Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Who Actually Votes?

By Alan Caruba

Given that we know the mainstream media is utterly devoted to electing Barack Obama, virtually everything they report and interpret will be favorable to his campaign, including the latest spate of polls showing he has gained a lead.

Most certainly, the McCain-Palin ticket has any number of negatives to address. There is the public’s dissatisfaction with the short invasion and long occupation of Iraq. The fact that the goal of establishing a stable, democratic nation in the Middle East has been largely accomplished or at least successfully begun seems to escape everyone.

The current financial crisis will spur some voters to pull the lever for “change” without considering what that change will be, but data indicates that those most likely to vote are more motivated by avoiding change and in uncertain times, that is likely to hold true.

A clever new book, “Bet You Didn’t Know: Hundreds of Intriguing Facts About the USA” by Cheryl Russell ($18.95, Prometheus Books, softcover) offers some glimmer of hope regarding what may be the deciding factor in what will surely be a close race.

“Politicians are old because voters are old and voters—like it or not—tend to select their own kind. Fewer than half of 18-to-24-year-old citizens cast a ballot in the last presidential election. Voting rates rise with age, peaking at more than 73 percent among 65-to-74-year-olds.”

We old people (I turn 71 on October 9) may well prove to be the margin of victory for another old person named Sen. John McCain.

Then there is the issue of race. “The nation’s politicians do not reflect the diversity of the United States because voters are not diverse. Non-Hispanic whites account for only 66 percent of Americans, but for nearly 80 percent of voters.” I repeat, 80 percent of voters.

Another critical factor regarding who votes has to do with wealth. “The average voter is considerably more affluent than the average American. Despite the fact that many voters are retirees, their median family income great exceeds the median income of the average family.”

These older, more affluent, white people vote to protect the status quo and Sen. Obama is the antithesis of the status quo.
The notion that either Hispanics or Blacks will hold the balance of power in the coming issue is wrong. Statistically, only two out of three Hispanics vote and Black votes are about the same in terms of turn-out.

Finally, it’s worth noting that in a Battleground Report, a noted bi-partisan polling group, at least 60 percent of those asked to identify their political point of view said they were conservative. The “silent majority” that Richard Nixon made famous is, in fact, conservative and that, too, will have an impact on the outcome of the coming election.

On the surface, a number of factors seem to favor Sen. Obama, but the known voting patterns of those who will actually turn out on Election Day tell a very different story.


The Management said...

I wonder how early voting will affect the outcome this time around?

Alan Caruba said...

You guess is as good as mine, though somehow I do not think it will dramatically change voting patterns.

Malc said...

I think we may see a huge shock when McCain wins. As you say, the MSM has all been pro-Obama - even the BBC over here has been ridiculous in its bias.

Not a sheep said...

I am sorry to say that I do believe Obama has this one in the bag. His campaign has energised the young who would normally not vote and this will take him to victory and the free world to ...

Alan Caruba said...

You may be right. Or. You may be wrong. At this point in the last national election, John Kerry was way ahead in the polls. With any luck, younger voters will assume it's in the bag and not bother to vote.