White men cant jump for CHANGE... American Elections
The Economist featured a rather poignant article about the demographic distribution of voters in America. The Article is entitled "White Men Can Vote" and is located here.
What is missing from this article is a historical comparative assessment of which party "white males" typically vote for. The article hints at this question by situating "white male" beliefs as being diametrically opposed to democrat ideals of gun controls and big government. The question the Obama camp must ask themselves is to what extent will they compromise their vision of change in order to gain the vote of "white males" who will not be as critical of a voting block in this election as in the past. This article begs the question of the amount of "white males" (which the article refers to as 'Bubbas' from the traditional south) that would vote for Obama in the first place. A number of "white males" continue to relegate Obama to a second class candidate because of his lack of experience yet this motive for evaluating the candidates highlights how dispositions about racial identity will continue to detract from Obama's votes.
The question that remains is do those votes even matter at this point. Most republicans will vote for McCain because they fear and perceive Obama as a communist or are ideologically opposed to the democratic platform for change(or are straight racist; im from TX and if the frequency of 'Obama bin Laden' bumber stickers on giant trucks are indicative of any trends in the South then Obama is not going to get their votes anyways). Most democrats will vote for Obama and leading polls from every major newsource conclude that if the election were held today Obama would become president elect. It remains inevitable that Obama's relative popularity compared to McCain will go down before the election amongst ideologically motivated liberals that perceive him as moving to the center to secure swing voters but most of those ideological liberals will not switch camps and vote for McCain so a non-vote for Obama is not at all a vote for McCain.
The Economist article brilliantly characterizes the antipathy of "White males" across the country that are weary of voting for Obama because of arbitrary reasons like experience and questioning what he stands for (as compared to policy issues like Iraq or the Economy). If the Obama campaign is smart, they will position a reputable vice presidential candidate who is far more politically moderate and experienced than Obama in order to ameliorate such voter perceptions. This would allow Obama to continue with his liberal calls for change while playing to the moderates and those that cry wolf at his 'inexperience'. Similarly, even if the "white male" candidates are leaning towards McCain, serious concessions by the the Obama camp in order to gain there vote are not really even justified given current polling numbers. There is a risk that once McCain picks a VP candidate, perhaps a white female, it would galvanize some disenchanted Clinton supporters away from the Obama camp, but that is not likely to be enough to topple Obama's lead in the critical swing states of Pennsylvania and Ohio where gender is likely to be a secondary issue to identity politics of race and political issues; if McCain's liberal use of the word 'cunt' to describe women is any indication, then no female candidate would commit to his VP position that could galvanize disenchanted Clinton supporters who prioritize their voting based upon a vision of gender equality.
This is one of the first elections when the "white male" demographic will not have a majority say in the election and i am fine with that. The fixation upon identity politics is important because as America becomes increasingly diverse, the white male will no longer be characteristic of the American populace.