Monday, May 07, 2007

The other poor minorities are least likely to want a black president: What's the relationship between ethnicity and voting for a black candidate? According to the General Social Survey, here are the results:

Percent unwilling to vote for black president

Mexicans 11.6
American Indians 11.4
Poles 10.6
Irish 9.7
Germans 9.7
Italians 9.2
English/Welsh 8.5

USA 7.7

Scots 7.3
Blacks 1.4

Evidently, more Mexicans and Indians are afraid that blacks would hog the minority pie with a one of their own in the White House.

Overall, the vast majority of Americans would vote for a black man, but the numbers are large enough here to affect results. Since Obama is our current possibility, people likely to vote for a Democrat are most relevant. The numbers for whites by political orientation:

Percent unwilling to vote for a black president

Extremely liberal 8.0
Liberal 7.2
Slightly liberal 4.4
Moderate 10.2
Slightly conservative 8.3
Conservative 12.8
Extremely conservative 13.5

The percentages are higher for liberals and and moderates than I would have guessed, and are high enough to influence the primaries and the general election. Does anyone know how many whites are more likely to vote for a candidate because he is black? Not too many, I suspect.

Being Mormon is a larger obstacle, as a recent Gallup poll indicates that 24% would not vote for one. Stupid--I would be more likely to vote for one because they have more sense (their instinct is conservative on most issues) and character than most people. Romney was the charismatic one at the debate last week. And the Gallup poll shows that Americans were slightly more willing to vote for a Mormon 30 years ago. I can't think of another topic where Americans are so unnecessarily ignorant.


  1. Why do you suppose more extremely liberal whites refuse to vote for a black man relative to moderately liberal whites?

    What am I missing here?

  2. Marcz: I don't know, but it might be lower-class whites who are very liberal on economic issues, but not sympathetic to blacks.

    If I get time, I'll take a closer look at it.

  3. Upside:

    Perhaps that grand Hispanic swing to the Republicans Rove is always telling us about is finally in the offing!

    Even so, no thanks. I'm not particularly interested in a lot of temporary votes from people with no philosophical affinity to mine just because they hate Darky more than Whitey.

  4. That might be one of the reasons Americans are less likely to vote for a Mormon. The poll didn't say which 24 percent--certainly any liberal's got to look at them askance, given the politics of Utah.

    If you've got a way to cross-correlate with income or education level, I'd go for it. SES tends to correlate negatively with racial pride, etc., as elites tend to view themselves as part of a multinational elite and poor whites face the most competition from poor blacks and poor Mexicans.

    The key here is competition. In the twenties, elite WASPs devalued academics in college admissions to keep the Jews out, because they were going to compete with them! They now do similar things with Asians.


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