- Posted October 25, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The Election Factor No One Wants to Talk About
- hhanks, CNN iReport producer
Forget about the fact the presidential election is centering on the economy and jobs. There is another looming factor in this election year that may have the greatest impact, but no one really wants to talk about.
If you happen to be an older, white male, you really don't want to breach the subject.
That factor which could be the most determing factor in this race won't necessarily be the one of which candidate, President Barack Obama or Governor Mitt Romney, is best suited to deal with the economy and jobs, but rather may come down to race.
Yes, I know since the historic 2008 election when Obama became the nation's 1st black president, we are suppose to now be living in a post-racial world. Reality doesn't match that hope. In fact, race may be playing an even bigger factor this year than in 2008, but in another direction.
As Halimah Abdullah wrote in an op-ed piece today for CNN, Could Obama's Struggles with White Voters Cost Him the Election?, race is very much a key on whether Obama remains president or Romney takes the keys to the White House.
In 2008, Obama won the election capturing 42% of the white vote over his opponent Senator John McCain. This election season, the President is finding it difficult to get his percentage of the white vote to 40%.
In what was to be off-the-record talks with the Des Moines Register, the President noted that his re-election strategy counted on getting 70% of the Hispanic vote, which is the fastest growing minority voting bloc. But even if he does this, he will find the path to winning nearly impossible unless he can begin to gel a greater percentage of the white vote, which is still the biggest majority of all voters.
The question that is popping up in some circles is whether the President can tap into what conservatives call, "liberal white guilt", to be able to shore up his standing with white voters. Yet, liberals according to Gallup and most pollsters only account for about 21% of the total electorate.
It is no question that the President will once more have an overwhelming percentage of the black vote. Romney barely registers with that voting bloc averaging around 3-4%. Most concede that the President will have the majority of the Hispanic vote by a healthy margin.
The next question then centers around the turnout of those minority voting blocs.
Unless those minority voting blocs turn out in equal numbers as the 2008 election, come January, we may see Romney in the White House. This is why the President and his team are pushing so hard during the early voting cylce to turn out those minority voters in large numbers.
But it all goes back to what will white voters do?
Romney is currently on track to gain 60% or more of the white voting bloc. He many even match Ronald Reagan's historic 64% of the white vote. If that happens or if Romney can claim to an even greater share of this voting bloc, he wins.
As much as we may all like to dream that we have moved into that post-racial world, every day life tells us that as long as there is humanity, race will play a factor. Not just within the US of A, but around the world. It is evident in such places as India, China, Burma, Sri Lanka, France, Germany and so many other nations where both race and ethnicity play a role in politics.
While I wish we could have reached that mountain where we are all blind to color as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned, the human condition and its shortcomings keep getting in the way. Maybe some day race won't matter, but in this 2012 presidential election, race may well determine the outcome.
From the Cornfield, it would be nice if everyone in the nation could close their eyes, not see the color of the candidates' skin, but only see and hear with their minds what Obama and Romney are describing as their vision for the future of the nation over the next 4 years. Then without race being a factor, only what we hear, we would make our decision of which view and plan sounds the best course for the country.