Democrats have a problem with whites
There is more.
It is more than a little ironic that it has taken the first African-American to win a major party presidential nomination to make clear to everyone what has been the case for more than 40 years in presidential elections: Democrats have a problem with white voters.
Suddenly, the topic du jour on television and radio talk shows, at water coolers and the most exclusive cocktail parties is how well Sen. Barack Obama can do among whites, especially the demographic group pundits call the “white working class.”
The truth is these voters have been around for decades. They’re “The Silent Majority,” “Jill and Joe Six-Pack” and “Reagan Democrats,” and whatever the name, they have given Democratic presidential candidates the back of their hands since 1964. That was the year Lyndon Johnson won in one of the biggest landslides in American history, and any demographic group he did not carry probably held its meetings in a telephone booth.
Neither Jimmy Carter nor Bill Clinton, the last Democrats to occupy the Oval Office since then, won a majority of white voters. Mr. Clinton came relatively close in 1996 and might have done so in 1992 had Ross Perot not been in the race. But focusing on those near misses overlooks the larger point: Sen. Obama, the son of a white mother and black father, could lose this election badly and still outdo the very pale — Sen. George McGovern in 1972, former Vice President Walter Mondale in 1984, former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1988 and possibly Sen. John Kerry in 2004 – among white voters.
For those voters, especially ones without college degrees, the fact that Sen. Obama is black may not be as much a disqualifier as his background as a Democrat from the Frost Belt with no national security or executive experience and a voting record judged by the nonpartisan National Journal as the Senate’s most liberal during 2007.
Brown is right. The Democrats think there problems started with the civil rights legislation, but the fact is that white voters deserted the Democrats because of their national security policy. It is their weakness on national security that keeps them losing in the south and among working class whites in the north.