Thursday, July 24, 2008

Survey evidence that some whites want a black president: The leftie blogosphere is having the predictable hissy fit over CNN's quoting Steve Sailer's claim that some whites are voting for Obama to show that they're not racists. I have more important things to do--like clipping my toenails--than to debate lacy old women who swoon at the mention of "Sailer"--there's a rumor going around among them that the name is short for Satan Lucifer--but I will address this idea that there is no evidence that race ever works to Obama's advantage among whites.

Lefties freely admit that race is a powerful factor in the run for President. They get on their hinds legs and pant if you offer them the morsel of, "Obama will probably never win this race because there are too many white haters out there." The best we can hope, they say, is that enough white Americans have, like themselves, passed the pearly gates and entered the realm of Race Transcended. (Uhm, strike "pearly"--that's racist--make it "ebony gates.")

But you will get mocked to the point of hospitalization if you think a white guy could ever in a million years root for a black guy as a black guy. Howls of painful laughter. Whites are genetically incapable of outgroup cheerleading. The best we can hope for from these pitiful creatures is to hold their bigoted noses long enough to vote for the brown guy who will give them free health care.

But enough sneering--that makes me no better than the other side. Let me try something that never occurs to these folks: back up my cheap talk with some data.

Here are results from a recent ABC/Washington poll:

An ABC/Washington Post poll conducted June 12-15 indicates that roughly three in ten Americans express “less racially sensitive views,” such as having some feelings of prejudice or generally believing that African-Americans in their communities do not experience discrimination. Sen. John McCain holds a 26-point advantage over Obama with this group of voters...

Among the roughly 2 in 10 white voters with “high racial sensitivity,” however, Obama leads McCain by 19 percentage points. (This group of voters is most likely, among other things, to have interracial friendships and/or believe that African-Americans experience discrimination.) Among white voters with a “medium” level of racial sensitivity, McCain leads Obama 18 points.


Okay. Thirty percent of whites (I presume they mean whites even though they say "Americans") have some issues with blacks or don't think they face discrimination. So, they're not particularly concerned about blacks, and the vast majority of them are voting for McCain. Is this just some coincidence? It goes without saying that every liberal would jump on this finding to demonstrate that some whites are not voting for Obama, at least in part, because of their views on race. They would also probably claim that the 30% is a huge underestimate--whites are actually much more hopeless than that but won't admit it.

On the other side, the vast majority of whites who are concerned about problems that blacks face are voting for Obama. The same lefties will dismissively conclude that these results are just a coincidence. White Obama voters are just compassionate people. There is no racial connection.

This bias is one reason why surveys have not even bothered to asked about racial motivations in voting for Obama. Researchers have asked the excessively blunt, are you voting for Obama because he's black--to which 80% of BLACKS have answered no. People know that you're not supposed to say yes to something that flagrant.

If these guys had made it through Introductory Research Methods, they would realize that the wording should be indirect. Something like: "If Obama wins, he'll be the first black President in the history of the United States. Did that influence your decision to vote for him at all?"

What bothers me about this unwillingness to believe that some whites want to be part of history by voting for Obama is that it shows the animus of whiter people toward regular white people.

I've personally known hundreds of regular white people in my life--people who have felt free to talk to me, another white, frankly about race. The fact is that these are pretty decent folks. Far from perfect of course, but not the wicked little trolls that superior whites believe. Much of my frustration over these issues is driven by the fact that my friends and relatives are much maligned, and they don't deserve it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This paragraph:

"I've personally known hundreds of regular white people in my life--people who have felt free to talk to me, another white, frankly about race. The fact is that these are pretty decent folks. Far from perfect of course, but not the wicked little trolls that superior whites believe. Much of my frustration over these issues is driven by the fact that my friends and relatives are much maligned, and they don't deserve it."

............perfectly encapsulates my own experience.