White People and Obama

Obama with A LOT of white people*

Barack Obama’s ascendance to the Presidency nearly four years ago sent a signal to the world that Americans were ready to accept a non-White person as their leader. In the eyes of the world, this mostly meant that White Americans were ready to accept a non-White leader.

I have argued for years that the rest of the world considers the US to be a lot whiter than it actually is. Phrases like “he looks American” only really make sense to non-Americans, and by this logic, Obama does not “look” American.

I was surprised to find out how much of this “real” America actually supports the President. In 2008 candidate Obama garnered 41 percent of the White vote. To put that into perspective, he won nearly 44 percent of the vote in Texas and 43 percent of Mississippi.

This year, Obama’s prospects among Whites are looking much worse. The most recent polls indicate that less than 38 percent of Whites support Obama against Romney – nearly 56 percent support Romney. To put that into perspective, in 2008, 45 out of 50 states supported Obama by more than 38 percent.

If White Americans constituted their own state, they would be among the most right leaning in the country – but wait, I suppose that is what Wyoming, Oklahoma, Utah, Idaho and Alaska are.

This post is not arguing that White Americans are racist. If I were to use that logic, then non-White Americans would be even more racist considering that approximately 80 percent of them will vote for Obama. It should also be noted that Whites have historically voted more Republican (John Kerry got 41 percent of the White vote in 2004).

We can pretend to live in a post racial society, but there are still clear differences in the way we vote (and live). In an upcoming post, we’ll delve into a deeper demographic breakdown of how the country votes.


*confession: this picture is from Germany – I wanted a picture of Obama with a big crowd of White people, and this crowd was simply whiter than any other I could find.


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