Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Clinton, Obama, and Age

I'll update this later since I'm off to jury duty, but most polls are showing that age is the big divide between Clinton and Obama. Specifically, Clinton does best with voters over 65 while Obama does best with those under 65. People have put out various explanations for this fact, but they seem to be overlooking the most obvious one--race. White voters over the age of 65 would have been born before World War II and came of age at a time when obvious and overt racism was deeply ingrained in just about every facet of white society. This goes without mentioning in the South, but even in the north, the message from segregated neighborhoods to Amos 'n Andy on the radio was that blacks were distinctly inferior. This began to change with World War II, but not fully until the late 1960s and early 1970s, long after this age cohort had developed its political and social attitudes. I'm not saying that Clinton is in some way appealing to racism, but rather that for some significant portion of this age cohort, it is very difficult, either consciously or unconsciously, for them to pull the lever for black candidate.

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