Sunday, August 24, 2008

Aging elephants

Conservative blogger Edward Michael George spins a recent Telegraph poll that showed that
    Race continues to be a significant factor with nine per cent of voters saying they would feel uncomfortable voting for a black candidate.
Mr. George wonders why this 9% newsworthy is newsworthy when "90% of black voters … don't want to go with the white candidate".

The learned Dr. Dawg makes quick work, pointing out that the 9% are uncomfortable with voting for any black candidate, while Mr. George's 90% of blacks rejecting McCain are apparently uncomfortable with this specific white one, but have voted for whites (Clinton, Gore, etc.) before in massive numbers. One might wonder in any case what Mr. George's point was: that white racism is OK because some blacks might be racist (even if this example doesn't show it)?

But let's leave that aside. There is another recent poll finding, that strikes me as more worthy of attention. The Washington Post asked voters about their comfort levels about both Obama's race and McCain's age.

Here, 12% of registered voters are somewhat or entirely uncomfortable with Obama becoming the first black president. But 44% are uncomfortable with McCain taking office at age 72.

This suggests that racism is a smaller problem for Obama than ageism for McCain.

Rewritten for clarity.