Obama and the Southern Strategy by admin | Nov 16, 2008 | Democracy | 2 comments Cross-posted at Blackprof. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Related 2 Comments cnulan on November 16, 2008 at 7:00 pm Curious, you noted unconscious bias as a factor possibly eroded by the obamamandian rorschach effect. How does that effect hold out, does that effect hold out, in a sharply declining economic scenario? As the pain and privation of the greatest depression begins to take hold in earnest next year, do you think that the underpinnings of the southern strategy will stay on the ropes? makheru bradley on November 19, 2008 at 8:10 am Our good brother Dr. Spence seems to be drawing a ton of conclusions based on preliminary data. Spence’s premise as I understand it is that the race-based Southern Strategy of the GOP is dead. The facts are that McCain received more white votes in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi that G.W. Bush did in 2004. And McCain won the white vote in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana. Ohio is particularly interesting since Obama carried the state with 40,000 fewer votes than John Kerry received in 2004. The reason for Obama’s victory in Ohio appears to be that fewer white Republicans turned out to vote in 2008. Overall Barack Obama received about 43% of the white vote, compared to 41% for John Kerry. Obama won a majority of the white vote in 16 states. That is a remarkable achievement, but that also says that the majority of whites in 34 states voted for McCain. I would like for Dr. Spence to provide his detailed analysis of why Obama received this small but significant increased percentage of white votes. Of course, I have my own theory. Of the 43% of white voters who supported Barack Obama surely there are millions who were attracted to the magnetic appeal and soaring oratory of this race-neutral politician. Others simply voted for the person they considered to be the best candidate to serve their interest. The critical element of these white’s who moved Obama from even with McCain in mid-September to his margin of victory were shocked by the economic meltdown, and McCain’s subsequent economic incompetence into voting for an Afrikan American. It was classic Friedmanist shock treatment which ultimately propelled Obama to 1600, which is obviously what a critical faction of oligarchs and plutocrats wanted. These white voters who were economically shocked into voting for Obama have absolutely no interest in social justice for Afrikan Americans, and I’m quite frankly surprised by Dr. Spence’s extrapolations which suggest otherwise. They were purely motivated by their own self-preservation. Is it possible that the GOP has won by losing and that the Southern Strategy at the local/regional level is already being refined? Consider this: [But look more closely, and you see a heavy influx of moderate to conservative members in the incoming freshman Democratic class, particularly in the House. Of the 24 Republican-held districts that Democrats won in 2008, Kerry carried just three in 2004. Democratic victories on Nov. 4 included Alabama's 2nd district (where Kerry took 33 percent of the vote) and Idaho's at-large seat (where Kerry won just 30 percent). In fact, according to tabulations by National Journal's Richard E. Cohen, 81 House Democrats in the 111th Congress will represent districts that Bush carried in 2004.]— Chris Cillizza How much ideological difference was there between the Democratic winner—Bobby Bright, and the Republican loser—Jay Love in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District? [Bright is the first Democrat to capture this seat in half a century, but he promises not to stray too far from the policies of his fiscally conservative Republican predecessors. He is anti-abortion and opposes gun control. He believes the role of the government should primarily consist of national defense. “I'll put party politics in the back seat,” he says.]—NYT For all of this talk about the use of community organizing and the internet, the 2008 turnout was about the same as 2004 based on the preliminary data: Between 60.7 percent and 61.7 percent of the 208.3 million eligible voters cast ballots this year, compared with 60.6 percent of those eligible in 2004,” reports Curtis Gans, the director of American University’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate. [Exit polling suggests that there was no statistically significant increase in voting among either group. Black voters made up 11 percent of the electorate in 2004 and 13 percent in 2008, while young voters comprised 17 percent of all voters in 2004 and 18 percent four years later. The surge in young and African American voters is not entirely the stuff of myth, however. Although their percentages as a portion of the electorate didn't increase measurably, Obama did seven points better among black voters than Sen. John F. Kerry did in 2004 and scored a 13-point improvement over Kerry's total among young voters.]- Chris Cillizza Dr. Spence really needs to explain this white attitudinal paradigm shift he’s suggesting. Quite frankly I believe that Tim Wise’s “Racism 2.0? analysis is more on target. The history of the White Supremacy Dynamic proves its capacity for sustainability through refinement. Hopefully Dr. Spence and many other Afrikan Americans have not been shammed by this latest version.