Lies And Damned Statistics

I know that, in the closing days of a campaign, candidates will look for any edge they can get, but is this really something to be proud of?

This discrepancy seems to be explained by Pew's demographic breakdown of the potential defectors, as the groups most likely to jump are also Clinton's bases of support: "One-in-five white Democrats (20%) say that they will vote for McCain over Obama, double the percentage who say they would switch sides in a Clinton-McCain matchup (10%). Roughly the same number of Democrats age 65 and older say they will vote for McCain if Obama is the party's choice (22%).

That there are racists in the Democratic Party does not surprise me (any more than I am surprised by the sexism of which Hillary Clinton has been the target). Disappointed, not surprised. But is this really something that a campaign would want to "promote," as Salon notes Clinton is doing? Associating yourself with a racially coded white flight as one last way to win some primaries? Really?


Anonymous said…
Is race really the issue?

To these eyes, McCain vs. Obama would be the first time two Republicans ran for office.

Obama = fifth columnist.

He's no Democrat.
Brian Doan said…
Hi Anon,
I think, given what the piece told us about the poll, that it's a race and age issue. I'm not sure I agree with you about "two Republicans running for office." Both Clinton and Obama have embraced conservative positions on different issues, but they are both very much to the left of McCain, and it seems suicidal, to this Democrat, anyway, to switch over like that, as if McCain were some kind of moderate (which he most definitely isn't). I would also suggest, with all due respect, that terms like "fifth columnist" don't contribute a lot to the debate. That said, I appreciate you stopping by, and hope you will ID yourself (or at least create a pseudonym (:) the next time you say hello.
Bob Westal said…
I don't know whether this is wishful thinking, but I can't help but be skeptical that any but the most hawkish of actual registered Democrats (as opposed to independents), would consider voting for McCain or even sitting it out, though it's possible I'm underestimating the Joe Lieberman constituency out there (which includes many of mom's friends in Hadassah...but who else?)

Right now, of course, there is lot of talk about that among the more rabid supporters on both sides who feel stung in various ways with varying degrees of justification. The "I'll never vote for ____" diary was a staple for awhile on Dkos.

Of course, as someone who's been making calls for Obama, I've anecdotaly run across a number of Republicans and right leaning indies who say they could never bring themselves to vote for Hillary (and, yeah, some of them really are sexists and some just believe all the hooey from the nineties). How knows exactly how it will all shake out except that Obama drives turn-out, which I think may be key.

In any case, it's kind of sad that we have to factor in how many people are too bigoted to vote for an African-American versus how many are too sexist to vote for a woman.

What I actually think is going to happen, however, is that people will actually take a long look at McCain and realize how cheerless and tired he is much of the time, and his message of "more wars and fewer jobs" and vote for the person who offers them some small shred of hope, and that will be the Democrat. A lot of the time people can compartmentalize their prejudices in interesting ways. My mother's high school class elected an African American during the 1940s, no less...but no one she knew would even think of inviting the boy to their house.
Anonymous said…
In regard to the anti-Hillary/anti-woman-for-President majority (conspiracy?), I realize one's walls can be high and inpenetrable.

Whenever our "opinions" (informed or otherwise) are fueled by passion or preconception, it's difficult to be completely objective. Is Obama taking the lead for platform or popularity?

America just isn't ready for a woman President. (John Lennon was right.) Obama is a mistake waiting to happen, and it has nothing to do with race.

I'll remain anonymous to cut this off here and now; the last thing I need are pointless barroom arguments that'll have the myopic pitbulls of the blogosphere tracking me back to my lair.
Brian Doan said…
Hi Bob,
I suspect you're right, and certainly hope so-- as you say, it's a long time to November, and at some point the media has to start reporting on McCain's policies, and not just his great BBQ, right?

Anon, I fear that you are right, too, about the misogyny surrounding the coverage of the Clinton campaign. I think it's terrible, and blogged about it below. And I think there are plenty of blind spots in both campaigns, and issues of both racism and sexism should be discussed, and criticized. In the primaries I am supporting Obama, but will cetainly vote for Sen. Clinton in the general election if she gets the nom (whatever differences I have with her, she's much better than McCain). I am disappointed about the campaign's apparent embrace of this meme, though.

Oh, and just to clarify my earlier blog comment, and to respond to your response-- in voicing the hope that you'd return with a name, I wasn't trying to call you out-- until a little while ago, I wrote this blog under a pseudonym, and completely appreciate your concerns about blog troll harrassment. My hope was based more in clarifying who is posting what (under their real names or not): when people post as "anonymous," I don't always know if it's the same "anonymous" as before (for that matter, I can't be 100% sure this second comment comes from the same person as the first, although the voices seem similar, so I'm assuming it does). if you called yourself "Democrat1" or something, it just would've helped me to be sure, and would've made having the conversation easier. And in the end, making the conversation easier is the point of these elections, right? I think we disagree on this issue, and these candidates, but I am glad you stopped by and voiced your opinions, and I hope the blog was a welcoming environment, and not an intimidating one-- I hate that macho, belligerent BS that too often pops up in coments sections. And I hope-- anonymous or not-- you return to discuss politics, movies, sports, or whatever else pops up.

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