis people - one-third of the electorate - are somehow some kind of coherant tribal entity based solely on their inability to get a decent tan after a week on the beach is both ludicrous and stupid. The ancestors of the pale penis people came to the United States from a variety of religious, ethnic, and national backgrounds, all of which have unique cultures, none of which has a long tradition of solidarity based on lack of skin pigment. In addition, the idea that the pale penis people have some sort of tribal allegience can easily be demonstrated by their intermarriage with a wide variety of non-penis people from other cultures, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
The thinking in this article deserves to be served up with the banner, “Race-obsessed leftists think skin pigment determines individual choices, political leanings, and personality.” The last time I looked, folks who think skin pigment determines those things belonged to the Klan, the National Socialist party, the Nation of Islam... and, of course, academics and elitists currently living in the United States.
Where’s the barf alert!?
>>tribal allegience can easily be demonstrated by their intermarriage>>
Meant to write “refuted.” You get the meaning of my rant, though.
Bubba don’t like RINOs. Bubba stopped paying ad money to the RNC. But Bubba don’t ever, ever vote for liberal, gun-grabbing, socialist Dems. End of story.
Whenever I see a balding old white guy with a gray pony tail it either evokes laughter or rage from me. I mean come on? I can’t believe that people actually take them seriously!
“whites as a whole = 77% of the vote; blacks as a whole = 11% of the vote.
what freaking math could he do to make the black vote cover the white man vote deficit for the RATs ?”
Well, some theoretical answers using the numbers you provided (I’ll assume you didn’t make them up).
Well, presuming half of the whites were women, that puts white men at 38%...
Of those, probably a little more than half voted for Bush... So about 20%.
Did fully HALF of these voters once belong to the Democrat party? Even half = 10%, less than the number of blacks voting.
Unfortunately there’s no place for conservatives. <-period. in the republican party..
We may be looking for a new political home soon..depending on the outcome of the Republican ‘08 Primary..!
I call double bullsh$t !
In looking at census figures, there are approx. 40 million blacks. The Dept of Justice indicates that approx 1/3 of adult males are under jurisdiction of the justice department...i.e they aren’t suppose to vote.
Even stretching an assumption of an average family of 3. Assume 1/3 minors. down to 28 million.
additional 4.6 adults can’t vote, down to 24 million.
Kerry got 88% (21 million at most)of the black vote in 2004 - less of a percent than Clinton ever got.
Kerry got 37% of the white male vote and 41 % white overall.
The Rats are damn near max’d out on the black vote.
58% of the black population live in major urban areas. any increase in black votes will be in the majority of those areas and wont change election results in those areas.
3.5 million is the estimated black population of New York on July 1, 2004, highest of any state. Four other states had black populations that surpassed 2 million: Florida, Texas, California and Georgia. - 5 states contained 30 % of the black population.
How Slate makes their numbers work is way beyond me.
Well, I know less than 12 million blacks voted in the 2000 presidential election..
2004 couldn’t have had that much more.
I couldn’t find any demographics on the FEC site, so I used CNN exit polls.( don’t shoot me). and made giant assumption leaps.
Sorry for the histrionics...but 2-3% of 12 million voters is damn near statistically meaningless.
Look for them in the girlie men section. That’s the only model.
Well they have already abandoned the search to run a White male for the nomination.
they are the party of lesbian, gay, minority rights and baby killers...what do they need with white men?
Straight white males need not apply to the RAT party.
The author accurately describes the evolution of party strategies. Just as the Democrats have given up on trying to con votes out of hard-working, taxpaying, traditional American families, the Republicans would do best to give up on trying to win the votes of athiests, condom-throwers, abortion enthusiasts, man-hating dykes, gold-chained union thugs, welfare grandmothers and all the rest of the losers, goofballs, and parasites that make up the Democrat base.
Just let the rats keep them.
One thing that surprises me is that even 1 in 100 whites vote democrat. Their core platform is basically a rant against ango-saxon civilization, and wanting to take away everything white men have.
Back maybe 40 years ago the Dems were strong union supporters and I can see the temptation for working class white men to support them. Nowadays the dems are supporting both crazed trade agreements, and mass low skill migration to flood the labor market.
The value of the black vote to Democrats in presidential races is questionable. I don’t have stats, but half or more of black Americans still live in southern states which the Dems have no hope of carrying for president. That vote does send several Democratic Congressmen to Washington, but no presidential electors.
The black vote might help a Democrat presidential candidate in some close swing states, and solid blue states, but their vote is so predictable that it will seldom cause any surprises.
As this movement as gathered force, it has become explicitly contemptuous of traditional American values and common American identity, more openly at war with white males as alleged privileged patriarchs. Years ago, some of us argued that if hard multiculturalism went far enough, the official target group, white males, would emerge as a voting bloc.
In this same article Leo wrote of social concerns he thought had motived voters:
a trashy and corrupting popular culture, lessons on anal sex for fifth graders, in-your-face gay activists who cover churches with graffiti, snide anti-American folly at the Smithsonian, the moral vacuum inhabited by Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, the new unwillingness to make any distinction between legal and illegal immigration, the perverse guerrilla war against the notion that children deserve to grow up with a father in the house.
Republicans as well as the uber-Dems of Slate should take heed of this.
The main mistake I see with this analysis is that it ignores the state-by-state nature of Presidential elections. One simply can’t talk about the ‘Rat advantage among blacks offsetting the GOP advantage among white males without first setting aside those states where one party has a lock. For example black votes for the Democrat in Mississippi Alabama, and Georgia have no effect on the results in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa. If you look at the States where the ‘Rat and the Republican candidates have been within 5% of each other in each of the last three or four elections, I think you will see that these States have fewer blacks (and therefore more white males) than the national average.
I believe the white male vote for GOP is higher than a little more than half...
in 2004, 62% of male peckerwoods voted for little Bush.
55% of white females
the lost demographic for white male candidates is black women....i think they would rather undergo chemo than vote for a conservative cracker
ever go to a government entity (codes, licenses, etc) and ask for help from some old black lady ?.....if you look and talk like I do (a less polished Fred with more hair) then they give you the Spike Lee blank stare over the glasses look.....I think younger black women are maybe more open to vote for a white guy
Bravo on the rant!
I wonder if this means they will finally distance themselves from Robert Byrd (D-KKK).
“Bubba” is very smart.
Exactly! The rat has not gotten the White male vote since 1964. Neither the beast, nor abracadabra, nor opie is about to change that. Of course lil dick morris just passes over that fact when he is trying to hawk a new book and talks about how the beast will “bring in 5 million new female voters.” I guess he thinks some of the new White male vote will actually go to the beast, but I don’t.
He doesn’t think any of the new female voters will turn out to vote against the beast, but I do.
These points plus the coming Hsu and Paul campaign finance scandals plus an ‘off the charts’ “I’d NEVER vote for the beast” number between 45 and 52% adds up to trouble for the rat. Remember this when the dnc press releases try to convince us the rat will cruise to a big night on the strength of the House’s 18% approval rating.
they are the party of lesbian, gay, minority rights and baby killers...what do they need with white men?
When the Harris County (Houston TX) Democratic Committee elected convicted murderer and transexual (mutilant) Leslie Perez to the chair, I was convinced that the Democratic Party had become hopelessly and irreversably reprobate.
The man is a pure unadulterated racist.
The Dems don’t even count on the union membership anymore.
You nailed it.
It may be racist thinking, but the reality is that blacks vote 90% Dem in presidential elections and Hispanics vote over 65% Dem. There are no black Reps in Congress and very few Hispanics, mainly Cuban-Americans. So who exactly is being racist?
Because there are still pockets in Congressional districts where these people can make a difference in the election outcome, but overall, the Democrats need them less and less as they import more Democrat voters with the immigration policies they put in place back in the '60's.
Manly men will always vote Pub. If Schrum wants the Dems to give up on the South, the Mt.West, and the border state whites, I am sure the Pubs will take as many of those voters as they can garner. After all, the Dems take all the felon, dead, and illegal votes they can get.
In next year's election, white males may account for fewer than one out of three voters. Bubba is no longer a kingmaker.
Yet blacks, who with both genders number fewer than that, are considered to be kingmakers...figure that...
"The 2004 CNN exit poll data shows that [John] Kerry lost white males by 31 points if they weren't in a union, but won them by seven points if they were -- a 38-point difference," says Mike Podhorzer, deputy political director of the AFL-CIO. "It's no accident -- union members understand that their votes make a difference, for their wages, their healthcare and their pensions.
If this were true, union members would have gone RAT by a larger margin than 53.5%-46.5%...this statistic underlies the fact that RATS lose white males by a 69%-31% margin, using his own numbers.
Lots of blue collar types STILL vote Democrat in New York and New Jersey. If you look at the counties that voted for Gore and Kerry, you will see that the counties with large numbers of suburban blue collar whites (Gloucester, Camden, Middlesex, Union) voted heavilty Democratic.
AKA the Church Ladies. They are the ones you always see marching in "Anti-Gun" rallies in Newark and Camden too.
I’d take anything I’d found in Slate with a generous dose of salt; how’s it said, “lies, damn lies and statistics”? You can find a statistic to back up darned near any claim these days.
What I really, really want to know is, typically, what proportion of the eligible voters actually bother to “vote” in a presidential election? What percentage of those eligible to vote are registered and then, what percentage of eligible voters typically vote in a presidential election? I was utterly stunned by the low turnout in my arguably “blue collar/retiree” mix neighborhood in 2004. And frankly, I’m really beginning to wonder the extent to which the vote counting is cooked.
>>It may be racist thinking, but the reality is that blacks vote 90% Dem in presidential elections and Hispanics vote over 65% Dem. There are no black Reps in Congress and very few Hispanics, mainly Cuban-Americans. So who exactly is being racist?<<
You prove my point. One of the large repositories of racism in the country right now is contained in the black community. Many black leaders say things about themselves and people of other races that would be scandalous if spoken by a pale penis person. (Some examples: blacks can’t be racist because they have no power; white people are “ice people”; the CIA purposely deveoped crack for blacks to keep them in the ghetto.) In fact, it’s the hallmark of the racist to believe that their group is a victim, that their heritage was once noble, and that others are less than human.
Many of the pale penis people I know - from all sorts of political stripes - are some of the most decent, non-racist individuals I know. On the other hand, I know several “minority” people with chips the size of Mount Everest on their shoulders and attitudes about hating others outside their race and ethnicity which would make the Klan proud.
White segregationists also had a high percentage voting Democrat. Hmmm.