I was kind of saddened by the recent Quinnipiac Poll. Saddened by its inference that if the election where held today, President Obama would beat Romney by only 4 points (46-42). As the poll was conducted between April 11th and 17th, it took place in both the wake of the reproductive rights/contraception hysteria that continues to infect the nation's political discourse, and after Republican attempts to pass virulently anti-woman legislation in state legislatures throughout the country, especially in Virginia. And while this poll has Obama leading Romney by 10 points among women generally, it has Romney beating Obama among White women.
Check that. This poll has Romney easily beating Obama among White women - (50-38). This is even a larger gap than in the previous Q-Poll in February where Romney held just a 7 point lead. Now it's 12. WTF!
Really, really sad.
Now some people can't get their heads around the fact that some gays are Republicans, or that some Blacks are Republicans - albeit in both cases only a minority are Republicans. Me? I can't get my head around the fact that the majority of White women are Republicans - are still Republicans. But then again, so are the majority of White college grads. Actually, no matter how one demographically slices White people, in Presidential elections the majority vote Republican. Wokay, 54% of 18-29 year old Whites voted for Obama in 2008. Big F*in Deal. 86% of non-White 18-29 year olds voted for Obama in 2008, so that 54% is kind of petite.
On the flip side of the Kosschach Ink Blot, the ugly and inconvenient truth of White women being the sweethearts of the GOP.
First, a link to some polls as support for the claims in this diary:
NY Times Preseident Exit Poll, 1972 - 2008;
CNN Presidential Exit Poll, 2008;
CNN Presidential Exit Poll, 2004;
CNN U.S. House Exit Poll, 2010;
CNN U.S. House Exit Poll, 2006
PPP National Poll, Feb 14, 2012;
PPP National Poll, Jan 17, 2012;
PPP National Poll, Dec 20, 2011
To all those who think that the GOP is going crazy, I have a simple question "Why are the majority of White people going along for the ride?" In the 3 PPP National Polls linked to above, every single Republican Presidential candidate beat Obama among White people. Every one. Including Michele Bahmann. In each of these polls, the majority of Whites indicated that they wanted more Republicans elected in 2012. Also. In this week's Q-Poll, White people prefer Republicans for Congress (47-32) over Democrats. I have one word for these "patriots": WISCONSIN! Though PPP regularly provides some of the most detailed demographic breakdown of all polls, PPP does not provide a race/sex analysis as do the above CNN and The NY Times Polls. Quinnipiac also provides a race/sex category for its polls, and it was the data in this category that caught my eye today - along with the race/education category.
As no one really expects Obama to win the White male vote - he won 50% or more of the White male vote in only 9 states in 2008 - this diary will focus on White women. Two good reasons for focusing on White women preferring Romney over Obama are: it stands in stark contrast to how the overwhelming majority non-White women vote; and it seemingly stands in stark contrast to how one would expect rational actors to respond to the misogyny of the Republicans.
As the Republican Presidential Primary devolved into a racist/misogynist/Christo-fascist hate-fest, especially during the "Berzelius" Santorum surge of the past few months, a rational person could expect that this would lessen the GOP's appeal outside of hard-core Republican primary voters. One would not even have to be all that rational to expect that the blatant misogyny of Republicans would finally turn-off White women who, in the previous 10 Presidential elections, have voted in the majority for the Republican 7 times - while the Democrats never won more than 48% of White women (1996, 2000). Yet, White women continue to prefer the misogynist Republicans. So much for rationality.
According to Quinnipiac, White women prefer Romney over Obama, (50-38), and prefer Republicans over Democrats for Congress, (44-34). However, women as a whole chose Obama over Romney, (49-39), and prefer Democrats over Republicans for Congress, (44-36). Just about the inverse of the choices of White women. Black and Latino women, combined, make up only about 10% of the electorate, so one can easily infer that for Obama, and every other Democratic candidate, to win the women's vote requires winning non-White women totally disproportionately. Thankfully, they have.
Least one has forgotten, the Palin ticket won the White women vote in 2008, (53-46), while Obama won the women's vote overall, (56-43) - even though White women are the electorate's single largest demographic group at 40%. White women also voted (58-36) for Republicans in the 2010 Great White Anti-Obama Backlash Midterms.
In a country where White privilege dominates just about every aspect of every facet of life, it would be foolish to overlook the fact that White women are, first and foremost, White. White women enjoy the same benefits of White privilege that White men do - at least insofar as it involves their relative position to non-White women. And White women are every bit as motivated to uphold White privilege as White men are (think of the children!). As the Republican Party has been the party of White privilege since at least 1968 (or is that the party of White supremacy?) it's no small wonder that the majority of White women vote Republican. Especially when one can just hop a flight to
Cuba Europe for whatever medical procedure that has recently been outlawed by one's elected representatives. But the Republican Party has declared war on women, right? And this includes White women, right? Even though White women gave the Republican party 53% of their vote in 2008, and gave 58% of their vote to the TeaBigots in 2010, right?
Yet, as of today, White women still prefer Romney to Obama, and want more Republicans elected to the House in November. If that isn't sad, then I don't know what sad is.
Hopefully, the failure of the majority of White women to declare war on the party that has declared war on them merely represents a lag in the effect of the recent, full blown GOP misogyny on how White women will vote this November. Understandable. When one is a member of the dominant social group, even if one is a member of an oppressed sub-group in the dominant group, one can be excused for being a little slow to bite the hand that feeds them. It's not as if White women are alone in this. Pew has a couple of polls that exemplify just how slow White people have been generally to understand the true nature of the society that they mistakenly believe benefits all of them.
In Rising Share of Americans See Conflict Between Rich and Poor, the "Rising Share of Americans" is almost totally White. In 2009, 66% of Blacks and 55% of Hispanics believed there were very strong or strong conflicts between the rich and the poor, while only 43% of Whites believed so. Two years later, the percentage of Whites who realized this reality had grown to 65% - a 50% increase. Credit for this new awareness, new for White people, must be given to the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has catapulted "income inequality" over "debt and deficit" as the narrative for which economic problem most needs addressing.
There were also increases in the perceptions of Blacks and Hispanics regarding conflicts between rich and poor, but these were much smaller than the increase among Whites. Now, 71% of Blacks and 61% of Hispanics see strong class conflicts. Relative to Blacks, Whites still have a ways to go to understand the depth of class conflicts in America, but at least they are on the correct path. Unfortunately, when it comes to capitalism and socialism, White Americans lag far behind both Blacks and Hispanics in understanding the positive aspects of socialism and the negative aspects of capitalism.
As detailed in Little Change in Public's Response to 'Capitalism,' 'Socialism', 55% of Whites have a positive reaction to the word "capitalism", but only 24% have a positive reaction to "socialism". In contrast, 41% of Blacks have a positive reaction to "capitalism" while 55% have a positive reaction to "socialism". For Hispanics, 32% have a positive reaction to "capitalism" and 44% have a positive reaction to "socialism". These numbers speaks volumes as to why Republicans have been shouting socialism since at least 1932, why most Whites vote for the party that has been shouting socialism since at least 1932, why the Republicans ran, successfully, on repeal-and-replace of the PPACA in 2010, and why America is a long way from having single-payer health care. Perhaps one day, Whites will achieve the same level of socio-economic-political awareness as Blacks have, just as Whites have significantly increased their awareness of class conflict over the previous two years. Whites may then have a more positive reaction to socialism, and a less positive reaction to capitalism. Then it could even be possible for America to stop being the world's exception to civilized heath care (hint: don't hold your breath).
So maybe White women just need a little longer to grok the insidious nature of Republican misogyny. To me, White women have been as slow as molasses going backwards uphill in the middle of winter in Vermont in kicking the Repubs to da curb. Still, change can be frightening. It takes heart, guts, a spine, smarts. So maybe I should give White women a little longer, and wait until the next Quinnipiac Poll before calling-out White women on their co-dependant relationship with the GOP. By then, any negative effect of Republican misogyny on White women support for the GOP should become apparent. If not, then I'm sure the Republicans will see it as continued tacit support from White women for their war on women. As I'm sure they do now.
Returning to this week's Quinnipiac Poll, I noticed that it also reinforces the fact that the majority of White college grads tend to vote Republican. In 2008, the Palin ticket won the White college grad vote, (51-47). Obama won non-White college grads, (75-22), which allowed him to win college grads overall, (53-45). In the Q-Poll, White college grads chose Romney over Obama (47-45), while, overall, college grads chose Obama over Romney, (51-41). So much for the value of education as it relates to one's voting preference. Well, so much for the value of education as it relates to one's voting preference if one just happens to be White. I mean, you're a fuking college grad, and you can't make up your mind if you would rather have Obama or Romney as Pres! What did you major in? Space and Time? As in, taking up the former and wasting the latter?
The image of the typical Republican voter as an undereducated, low-information rube may be dear to White progressives, but it is not supported by facts. Not by facts gleamed from multiple polls covering numerous elections and taken over a span of decades, that is.
But why let facts get in the way of a comforting stereotype, right?
Perhaps if I had experienced the positive aspects of White privilege I wouldn't be so concerned about the majority of White women voting Republican. But that has not been my reality. With the popularity of "Berzelius" Santorum, it is becoming more obvious that It Can Happen Here. Some would like to believe that B.Santorum would have been the better candidate for Obama to run against. I say be careful what you wish for. Because when It Does Happen Here, that person who will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross will most likely be a White woman.
And what a privilege that will be... Sweethearts deserve no less...
Instead of calling White women Sweethearts of the GOP, maybe Handmaidens of the War on Women would be more apt.