Monday, October 15, 2012

Voting Blocs

I listen to both candidates' handlers and the pollsters talk about voting blocs as if any identifiable group is a solid block of wood. Whites, Hispanics, seniors, women. I got to thinking about where I fit in.

Okay, I'm a fairly angry white woman. A senior citizen. A voter. In the 99%. And now in the 47% of those who live off the government. Let's break this down.

Forgetting the angry part, let's look at women voters. We come in all colors, ages, sizes and capabilities. Do senior women vote differently if they are black than if they are white? Do affluent Asian women vote differently than affluent black women? Do young women just out of college vote differently from retired women? The answer is probably yes, but the pollsters would have us believe that this candidate or that has to get the women's vote to win. Which group of women?

I recently heard a fascinating discussion on this very topic on NPR. It was about courting the Hispanic vote. Again, which Hispanic vote? The Cuban-American vote? The Mexican-American vote? The speaker, a Hispanic journalist in Florida, reminded the commentator that many Hispanics are deeply religious and, therefore, tend to be conservative, yet again pollsters tell us that the Democrats have this bloc locked up. Not sure what the logic is, but if the pollsters say it, it must be right. Right? Not according to this journalist.

He had an very good point about groups of Hispanics not liking other groups of Hispanics. He didn't mean in the Crips versus Bloods sense, but that many Mexican-Americans felt some Cuban refugees received preferential treatment when they migrated to the States. Maybe right, maybe wrong, but his final point was what got me thinking. He asked the commentator to identify the one group of Hispanic-Americans the other hyphenated groups disliked the most. His answer: Puerto Ricans. By birth, they are citizens and don't have to apply for visas. Never thought of it that way.

Still don't know which bloc is mine. All I know is, I will vote. I haven't missed a general election since I was old enough to cast a ballot. Don't think I'm going to start now.

1 comment:

Morgan Mandel said...

I'm listening to the debates and voting, for sure!

As for being part of the 47% -- yes I'm on social security, but since I paid into it, I don't consider myself one of the 47%. I don't believe we seniors are part of that 47% equation. There are those who work the system for what they can get out of it, which is a shame for the others who have to pay for them.

Morgan Mandel