Saturday, February 09, 2008

Race and Voting

John McCain has all but locked up the Republican nomination but the democrats appear to have months to go before the decision is made.

I'm really surprised by the Obama surge but I think on the Dem side you now have legions of very enthusiastic new voters pitted against the old Democratic guard who tend to want Clinton. There are also specific demographic factors that have become very important, and contrary to much mainstream foolishness on race issues it appears that: There does appear to be racism, but it's not coming from mainstream white America. Exit polling data indicates that Latino voters may be voting for Clinton in some part because of race, though it's hard to tease out that factor in most polls.

We also see that African Americans are voting in huge percentages for Obama. Is this race based voting? It's hard to argue it is not when you have, say 80%+ when the candidates have effectively identical policies with respect to issues that surround race.

We probably won't know until after the primaries are over and somebody takes a good look at exit polling questions about race, but I'd guess that even though there is some race based voting it won't be the key factor in this race, partly because the two groups that appear to be most sensitive to race issues - Latinos and African Americans - each represent about the same percentage of the population and appear to have different ideas about who to support.

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