Thursday, August 25, 2011

Black and Hispanic conservatives and white male liberals: A common ground

Like it or not the reality is that there are racial differences in political opinions. I was listening to the radio and the commentator said that blacks and Hispanics were conservative but voted liberal and was wondering why. Both groups have higher percentages of regular church goers than whites but vote democratic. Whites on the other hand mostly vote Republican in national elections. Bob Beckel once remarked that the Democrats lost the white male vote in the Goldwater election and have slipped ever since. Given the high percentage of church goers I wondered how blacks and Hispanics could support a party whose leaders routinely trashed religion and actively seek to minimize it in America. So I was wondering whether blacks and Hispanics were truly conservative but thought it was in their best interests to vote democratic? The best site I know for looking at the answers is the Pew Research Center ( I looked at the support for the hot button issues of abortion, gun control, gay marriage and immigration. Here is what I found from Pew Research Center polls taken in 2009.
Support for:
White 47%
Black 50
Hispanic 39
Naturally I presumed that the lesser Hispanic support was because of Catholicism.
Ban Handguns:
White 38%
Black 64
Hispanic 61
I was stunned. I grew up in the deep south and every black adult I knew had guns. Basically the attitude was that protection was needed because the local law enforcement people would not. It would seem that blacks and Hispanics not whites would be the ones most in favor of handguns.
Gay Marriage:
White 39%
Black 26
Hispanic 45
Again I was stunned, not because of the low black support because homosexuality is still widely stigmatized in black communities but because of the high Hispanic support and their catholic faith.
Support for the Arizona immigration law:
White 72%
Black 42
Hispanic 27
Again I was stunned, but this time by the black percentage. Since illegal immigration has been touted as a vehicle for job loss for blacks, it would seem that blacks would favor more restrictive immigration laws.
Well back to the question: are blacks and Hispanics conservatives. The results from Pew indicate that they are not. Indeed, there are black and Hispanic conservatives but apparently their percentages equal those of white male liberals.

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