Americans of Color elected Obama. White Americans elected McCain.

Most White Americans voted for John McCain, while most Asian Americans, Latin@ Americans, Black Americans, and Other Americans voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

White Americans, 43% for Obama, 55% for McCain, and 2% for Other. Black Americans, 95% for Obama, 4% for McCain, and 1% for Other. Latino Americans, 67% for Obama, 31% for McCain, and 2% for Other. Asian Americans, 62% for Obama, 35% for McCain, and 3% for Other. Other Americans, 66% for Obama, 31% for McCain, and 3% for Other.

Some White Americans claim that Black Americans voted for Obama because he is black. That is, some White Americans think that non-white people have a “tribal” mentality and that they align with whoever looks the most like them. However, if we consider the fact that most White Americans voted for the white person, and that most Asian Americans, Latin@ Americans, Black Americans, and Other Americans voted for the black person, this hypothesis fails. A better explanation is that Barack Obama was the best presidential candidate, but most White Americans have a “tribal” mentality and aligned with the person who looks the most like them.

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5 Responses to “Americans of Color elected Obama. White Americans elected McCain.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    you make some good points, i think white people are probably the most segregated of all ethnic groups.

    I agree that white people assumed that black people or people of color were voting for Obama solely because he was black.

    most of those white people either did not follow the campaign, or have not had any conversations, or they would have known that, first of all, nobody thought Obama could win, people thought Hillary had the most chances of winning and was the most qualified, the democratic party became splintered over that fact, and it was then that Obama was publicly subjected to the double standards, his church, his reverend, his wife, the “ungualified black male” comment, the “he’s lucky to be black” allusion, calling him elitist and uppity, and so on.
    I personally believe that Palin was the best thing that could have happened to the Obama campaign, she not only came with a bunch of fringe lunatics, she also got the white female democrats to cross back over from their spiteful McCain stance. White people, particularly women, were more of afraid of Palin than they were of Obama. Being white, it’s pretty easy for me to find out what white peole are really thinking, I tried to either find the answers to their questions about Obama, or hit them hard with how unqualified and insulting a Palin presidency would be.

    What I saw was white families really divided on this campaign, to the point where some people I know won’t even talk to each other anymore.

    The other thing that helped of course, was the self-interest in the economy and McCain saying that the economy was fundamentally sound. That’s when James Carville said it was over, and I think he was right.

    It certainly was an exciting campaign.

    The whole idea of white guilt motivation is so silly, as most white people do not feel any guilt, most white people are still holding fast to their opposing view points.

  2. space Says:

    Even though I have a white Republican-voting dad, I still don’t get why the majority of white people still vote for Republicans even after the worst Republican president ever.

    Especially white women. I don’t know any women McCain voters this year. Yet the exit polls still say a majority of white women voted for McCain. Is it Christian values, PUMAs, or just plain privilege? (As a white able-bodied childless straight cissexual woman, I sometimes feel like all my other privileges practically cancel out sexism and I’m as spoiled as my male counterparts.)

    I guess the thing is that white people have less to lose by voting Republican, because the existing power structures benefit them, even in poverty, by, for instance, keeping people of color out of the running for a vital job.

    There’s also the culture of religion, which may be more of the same “existing power structures” thing…the majority of white people identify as Western-style Christian (Catholic or Protestant), and the majority of white Western-style Christians voted for McCain, while the exit polls say that the rest of us on average were Obama supporters.

  3. jwbe Says:

    A Canadian said that white America won’t elect Obama because of religious attitudes. Reading the following from an article confirms that:

    >The Rev. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the denomination’s flagship school, said white evangelicals backed McCain because of his opposition to abortion rights, not because of the race of either candidate.

    “White conservative evangelicals, not just in this election, but in many successive cycles, tended to vote on the basis of moral issues,” Mohler said. “Those evangelicals will still join in celebrating, very eagerly, that America has elected an African-American president and see it as a cause for celebration and recognize its deep spiritual significance.”

    According to Associated Press exit polls, 34 percent of white Protestants voted for Obama, while 65 percent went with McCain. Obama won the overall Roman Catholic vote, but white Catholics backed McCain by a slim majority, 52 percent to 47 percent. Among white Christians, the racial gap was most pronounced with evangelicals: 74 percent backed McCain, 24 percent backed Obama.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081106/ap_on_re/rel_christian_voters_race_2

    When you go there, there is also a graphic how these religious groups voted for Kerry/Bush.

  4. Restructure! Says:

    Thanks for the info and stats, jwbe.

  5. melinda Says:

    This makes perfect sense. Most people who have their heads up their asses just assume that everyone thinks the way that they do. So if white people vote for McCain because he looks like them, which many of us did, of course they’ll think that people of color would do the same.

    I think that my vote for Obama does have something to do with the fact that his lifestyle and age are a lot closer to mine than McCain’s, so there was a certain superficial element there. I’m a white woman, but my life looks absolutely nothing like Sarah Palin’s. Thank goodness for that.


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