Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why do the poor and uneducated support Clinton over Obama?

The data strongly suggests that the less money and education you have the stronger is the likelihood of a vote for Clinton. Political scientists and sociologists alike will examine this phenomena for years to come, but on the morning of the Kentucky and Oregon primaries, I thought a brief bit of anecdotal observation might be appropriate.

First off, a lower level of education and income must be understood in their proper context, as we eliminate black voters from that metric. Your income and education level will help predict your voting behavior only if you are white. For whites, these are the most important variables amongst the poor and uneducated. If you are poor, uneducated, and black, then your race becomes a greater indicator than your the other two variables.

So why does this matter? It matters because poor and uneducated white people are going to deliver big for Clinton. Race does play a part, but it might (and I stress the word might) not be as fundamental a source of causation than one might think. It is my opinion (or guess) that race is playing a larger role for black voters than it is for white white voters.* It is possible that the poorer and less educated you are, the more intoxicating something like a "gas tax holiday" might become. This makes sense. If your macro-economic literacy is limited, and what you understand is that gas is getting more expensive and that Clinton wants to make it cheaper than her message will better resonate with you. You are more concerned about saving 70 bucks this summer than someone who reads the Economist, a publication that costs more than 70 dollars a year. The more educated and farther from the poverty level you fall, the more likely it is you will understand the long term stupdity of Clinton's proposal, and be able to decipher it as exploitation of the desperate.

Thats why I say that race may be a more significant metric for poor and uneducated black voters, for they are just as desperate for economic relief. However, it is my opinion that racial justice is understandably still paramount to their lives, and that the election of Barack Obama is not going to necessarily bring that about.

But I digress...Here are some Bushisms:

*- Note, I stress the word voters, as many folk from these demographics simply have no faith in the system and choose to stay home. - Yes, there is a certain (and often important) form of education that one cannot receive in a classroom.

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