We don't vote colored
Rev, too bad he can't vote for you
Whites Take Flight on Election Day
By Richard Morin
Friday, April 14, 2006; Page A02
Bad news for Michael S. Steele, the leading Maryland Republican candidate for Senate in November: The scuttling noise he hears on Election Day could be the sound of tens of thousands of white Republicans crossing over to vote for the Democrat.
In fact, white Republicans nationally are 25 percentage points more likely on average to vote for the Democratic senatorial candidate when the GOP hopeful is black, says economist Ebonya Washington of Yale University in a forthcoming article in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. White independents are similarly inclined to vote for the white Democrat when there's a black Republican running, according to her study of congressional and gubernatorial voting patterns between 1982 and 2000, including five Senate races in which the Republican nominee was black.
Her analysis suggests that GOP "white flight" in the Maryland Senate race could mean at least an additional 1 or 2 percent of the vote goes to the Democrat, and perhaps more -- but only if the candidate is white. Together, independents who would otherwise vote for a white Republican plus GOP deserters may easily swamp any increase in black Democratic crossover to Steele.
But racially motivated crossover voting is not just a Republican phenomenon. Democrats also desert their party when its candidate is black, Washington found. In House races, white Democrats are 38 percentage points less likely to vote Democratic if their candidate is black.
And don't expect turnout to surge among either blacks or whites in Maryland this November. Washington found that white and black turnout swells when the Democratic candidate for Senate is African American but is not significantly affected when the office-seeker is a black Republican.
But the difference is stark in that in most districts, black candidates run in majority black districts. So if whites oppose them, it usually isn't fatal. In local races, however, it can be devestating.
The problem for Uncle Ruckus is that blacks have no motive to vote for him, except for a thin crust of either the "vote for any black man in a storm" or the bougie wanna be elite vote. Whites are gonna flee from him because he's black, no matter how much he talks about how he loves Christ and is a good pro-lifer. He's still as black as the ace of spades and that's what matters.
The study should have covered one other area, the number of black voters inclined to vote for a white Democrat over a black Republican. I think there might be almost no shift.
One of the most pernicious racial assumptions is that black people vote for black people, period. That just isn't true. Just because you haver a black face doesn't mean you represent the interest of the community, which is Steele's problem. Black Republicans are unpopular within the black community, so the idea that there would more than a marginal bump for a black GOP candidate is amusing.
But Steele is lucky he doesn't have a primary opponent. Because if he did, he wouldn't make it. My bet is that Keith Butler and Ken Blackwell find that out the hard way.
posted by Steve @ 9:46:00 AM