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View Diary: Democrats need to do better with white voters (162 comments)

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  •  what should Dems do to increase white vote% (12+ / 0-)

    What did Pres. Obama do to win outsize share of white vote in Iowa, NH, MI, MN etc? The 39% in 2012 & 43% in 2008 are no different than White Dem candidates have won in the past. That tells us that White tribal voting for Republicans is a conscious rejection of progressivism regardless of the race of Dem party flagbearer.

    We had a chance to see if White voters in Ohio who had a clear choice to vote for their immediate economic interests -- re: auto industry rescue, still chose to vote for the candidate, Romney, who sought their abject demise. What are we supposed to do, then?

    "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

    by zizi on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:11:03 AM PST

    •  imo, it is more about culture and race than (3+ / 0-)

      ideology, and there is not much of a solution, other than possibly waiting for older whites to die.

      R base is dominated by whites who are uneasy about US becoming less white.  D party has become the party of non-whites (partly b/c R base is generally hostile to minorities, including religious minorities).  for over a century, there has been much animosity among whites towards government helping minorities.  at different times those minorities included various whites, but now it mostly means blacks and latinos.

      ron brownstein has written quite a bit about this recently.  among whites who are uneasy about demographic change, (increasing non-white population) the vast majority vote R.

      2 professors who have been studying religion and public opinion in US for about a decade found that those they in their studies from earlier in the decade who later identified themselves as tea partiers stood out for their skepticism of/antagonism toward minorities and for support for more religion in public life.

      •  I'm not disputing any of that (4+ / 0-)

        But I'm also not hoping to raise Obama's 39% to a majority. But if we could get something like 44%, that's a bigger margin of error for the presidency and we'll win more districts. Just like the Republicans will be seeking just a bigger minority of Democratic leaning groups, we just need a bit bigger minority of whites to make a big electoral difference.

        •  He got 43% in 2008 (8+ / 0-)

          Also note that the 43% was the highest by any Dem candidate since LBJ. So what diminished it to 39% other than the relentless racebaiting by tea party astroturfing since 2009? Romney's entire agenda was to drive that race-baiting to electoral victory. His campaign said his goal was to get 61% of white vote. He got it but it did him no good.

          I wonder why the victims of racial bigotry are the ones expected to reach out and accommodate the irrational fears of whites voting their bigotry? I don't get it? Why can't the be prodded, shamed, or punished into voting their economic interests? Bigoted whites are never held to account why? I'm tired of bending over backwards.

          But even this narrative about "losing white vote" is itself statistically inaccurate when you break it down by region. pres. Obama outperformed many Democratic presidential candidates since LBJ outside the South, which is why the average was dragged down so much. 10% in Mississippi? The poorest state in the country, most welfare dependent? What could we say to them to remove their racist blinkers?

          "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

          by zizi on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 02:50:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, nothing here to dispute (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Illinois IRV, worldlotus, RamblinDave

            The regional differences were more detail than made sense at this point, but when it comes time to figure out how to do better, the regional differences have to be considered. Not just the 10% in Mississippi, but Vermont is very white, mostly rural, yet somehow safely Democratic. So clearly Democrats in Vermont figured out some solution.

            I don't get why the victims of prejudice should have to reach out either, but that there would be political gain in doing so seems apparent. Getting Democrats consistently back up to Obama's 2008 43% would win a bunch of districts for us.

          •  Lots of People Who Voted "Hope & Change" 2008 (7+ / 0-)

            were disillusioned by Obama's lack of strong, clear leadership and his constant striving for bi-partisanship with the people who got us into this mess in the first place...  

            Lack of leadership by Dems from 2008 on led to the Tea Party revolution of 2010. The Tea Party expressed a lot of the frustration many white working and lower middle class voters felt with the screwing they were getting from the bankers and tyhe economy in general... Fox News helped with the obfuscation and brainwashing that led people to vote against their own interests.

            Two years on, the Dems have been able to regain some of the lost ground and will continue to do so as long as they avoid shooting themselves in both feet by bending over to meet Rethug demands to balance the budget via SS and Medicare cuts.

            Dems need to start to stand up and speak out in simple and clear terms that tell ALL the voters, regardless of color or religion, the truth about the corporate hijacking of our democratic republic.

            People are looking for real leaders, not wonk-speaking shape shifters who change position with every little breeze. You would be surprised how many people who may have been voting TP Republican are less than satisfied with the clowns they have representing them, but don't see much leadership from the D side either. FISA and personal liberties are a HUGE issue with a lot of white voters.. along with everyone else.

            Just my two cents...

            “Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

            by miguelmas1 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 06:29:01 PM PST

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            •  I'm not so sure (5+ / 0-)

              Given how right-wing the tea party is, I find it very hard to believe anyone supporting it would ever vote for any Democrat, no matter how bold hir leadership.

              It is also important to remember that people love to say they want leaders who will make tough choices, but they nearly always punish those who do. Ask Walter Mondale.

              Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

              by RamblinDave on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 06:55:57 PM PST

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            •  And Mandated "health insurance" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              miguelmas1

              instead of some sort of single payer, or voucher system.  

              That one law (white working class being forced to buy private corporate health insurance) probably accounted for most of the voting differences between 2008 and 2012.  It re-enforced the Rep. meme that Dems pass laws that reduce personal choices in life.  

              Addressing those concerns, and a Hillary candidacy, may go a long way in bringing those disaffected whites back.

            •  Tea Party emerged in 2009 right after the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              A Citizen

              inauguration. I remember first hearing about the Teabaggers in Feb and March of 2009. It was, at first, about sour graps and sore losers backed by big corporate money and right wing big wigs like Dick Armey.

              The Tea Party was and always will be the far right. Do not believe people who say they were independent and now teabaggers or liberals and now tea baggers as that is not true.

              Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

              by wishingwell on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:47:20 AM PST

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              •  There are the hard core TP wing nuts (0+ / 0-)

                and then there are people who listen with half an ear and brain think the TP rhetoric makes some kind of sense...

                “Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

                by miguelmas1 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:25:57 PM PST

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          •  I would argue that 4% difference (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell, RamblinDave

            was due to economic conditions in rural areas. I think the economy has gotten back on track in urban areas, but in rural, industry towns, workers are at the mercy of fewer employers than before.

            I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

            by CFAmick on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:00:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  maybe we could do a better job of not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RamblinDave

        rubbing the fact that the country is becoming less white in their faces?

        •  It's not just 'we' who are pointing that out (0+ / 0-)

          Conservative commentators have certainly made the demographic trend very clear. At least the ones who don't try to overtly attribute November's results to voter fraud.  Progressives could never bring the subject up and white voters would still have their faces rubbed in it.  

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