A Patchwork of Prejudices
By Arnold Kling
Sen. Hillary Clinton can thank Latino and Asian voters for her projected victory in California. Early exit polls indicate that Sen. Barack Obama carried white voters in California because of his overwhelming support among white men. White women, as in other states, more often supported Clinton. Black voters overwhelmingly favored Obama but Asian voters, whose numbers are comparable to blacks, went overwhelmingly for Clinton. The deciding factor may have been Latinos, who make up roughly 30 percent of California’s Democratic vote. They went for Clinton by a two-to-one margin.
In November, after the election, the media will tell us that the public delivered a mandate on issues. But what issues caused Asians and Latinos to vote against Obama? What issues caused evangelical Christians to vote against Romney?
Some day, instead of an exit poll saying that X percent of people listed health care as the number on issue, I would like to see an exit poll saying that Y percent of people were able to correctly identify correctly the differences between the candidates’ proposals on health care. I think that Y would be less than 5 percent.
If the United States had a multi-party parliamentary system with proportional representation, our patchwork of prejudices would likely yield a government comparable to Italy’s.