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White Males Need Not Apply

While every election cycle brings the "discovery" of some new demographic - usually some subset of suburban women with children like "Soccer Moms" or "Security Moms" - the most enduring political demographic trend in modern America has been the wholesale desertion of white males from the Democratic Party, and the Democrats' ingrained aversion to any effort to get them back (beyond mere posturing). David Paul Kuhn wrote a book about the phenomenon, which he explains for The Politico:

The 2008 election offers the most diverse array of presidential candidates in history. But this rainbow campaign will hinge on the most durable reality of American politics: White men matter most.

* * * * *

In 2000, exit polling showed white women backed George W. Bush over Al Gore by 3 percentage points, but white men backed him by 27 percentage points. Four years later, with John F. Kerry carrying the Democratic banner, the margin was 26 points.

The Bush years have echoed with what-if questions: What if the votes in Florida had been counted differently in 2000, if Ralph Nader had not run or if Gore had been able to carry his home state? What if Kerry had responded more deftly to the Swift Boat Veterans in 2004?

A more powerful what-if is to imagine that Democratic nominees had succeeded in narrowing the white male gap to even the low 20s instead of the mid-20s. Both Kerry and Gore would have won easily.

In 2008, Democrats are assembling behind a front-runner, Hillary Rodham Clinton, with singular problems among white males. Polls show her support among this group is approaching the record lows scored by Democrats during the peak of Ronald Reagan's popularity in the 1980s.

Read the rest at the second link above. Kuhn examines the history and economics of the trend.

Democrats have a number of problems winning back white male voters. Obviously, their policies don't sell well, for one thing. White men are much more likely to support a strong military and aggressive foreign policy than other groups are, and tend to be more hostile to new taxes, regulations, and government programs.

Of course, the fact that the Democratic left has tended to demonize us over the years doesn't make them any more attractive, either. Every social problem seems to be blamed on "the white male power structure," as if we are all in on some grand conspiracy. To listen to Democrats pander to their interest groups over the last few decades, they must envision the following fiction as a daily phone call:

Biff (answering phone): Biffington H. Wordsworth IV speaking.

Chip: Morning, Biff - Chip here. Say, old man, I'm up to my tennis elbows over here trying to enforce our patriarchal construct, and the glass ceiling is showing cracks all over the place. Could you lend me a hand?

Biff: Sorry, my friend, but my plate's full. I've been repressing minorities all morning - these black men aren't going to keep themselves down, you know - and there's a whole line of gays and transgendered individuals who need to be marginalized before lunch.

Chip: Quite right, old chap, that had slipped my mind. The White Man's burden, but we'll get it done. Are we still on for drinks at the all-white private club after work tonight?

It's quite understandable when Democrats, who seem to view white males as oppressors and monsters, refuse to make any serious effort to attract our votes. It should be equally understandable why they do not get them.


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Comments (27)

correct me if I'm wrong, bu... (Below threshold)

correct me if I'm wrong, but the dems have also been losing the married white woman vote for a while now. it's only their huge margins with unmarried white women and minority women that gives them an overall margin with women voters.

and without them...they are... (Below threshold)

and without them...they are going to lose in '08.

steve sturm ~ I remember se... (Below threshold)

steve sturm ~ I remember seeing a breakdown on recent elections, but I can't find it now. Yes, I believe the GOP holds an edge with married white women between 35 and 65, with those older or younger tending Democratic. Single women lean strongly Democratic.

However, I think the Democrats have been able to make inroads with white married women from time to time - for example, "soccer moms" were far more favorable to Democrats but came back to Republicans as "security moms" after 9/11.

The real point is Democrats have potential to reach the married white women if the issues break right. They don't seem to be able to gain any ground at all with white men, though.

My confusion on this subjec... (Below threshold)

My confusion on this subject is why the Democrats have any support from white men at all.

But there's little evidence... (Below threshold)

But there's little evidence that the GOP is doing anything to attract and hold this segment of the vote, either. The male vote is pretty inelastic. In fact, most of the growth for both parties has been in women voters, singles for the dems and married for the republicans.

In fact, the GOP's failure after 12 years of occupation of both houses and the oval office to make any genuine and lasting progress on the issues "value voters" deem most important--gay marriage, abortion ban, etc.--as well as their many moral lapses while in power may lead a large number, especially white males and married women, to abandon the party all together or at least stay home this next election.

Also subtract out the tremendous inroads the GOP made into the Hispanic pentecostal voters, also values voters, after the cocked hat they made of immigration policy in this last year.

I don't see a very hopeful future for the GOP this next term.

Actually, I've always wondered when the two GOPs would split. The conservative collation has held together much longer than I thought possible. From my vantage point there are the affluent business conservatives (who are also quite open to an open immigration policy to drive down wages and keep out unions) but lifestyle laissez faire and the less affluent more working class value voters (who are also rabid anti-immigration).

Predictably, the values voters got whored in the legislative process this last decade by the business wing and feel quite burned by the experience.

Kennerly, very, very few on... (Below threshold)

Kennerly, very, very few on the right are anti-immigration. They are anti-ILLEGAL immigration, and get pissed when legal immigrants are pissed all over by those who don't draw any distinctions and lump both together.


I'm waiting for someone to ... (Below threshold)

I'm waiting for someone to start pandering to the Swedish-male-baby-boomer vote, but no one's selling right now.

Ya know...Do you think it w... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Ya know...Do you think it will pay off big time that the top Republican candidates refused debates sponsored by Latinas and African Americans?
Do you think positions on immigration that have gone beyond legal/illegal on talk radio can only increase the over 40%
of Latinas that voted for Bush in 2004 because they shared his conservitive views?

Do you think it is wise to bring up melanin as a difference as opposed to the ideology or economic status that is shared by all melanin's.

I do not believe this thread is racist...just a little narrow for a plan for Republican victory in 2008.

Besides, none of this matters.
I do find it sad that both political Parties wonder what would happen if we left Iraq, and do nothing about the current horror in Myanmar.

but hey there is moveon and Rush to worry about.

Wow nogo, I actually agree ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Wow nogo, I actually agree with a very tiny bit of your comment. That's a change.

Real men don't eat quiche, ... (Below threshold)

Real men don't eat quiche, or swallow Kos.

Interesting verb you used t... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Interesting verb you used there Kim.

And I thought all my verbs ... (Below threshold)

And I thought all my verbs were engrossing. They usually slip lightly off the tongue.

Nogo:Or Darfur, or T... (Below threshold)

Or Darfur, or Tibet, or Rwanda, or the Ivory Coast, or Zimbabwe....

Make up your mind. Do we make a difference or do we have moot court in the UN? First we complain because the US tries to be the world police and then there is the compaint that we don't act. Oh, that's right the UN has to say it's okay. Kind of a grownup version of Simon Says.

Ricardo...my only point is ... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Ricardo...my only point is that in our nation there are valid concerns over what would happen in Iraq if we left. The nations you reference are places where too many killings are taking place.
We as a nation have chosen not to be directly involved(see Clinton and Rwanda)As this is a reality we must accept,;How would what might happen in Iraq be more important?

I hope you notice I hold BOTH Dems and Reps responsible for this.

Screw the UN...NATO...etc
What are we prepared...as The United States of America, to confront this?

not that it matters...but a simple google of
Halliburton Burma/Myanmar

Bunyon...ya know one of the... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Bunyon...ya know one of the reasons, after all these years I stay with Wiz...that even though I disagree with many posts...there are always posts(even yours)that break through the fog. That move beyond the simple BS. You, like Jay and DJ have done this.
If I were a simple moonbat troll, that never found points of valid interest here...I would have moved on years ago...

One Sky
One People
Many Tribes...
We are the same species with important variations..which is a good thing.

Look out beware big sister ... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Look out beware big sister is running for president and she is meaner then big brother BIG SISTER IS WATCHING BEWARE BEWARE SQUAWK SQUAWK

nogo ~ The sort of black or... (Below threshold)

nogo ~ The sort of black or Hispanic voters who would be affected by whether or not GOP primary candidates attend "their" debate are those so hopelessly enslaved by identity politics that they are already automatic votes for the Democrats. If there is one things Republicans should have learned, it is that we can never compete with Democrats at naked pandering to interest groups. They are simply willing to spend any amount of other peoples' money to buy votes, so we lose in bidding wars.

In fact, a big reason we were routed in 2006 was the slouching of our congressional majorities towards Democratic-style governance: overspending, blatant pork, and even corruption. We don't do those as well as Democrats, either, and we need to learn that lesson.

The point of the article, which you miss completely as usual, wasn't that white males vote Republican or what Republicans do to attract minority voters. It's about how Democrats' failure to appeal to white males complicates their task of winning the Presidency.

That hasn't changed, despite Democrats' wonderful streak of winning ONE election in a row. Nominating Hillary Clinton will almost certainly mean they must either find another, entirely new and yet undiscovered, path to an electoral majority, or lose again.

nogo ~ The sort of... (Below threshold)
nogo ~ The sort of black or Hispanic voters who would be affected by whether or not GOP primary candidates attend "their" debate are those so hopelessly enslaved by identity politics

I think there is more to it than that. After all they're running to be president of all the people (besides, "scheduling conflict" is a poor excuse for a debate that's been on the books for over a year), as well as a reluctance to take difficult questions--walk into the lion's den.

I also note in passing, however, that all of the GOP front runners skipped a similar Christian coalition debate as well.

Rick: As far as being Presi... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Rick: As far as being President of all the people, keep in mind that it's the liberals who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of a President not from their party. How many times have we heard, "Bush isn't *my* president!" from them? When Clinton was President, I didn't like it much, but I had to respect the office. Among other things, that meant supporting the decision to intervene in Bosnia and Kosovo.

I will agree that Republicans need to make a better outreach effort, but the debate in question was an obvious ambush setup. J.C. Watts had some comments about it, and my take was that he diagnosed the problem correctly, but prescribed the wrong medicine. The answer isn't just to acquiese to any trap that the Left wants to lead Republicans into. The answer is for Republicans to work with groups like the National Black Republicans Association to set up events where the issues can get an honest airing.

How many times hav... (Below threshold)
How many times have we heard, "Bush isn't *my* president!" from them?

Never heard "America held hostage day xxx" somewhere on the AM band? Or have you forgotten the chants of "Stop trying to change the subject" when Clinton responded to terrorism with cruise missiles.

You undoubtedly suffer from selective memory.

Not to mention you've forgotten that esteem for the US climbed quite a bit in the Arab world after we intervened on the side of a Muslim nation in Bosnia, as it did after we responded to the tsunami in Indonesia.

The Wall Street Journal has... (Below threshold)

The Wall Street Journal has a good piece on this today: http://blogs.wsj.com/informedreader/2007/10/04/why-the-democrats-should-court-white-male-voters/#comment-2589
You should enjoy the comment by Thomas Schaller (the moron who advised Dems in a Salon article to abandon "Bubba" altogether).

Right, Rick, and the Indone... (Below threshold)

Right, Rick, and the Indonesians were warned to chase us out before we could pollute the populace with our pure water and blasphemy.

In fact, you have an excellent point; the Muslim world may be recognizing that we are not out to destroy their religion, only to keep radical elements of theirs from angering us enough to consider it.

Abdullah is no foolah.

P, the amusing thing is tha... (Below threshold)

P, the amusing thing is that nutroot policy is divinely inspired, er, I mean intelligently designed, to most irritate that little demographic, especially the vets among them. It were the Swifties who altered the last election, might they do so again.

We'll probably hear a lot a... (Below threshold)

We'll probably hear a lot about Billy Bub "loathing" the military, next year.

Good point, Kim. I think i... (Below threshold)

Good point, Kim. I think it is a tad foolish to write off a third of the electorate, but what do I know?

"-these black men aren't go... (Below threshold)
Billll Author Profile Page:

"-these black men aren't going to keep themselves down, you know - ".

Al Sharpton
Jessie Jackson
Louis Ferrikan

Others come easily to mind.

They're doing a FINE job.

Republicans have been "reac... (Below threshold)

Republicans have been "reaching out" to black voters for a couple of decades, with nothing to show for the efforts. Short of repudiating the Party and becoming Democrats, just how are we supposed to "reach out" and get results?

One Chris Mathews as debate moderator was quite enough. Smiley may be smarter and more polite, but he is probably even further left than Mathews. I think Cousin Dave is onto something: let a REPUBLICAN black group, however small in number, organize a debate and have Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and LaShawn Barber as questioners.

But all of this is still irrelevant to the point of the post, which was the inability of Democrats to attract enough white male voters to win a national election.
Since the '60s as the Democrats began to waffle on the Vietnam War and passed the "Great Society" social programs, white men have been leaving. Then, beginning with McGovern, white males were cast as the enemy by many Democratic interest groups, which doesn't do much for recruiting.

Note also that the last Democrat to win a majority of the popular vote was Carter in 1976. He only barely accomplished it with 50.1%, and might well have lost if the election had been four or five days later. Since LBJ's 1964 landslide, Jimmah was the only Democrat to do it, even as Republicans won popular majorities five times.






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