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November 16, 2016

I'm Pretty Sure The White Vote Was the Decisive Vote in the Election

Some are noting, quite correctly, that Trump received 58% of the white vote, while Romney received 59%.

They also note that Trump did marginally better with Hispanics than Romney (I think 29% vs. 27%) and also marginally better with blacks and Asians (I don't know the numbers, something like Trump +2 and Trump +3).

But I think the white vote swung the election nevertheless.

Here's my logic:

Yes, Trump got 1% less of the white vote than Romney.

But let's think about how whites voted, vs. blacks and Hispanics.

Many blacks didn't turn out this election. Just like in baseball standings, when you lose, it's a -1 hit to your standing in the pennant race, but when you lose to the guy ahead of you in the standings, it's -2. It's -2, because it's not just that you lost: It's that your direct competitor won. You lost one off the pace, he gained one off the pace: Net effect is -2 to your standings.

I think a lot of whites were NeverTrumpers and chose to vote for a third party candidate or mark a protest write-in, like writing in "Mike Pence" as Kelly Ayotte did (IIRC).

Or leaving it blank, as George and Laura Bush are said to have done.

In each case, that's -1 vote each for Trump.

When other whites simply didn't turn out at all, that's -1 for each no-show as well.

Similarly, when blacks didn't turn out like they did for Obama, each no-show is a -1.

All of that's bad. Take a couple million of these -1's and soon you're talking about real votes.

But that's not as bad as those voters who you expected to vote for you, but who don't vote for you, but then go the next step and actively vote for your opponent.

Those are the -2 voters. Each of these voters hits you by -2 -- they don't just take one vote from you, as the no-shows or third-party ballot-wasters do. They take their vote from you -- or Hillary, I mean -- and give it to your enemy -- Trump.

So far, a lot of the evidence is that a lot of Obama's white working class voters affirmatively defected to Trump.

And each such defector is a -2 to Hillary's totals.

And early readings suggest there were a lot of such double-whammy hits on Hillary.

And yes, absolutely, the black voters who defected from the Democrats to vote for Trump were also double-whammies, also -2's.

But I imagine there were a lot fewer double-whammy black defectors than double-whammy white defectors.

Now, given that whites probably were the decisive vote here, does that make their vote racist?

No. It's absurd. These people voted for Obama in 2008, giving a chance to "the skinny black kid with the weird name" and no real previous preparation for such a major job. Then, in 2012, they still voted again for Obama, despite the fact that he was failing badly in almost every metric.

They gave the skinny black kid with the weird name a second chance, even though, as an objective matter, he almost certainly did not deserve one.

Now, when asked to vote for the Obama agenda a third time (this time in a continuity vote for Hillary Clinton to carry on his terrible policies), they finally decide they've seen enough of Obama's agenda in action to make up their minds about it, and they decide they don't like it, and they vote for Trump.

And notice: They did not vote against the black avatar of this agenda.

They voted against the white avatar of almost the same agenda, as personified in white-as-a-snake's-belly Hillary Clinton.

So yeah, whites moved decisively in this election, but no, this cannot possibly be construed as racist "whitelash."

How many times do these people have to vote in favor of an unqualified, and then failed, black candidate before they've earned the right to cast a vote as they choose without being called "racist" for it?

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posted by Ace at 01:15 PM

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