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Why it makes sense to talk about the white vote

- September 24, 2012

John writes:

The problem is that no matter what the white working class thinks, no one is listening.

This varies from individual to individual, but I don’t think the nonwhite working class has so much influence on policy-making either.

Why all the discussion of the white working class vote, then, compared to the nonwhite working class? I can think of two reasons:

1. Most Americans are white, and it’s more relevant to talk about larger blocks of votes.

2. Most groups of nonwhites vote very strongly for the Democrats; thus there’s not much suspense about how they will vote, nor much of a sense that their votes are movable (except in some special cases). In contrast, there are all sorts of groups of whites who vote in different ways.

John writes of the white working class:

It probably gets more attention that it deserves—particularly since its diversity means it’s that hardly a monolithic voting bloc and since there are lots of ways to build a winning electoral coalition in American politics with varying degrees of support from the white working class.

But that’s the point. The group’s diversity is why it makes sense to talk about how their votes might be changing.

P.S. In writing this, I’m not disagreeing at all with John’s post below, I’m just elaborating on it.

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