Sunday, October 19, 2008


A recurring theme in the Republican end-of-days campaign is that the GOP base represents "real America." As candidate Palin put it in Greensboro, North Carolina:
We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation.

Statistical whiz kid and political analyst Nate Silver offers this graphic insight into the "real America" that the McCain/Palin campaign is mobilizing. It's a very, very white place, much like the Republican Party itself. The above chart, which Silver assembled, lists the 44 cities where Sarah Palin has held rallies and their racial composition. America's population is 72 percent white; the "wonderful little pockets," by contrast are 83.3 percent white. It's no surprise that in these homogeneous places, the angry Republican base has let loose with accusations that Obama is a terrorist, a Muslim, and a radical who will bring Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Jeremiah Wright into his cabinet.

Directly above is Silver's chart of the cities where Obama has held rallies. Not surprisingly, they are, in the aggregate significantly more diverse. The average white population in Obama rally towns is almost 70 percent, fairly close to the national figures. But Obama is also rallying in places with larger black populations than the national average. Here we can see a glimpse into the two-pronged Democratic strategy: to drive up turnout among African American voters, while appealing to the independent, white swing voters who are essential to victory. The strategy seems to be working.


Irene St. James said...

Obama has run a brilliant campaign. Let's just hope it's enough. Meanwhile, the Powell endorsement is a good sign for those swing voters, as his denouncement of the Ayers tar brush.

David said...

Why would it be any other way? The ways in which race/ethnicity can align with political party is deeply troubling for the future of our democracy (this goes both ways).

Dave Reid said...

I noticed that during the campaign McCain and Palin never held a rally in Wisconsin's largest city Milwaukee but held rallies in what seemed like every small town in the state. It was very clear, almost sad how they didn't even attempt to connect to a diverse demographic group.

likwidshoe said...

Wow, who cares? You Democrats are stuck on race.

It gets old, guys. Grow up and move on sometime.

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