As you’ve no doubt read or heard by now (hat tip to Bryan Alexander for the heads up on this via BS), Mitt Romney has dropped out of the presidential race. And, in case you missed his exit speech, the full transcript is available here. It’s really hard to know what to make of the jumbled, and quite frankly bizarre, mix of conservative rhetoric he used in his exit speech, but I’m pretty sure that there’s some deeply flawed in logic in this passage:
“Tolerance for pornography—even celebration of it—and sexual promiscuity, combined with the twisted incentives of government welfare programs have led to today’s grim realities: 68% of African American children are born out-of-wedlock, 45% of Hispanic children, and 25% of White children. How much harder it is for these children to succeed in school—and in life. A nation built on the principles of the founding fathers cannot long stand when its children are raised without fathers in the home.”
Let me see if I understand this: “Tolerance for pornography” and “government welfare programs” lead to higher rates of out-of-wedlock births among African-Americans and Hispanics than for Whites? I suppose Romney would say that he wasn’t being racist because he included Whites in the “out-of-wedlock” birth stats in his litany of what’s wrong with this country. Of course, one of the many ironies of talking about “out-of-wedlock” births and children “growing up without fathers” (code for the “sexual promiscuity,” a term that gets applied almost exclusively to women) is that men in the U.S. have launched an all out assault against the notion of paying child support. Romney’s remarks strike me as more of the same conservative sexism and racism that sees “sexually promiscuous” Black women and Black children as the source of all social ills in this society. Given what can only be called crimes at the highest levels of the current conservative administration, it’s particularly galling to try and shift the blame onto children of color. Personally, I won’t miss Mitt or his rhetoric.
Exit polls for Super Tuesday reveal interesting racial, gender, and age patterns. I have quickly examined the CNN exit polls for the primaries in California, Missouri, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Tennessee.
In all states but Missouri (with Clinton 1 percent ahead there) women voters gave a much larger percentage of their votes to Senator Hillary Clinton than did men. Senator Obama won the largest percentage of male voters in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Missouri, and (by one percent) California. In all states women voters were a significantly higher proportion (56-59 percent) of total voters than were men. This may bode well for Clinton, should she become the nominee and this very large base of women shifts significantly in her direction.
For each state CNN does a racial breakdown and a combined race-age category listing, along with other breakdowns for characteristics such as religion. Studying the breakdowns for these six selected states indicates that Senator Obama did best among all black age groups, among younger white voters (especially those under 30), and among white independents where they could vote. Senator Clinton did best among white Democrats, especially those above 30, among Latino and Asian American Democrats, and usually among Catholics (and Jewish voters in California).
In California, the two older white age groups (those above 45) gave Senator Clinton a larger percentage of their votes than Senator Obama, with the reverse true for the two younger white age groups. All Latino age groups gave Clinton a substantial majority of their votes. White and Latino Democrats gave the largest percentage of their votes to Clinton, but white independents and black Democrats gave their largest percentages to Obama. Asian American voters gave a substantial majority of their votes to Clinton. Interestingly, while both Protestant and Catholic voters gave Clinton a higher percentage of their votes than they gave Obama, the great difference was for Catholics. California is a state that reported a tally for Jewish voters, who also gave Clinton the largest percentage of their votes.
In Massachusetts all age and racial groups gave Senator Clinton the greater percentage of their votes, except for black Democrats, who gave Senator Obama 63 percent, and whites in the 30-44 age bracket (a tie at 49 percent each). Clinton won the majority of Catholic and Protestant voters.
In Connecticut, Senator Obama won the largest percentage of white voters under 30, while Senator Clinton won the larger percentage of whites aged 30-59 and tied (at 49 percent) for those aged 60 and older. Clinton won the majority of white and Latino Democrats, while Obama won a majority of black Democrats and white independents voting in the Democratic primary. Interestingly, Clinton won the majority of Catholic voters, while Obama won the majority of Protestant voters.
In New York, Senator Clinton won the larger percentage of whites in age groups over 30, while Senator Obama won a substantial majority of those under 30. Obama won substantial majorities of black voters in all age groups. Clinton won a majority of white and Latino Democrats, while Obama won a majority of black Democrats and white independents voting in this democratic primary. Clinton won substantial majorities of Catholic voters.
In Missouri, Senator Clinton again won white voters in the age groups above 30, while Senator Obama won whites in the youngest age group and black voters in the various age groups. Clinton won a substantial majority of white Democrats as a group, while Obama won a substantial majority of white independents and black Democrats. In this state it was Obama who won the larger percentage of Catholic voters, while Clinton won the majority of Protestant voters.
In Tennessee, Senator Clinton won a majority of all white age groups, with Senator Obama winning a majority of all black age groups. Both white Democrats and white independents gave Clinton the larger percentage of their votes, with black Democrats and independents giving Obama a substantial majority of their votes. Clinton won a majority of both Protestant and Catholic voters.