Monday, November 03, 2008

Further evidence blacks more racialist than whites are; Hispanics too

As McCain's campaign has been charged with "racism"* while the hatred over race has taken place on the left, so has the white electorate preemptively been charged with racialism should Obama be upset next Tuesday while blacks have consistently shown more racialism during the course of the Presidential campaigns than whites have.

During the final stretch of the Democratic primaries, exit pollsters queried respondents on whether or not race was an important factor in choosing who they voted for. In all six of the states in which the question was asked, blacks were more likely than whites to say the race of the candidates influenced their vote.

Gallup conducted a national poll after Obama had won the Democratic nomination inquiring into whether or not Obama's race would make respondents more (or less) likely to vote for him, or if it would have no influence on how they voted. Blacks were nearly twice as likely to be influenced by race as whites were (22% to 12%).

As if overwhelming black support for Obama during the Democratic primaries, when he was running against the wife of the "first black President"--an advantage as lopsided as Democrats enjoy over Republicans among blacks in general elections--didn't make it clear, polls consistently show blacks to be more racially-motivated than whites are.

It's not that the focus on white racialism is unimportant. The 12% of whites who self-describe as being influenced by Obama's blackness represent around 11 million voters. The 22% of blacks who say they are influenced come to only 3 million or so voters. Even though whites are the least racialist group in the US, white racialism is of greater absolute electoral importance than the racialism of other groups because there are so many more whites than there are blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. It's the intentional omission of reporting on greater racialism among other groups that is obfuscating (and also disingenuous).

The internet allows for those who are interested to look past the headlines created to fit the media narrative, however. The exit polling data from the Democratic primaries are what Richard Cohen looked to when lamenting perceived white racism in America, while the actual data show blacks are actually more 'racist' than whites are. The Gallup poll showing blacks to be almost twice as likely to be influenced by race as whites are headlines with "Most Say Race Will Not Be a Factor in Their Presidential Vote".

Another recent poll to require a little digging for the full picture to come into focus headlines with "Whites May Exaggerate Black-Hispanic Tensions". Whites are less likely to rate relations between blacks and Hispanics as "good" than either blacks or Hispanics are. There is some street tension between blacks and Hispanics--my observation is that it exists primarily among young black and Hispanic males--but there is also shared solidarity among them as oppressed minorities in a white America. Reminding minorities that they are non-whites (rather than blacks or Hispanics) facilitates this solidarity.

That's news enterprising libertarian white guys like my dad need to consider. The view that Hispanics will create a more tolerable working class than the blacks they will do battle with and then replace in the inner-city is mostly fantastical.

But there's a more interesting psychological insight to be gleaned from the poll: Members of an 'outside' race tend to see more tension in the relations between members of two other races than members of those two other races see among their own race and the other race. That is, whites are less likely to view relations between blacks and Hispanics as good than either blacks or Hispanics are; Hispanics are less likely to view relations between whites and blacks as good than either whites or blacks are; and blacks are less likely to view relations between whites and Hispanics as good than either whites or Hispanics are.

This is a common tendency in the US--the farther a person gets from his own life, the worse he perceives things to be. Surveys consistently show Americans to be much more upbeat on their own personal economic and quality of life situations than they are on the economic and quality of life situation of the country as a whole (this is in contrast to China, where the reverse seems to be true). While Congressional approval ratings are virtually always below 50%, Congressional incumbents win reelection around 90% of the time.

Finally, this gem from a Pew study released last February:
On Super Tuesday, Hispanics were more likely than whites to say that race was an important factor in deciding their vote--28% of Hispanics said this compared with 13% of whites. ... Blacks who said race was important (29% of all black voters) were more likely to vote for Obama than were other blacks--87% did, compared with 80% of blacks who said race was not important.
* I consider the term value-neutral, much like the word "familism" to which it is related. "Racialism" is usually a better word choice, but in the common parlance "racism" tends to be used.


Stopped Clock said...

Indeed, there are some white people who want to vote for Obama because he's black:

You've probably met some of these people.

Of the 13 percent of white Democrats who said in February the race of the candidate was important for them, I imagine at least some of them were Obama supporters realizing their dream of a postmodern America with a charismatic black man filling the top position.

Audacious Epigone said...


Right you are. The Gallup poll showed 5% of whites saying they were more likely to vote for Obama because of his blackness and 6% reporting that they were less likely to do so (the difference with the total figure of 12% presumably has to do with rounding).

To the extent that whites report racialist influence, they are nearly equally split on whether non-Caucasianism is viewed favorably or unfavorably.

tapeboy said...

"Indeed, there are some white people who want to vote for Obama because he's black"

Yes indeed, Dr. Manning has some colorful terminology for these individuals Ha! (6:20min mark):

So, today is the day. It was written, and so it shall be--cometh has He.

I cast my McCain protest vote this morning (and I cast a protest/tactical vote for Hillary during the primaries--McCain was already the winner when it got around to my state). Sorry for those of you voting for other candidates...but I do not want the '08 election map to look like the reverse of the '84 map (since I reside in a "likely" red state).

I spent the past few days trying to make peace with what is to come. I have prepared to say goodbye to my concealed weapons permit (God, that is going to be hard)... come to terms with the continuation of a broken US public education system... no end to earmarks... no campaign finance reform... etc. etc. But alas, I am preaching to the choir here.

So this is what all the liberals must have felt like in 2000. Man, this is a bummer.

Anonymous said...

So this is what all the liberals must have felt like in 2000. Man, this is a bummer.

Keep your head up, no matter what. The left is banking on our despair if Obama wins. I say Fuck 'em. All is not lost. I'm saying this even though I live in the PRNJ.

Harg said...

Obama can only screw the pooch. He's the most clueless politician I've ever seen.

Blacks will regret this day, since Obama will take them off the precipice with him.

laxx1999 said...

Can anyone tell me what the percentage/number of black votes were yesterday? I am curious as to the difference in past elections. I suspect that they came out in droves which proves their own racial bias. Any thoughts?

Audacious Epigone said...


I've been really itching to comb through exit polls, as this year they are available at the state level for the Presidential race. I'm a little crunched at the moment, but I did notice Delaware and Mississippi--they stood out in particular. Among blacks in Delaware, 99% backed Obama!

In Mississippi, whites are almost as racialist as blacks are throughout the entire country. Whites went for McCain 88%-11%; blacks for Obama 98%-2%.

Stopped Clock said...

And among black males in New York state, 100% went for Obama. We have to be careful though: we're working with really small sample sizes here. The "black male" sample for NY was only about 100 respondents, so it's likely to be pure chance that they happened to get 0 McCain voters instead of 1 or 2 or 3. Most of the other states have even smaller samples.

tapeboy said...

Whoa now Audacious. You are jumping the gun a bit there.

The same CNN exit poll from 2004 also found that Mississippi whites supported Bush at a rate of 85 to 14 percent--up from from 81 percent in 2000. (Blacks conversely supported Kerry 90 to 10 percent.) Just from looking at these two exit polls, one could not say that more than 3 percent of whites were racialist.

Additionally, the 88 percent white support for McCain in Mississippi is a far cry from the 95 percent of blacks voting for Obama nationwide--a larger margin than between McCain and Obama in the national popular vote (to highlight one contrast).

At the national level:
2008 - Whites for McCain = 55 to 43 percent.
2004 - Whites for Bush = 58 to 41 percent.

So, while white support for the GOP candidate decreased by 3 percent, nationally, it increased 3 percent in Mississippi from 2004--a net difference of 6 percent.

As we already know, Mississippi has the highest percentage of blacks in the country--a group, which is probably one of the most homogeneous statewide factions nationally as well. But a large majority of whites also exhibit similar "cookie-cuter" traits. Amoung whites, conservative values and religion heavily dominate political considerations. Just the incidents of practicing hypocritical southern baptists alone sometimes seems ubiquitously tyrannous.

Lastly... one almost humourous thing I have to mention. Leading up to the election, Rasmussen had listed black support for Obama in Mississippi at 97 percent. I had wondered, What was the margin of error on that estimate? +/- 3 percent?? So, their data was saying that blacks possibly supported Obama at ~100 percent!? Good grief! (Of course, we now know that the error was only 1 percent.)

Audacious Epigone said...


I'm being facetious when I attribute how blacks and whites vote in Presidential elections to racialism, or solely to racialism, I should say, since the major media seemed to assert that whites voting for McCain was evidence of racism. The interparty contests are where race is a real driver.

Partisanship is clearly a much better explanation in the general election. Blacks tend to vote about 9 to 1 in favor of the Democrat, while whites vote around 4 to 3 in favor of the Republican. I doubt a black Republican running against a white Democrat would get more than 25% of the black vote. The standard patterns basically stayed the same this time around (the black ratio is more like 20 to 1 for this election, but in terms of actual votes, the shift was pretty much inline with leftward shifts for other groups).

Audacious Epigone said...


The total black sample in New York consisted of 271 people. I presume that if even one of them had reported voting for McCain, there would've been a rounding up to 1%. But with certainty we can say that, at maximum, only one of those 271 voted for McCain. Anytime you're working with a margin of error, you've to be cautious, but that is overwhelming.