If only white men voted...
Election night has come and gone. President Barack Obama was re-elected. Many are still enjoying the after-glow of victory, while many are still tasting the bitter tinge of defeat.
Although this isn’t an article supporting one man over the other, I did find an interesting image online a couple of days ago regarding the elections. Many sites have created “what if” maps of the U.S. divided into blue and red states, and this one caught my eye.
The map was titled, “What the election map would have looked like if only white men could vote.” Practically every state is red, except for blue states Washington, Oregon, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts.
The gender divide amongst voters is obvious. White men preferred Romney, while white women preferred Obama.
The latest poll by The New York Times and CBS News found that 52 percent of women and 44 percent of men support Obama, while 51 percent of men and 44 percent of women preferred Romney.
According to New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, many men who voted for Obama in 2008 were leaning towards Romney because they were frustrated by the president’s handling of the economy, afraid he could not make a decision and lead a recovery.
However, women who are more focused on social issues, the problems they face in the work force and abortion rights lean toward Obama.
Nevertheless, even with most of all white males behind him, why then did Romney and the Republican Party lose an election they were certain they had in the bag?
Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal believes that “the party simply failed to catch up with the changing face of America.”
Exit polls showed that Romney won among six in 10 white Americans. But among the ever-increasing important ethnic groups Romney lost. Compared to Obama, Romney lost 40 percentage points among Hispanics, 50 points among Asians and by more than 80 points among African-Americans.
Presidential contender Newt Gingrich says, “There is the objective reality that if ethnic minorities voted their economic interest, we would have a 65 percent Republican majority nationally.”
Gingrich has not only noticed that these ethnic voters are not going away, but that the Republican Party simply has to learn to appear more inclusive to minorities, particularly Hispanics. Whites, who accounted for 87 percent of the vote in 1992, were 72 percent of it this year, exit polls indicated. Hispanics, who were 2 percent then, are 10 percent now.
Many women were turned off by what they saw as a “war on women” from the Republicans due to their position on insurance coverage for birth control and aid to Planned Parenthood, not to mention the “legitimate rape” blunder.
Yes, white men may prefer Romney to now re-elected Obama. But the U.S. is changing and it won’t stop. Female voters and minorities are determining the poll results. If they continue to feel ostracized by the Republican Party, it may take a while before we see a Republican comeback.
Julia Greenwald is a sophomore in the School of Communication.