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WILL WHITE VOTERS DOOM OBAMA? (2392 hits)

BY JOAN WALSH, SALON, November 6, 2012 -- We have a lot of iconic images of the Obama era. Far too many are ugly. The photo of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Tea Party darling, disrespectfully waving her pointed finger in the presidentís face is one of the worst.

Maybe thatís why I loved the very different image of an older white woman thatís attached to this story. She is taking the presidentís head in her hands with passion, like she might a grandson. AP merely termed her an ďunidentified Obama supporterĒ in its caption, so I donít even know who she is. I wish we did.

Theoretically, this woman could be Obamaís grandmother, who was white herself. Oddly, itís a funny X-ray of my other favorite Obama image: A young black boy touching the presidentís hair to see whether it felt like his own. They represent two very different impulses to reach out and touch this very singular American president.

It pains me that the presidential race is coming down to race. I want to believe that women like this lovely unidentified Ohio voter are in the majority among white people, but I know theyíre not. The president trails Mitt Romney 54-37 percent among whites in the latest Pew poll (although thatís down from 58-34 two weeks ago.) Heís behind with white women who are older than 50 by 51-43; the gap is bigger with the same cohort of men, 55-37. The only group of whites Obama is winning nationally is 18-29 year olds, where he leads Romney 46-44, less than he did in 2008.

To an awkward extent, Obamaís fate today comes down to white people. Pollsters and analysts agree: If the electorate that turns out in 2012 is more than 75 percent white (it was 74 percent in 2008 and77 percent in 2010), Obama almost certainly loses. If itís 74 percent or less, Obama wins. Clearly, if Democrats behaved like Republicans, theyíd look for ways to suppress the white vote.

Letís go there: What does it mean that white Republican governors in swing states worked hard to limit voting rights after the presidentís stunning and overwhelming victory in 2008? How can we tolerate the fact that Rick Scott, John Kasich and Scott Walker and their GOP allies took the lead in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin in restricting early voting hours or otherwise limiting voter access in their states, after the Democratic coalition of young, non-white and low-income voters, who are notoriously hard to get to the polls, helped elect our first black president? Should Mitt Romney win, God forbid, we will be debating that scandal for a long, long time. As long as Florida 2000.

I know I love this picture at least partly because I know white seniors are the least likely to support Obama and it pains me. Thatís why I loved Bill Clinton saying he gave up his voice ďin the service of my president.Ē I can feel the womanís warmth and empathy. She seems able to see her family, and her entire country, in his face. She doesnít have sufficient company: A recent poll by The Next America project shows that whites who fear racial change supported Romney 2-1, while whites who welcomed it backed Obama 3-2. Sadly, the poll showed that a slight majority of whites fear it, and they are likely to be older.


Sometimes I write about what the president can do to court white voters, particularly the white working class. A stronger dose of economic populism and policies that make a material difference in their lives would help, as it has helped in Ohio and other economically battered states revived by the auto rescue. But I can also make it sound like Iím blaming the president for the implacable hostility of scared or angry white people. Iím not.

I donít know why so many anxious whites canít see their future in this president. Heís one of the youngest presidents ever. Heís the son of an immigrant. He came from the middle class and rose into privilege via education. Heís the embodiment of American exceptionalism. You can oppose his policies but it feels un-American to me to despise him.

Still, watching the president close out his campaign before a hugely white crowd in Des Moines, Iowa Monday night reminded me he wouldnít be president without white support, either. Letís remember there are millions of white seniors like the woman in this photo, who back the president. If too many of them canít see their future in Obamaís face, theyíre the losers. Letís hope they donít make the rest of us losers, too.
Posted By: Richard Kigel
Tuesday, November 6th 2012 at 10:10AM
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Rich, I am getting kinda nervous watching the polls.
Tuesday, November 6th 2012 at 9:40PM
Dorothy Johnson
Lordy Lordy. White on Black? Black on White? PLEASE.
Tuesday, November 6th 2012 at 9:56PM
Steve Williams
Oh wait, Republican on Democrat? Democrat on Republican? PLEASE.
Tuesday, November 6th 2012 at 10:02PM
Steve Williams
DIVIDE AND CONQUER!!!
Tuesday, November 6th 2012 at 10:09PM
Steve Williams
Bottom line. Only thing that matters is our elections represent the People. And corporations are not persons and money is not free speech.
Tuesday, November 6th 2012 at 10:34PM
Steve Williams
ITS OVER OBAMA WON

Wednesday, November 7th 2012 at 12:03AM
DAVID JOHNSON
EDUCATE!!!EDUCATE!!!EDUCATE!!!

THE GOVERNOR OF AZ. IS DOING WHAT ANY SURVIVER DOES AND THIS IS TO SURVUVE AND RESIST CHANGES .example, Many older Whites are still resisting the changes of their generation, the 60.

THEY ARE NOW FACED WITH A CHANGE IN AMERICA SUCH AS THE MAJORITY RACE IS BECOMING THE MINORITY RACE AND THIS CHANGE HAS ALREADY HAPPENED IN CA. TX. AS WELL AS IN THIS GOVERNORS OWN STATE.(SMILE)

OUR NATION HAS AND SHALL CONTINUE TO BE MORE DIVERSE AND MORE UNIFIED, BECAUSE CHANGE IS HOW WE AS A SPECIES SURVIVE IN THE FIRST PLACE...
Thursday, April 10th 2014 at 6:47PM

WILL WHITE VOTERS DOOM OBAMA?

SUBJECT

Posted By: Richard Kigel
Tuesday, November 6th 2012 at 10:10AM

**********************************************************************************************

Yes Dr. KiegelÖ..

ÖÖ WHITE VOTERS DID DOOM the Presidency of the Great President Baraaka Hussein Obama with

1. ...2015-16...USA Congress NOT allowing President Baraaka Hussein Obama to NAME supremeCourt

2. trump$ettes with their birtherFAKE news Electing a COLORED'whiteSupremist'...trump$ette


Wednesday, April 24th 2019 at 5:58PM
robert powell
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