Why does everyone assume white male equals ‘more electable’?

Do you want to know my biggest trigger? It’s headlines like this: “Democrats Consider: Is A White, Straight Man The Safe Bet Against Trump?”

In the past 20 years, here are the presidential raw vote totals:

Year votes, in millions Barack Obama 2008 69.499 Barack Obama 2012 65.916 Hillary Clinton 2016 65.854 Donald Trump 2016 62.985 George W. Bush 2004 62.041 Mitt Romney 2012 60.994 John McCain  2008 59.948 John Kerry 2004


Al Gore 2000 51.000 George Bush 2000 50.456

A white man has never hit 63 million votes—ever. The two candidates to do so, at over 65 million votes each? A black man whose middle name was Hussein and a woman everyone supposedly hated. 

And it kind of makes sense! White men are 31 percent of the population of the United States, and that minority of the U.S. population is heavily in the bag for the GOP: in 2018, white men voted 60-39 Republican, and 62-31 for Trump in 2016. 

Democrats win biggest when their candidates reflect the demographic base of the party: that means all women, as well as men of color. The raw vote totals above prove that (it’s not even close), as do the results of the 2018 election, when Democrats fielded the most diverse slate of candidates in history.  

So if you want to play the “electability” game, then you should be talking about our woman candidates, and our men of color candidates. Curious how that’s never the case, though, right? I wonder why. (Not really.)


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