Infographic: What if Only White Men Voted in the Election?

Ever wondered how different our nation would look if we were one, homogenous group?

In this very cool infographic from Buzzfeed, created from CNN exit polling, we can see what the USA would look like, politically, were it only comprised of white male voters, just as we were in 1850.

I don’t think any of us are surprised by this, but it’s sort of fascinating to see how this cookie really crumbles. And it raises this question—why is our most powerful political group so different from the majority?

For more fascinating infographics, visit Buzzfeed. You’ll be smarter and more interesting because of it.  

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Comments

  1. Ever wondered how different our nation would look if we were one, homogenous group?

    Well, you only have to check the records for the 1800’s.
    Even if the population wasn’t more homogenous as a group back then, I’m pretty sure that the registered voters were.
    So, I guess you only had republican presidents back then, or could there be a flaw in your analysis?

    Maybe the real question isn’t “why is our most powerful political group so different from the majority?”
    but instead “How do the political parties and the presidentail candidates position themselves vis-a-vi the population of voters?”

    • Uh… do you know anything about US political history? In the 19th century, the party that favored states’ rights, limited federal government and a strict interpretation of the constitution, and was supported by southern whites, was the Democrats.

      The Republicans were the ones who expanded the franchise, gave out free land, and greatly increased the federal ability to dictate state laws and raise taxes — and their support came mostly from the urban northeast. Of course, for the majority of the century it would have been impossible for anyone to elect a Republican president , as the party was only founded in 1854.

  2. John Schtoll says:

    Hmm, lets see . White men are ‘the most powerful political group”

    Yet, these same white men (all men of course) have 0 reproductive rights , zero , nada , ziltch. And remember this election seemed to be ONLY about reproductive rights.

    During the major downturn in the economy men (all men) bore the brunt of the layoffs (roughly 80%)etc, yet , received less than half the funding for the recovery.

    In the healthcare bill the majority of the new spending is not on white men (or any man actually).

    So tell me again, where is the political power that white men (all men) are supposed to have.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      John, it’s simple. Go see who makes up the vast majority of our legislators across the nation.

      If their values aren’t the same as yours, that doesn’t make them lack power. It just means they’re using their power for something else. They’re still the people in power.

      • But it doesn’t mean that white men, as a group, have political power, either, Joanna.

        It is Not politically useful to either party to address the needs of men and that is just not going to change. Black men have been ignored forever. The fact that Barack Obama is half-black and is President doesn’t change the high school dropout and incarceration-for-petty-drug-crime statistics, now does it? Now white men get to be completely disregarded too.

        When was the last time you shook the hand and thanked the white working class stiff who cleans out your sewers? Who picks up your garbage?

      • The majority of white men have the power?? Considering they were outnumbered by female voters? Pah. A few white men have power, and that is a hugeeeeeeeee fucking distinction very few seem to realize, especially when that power isn’t always used for white men as evident in the fact men as a whole still have no reproductive rights.

      • Random_Stranger says:

        You know, as a white guy, I get it. I have the privilege of sharing a fundamentally similar life experience as those in power. And while not an explicit privilege, it does mean that the decisions and judgement of powerful persons as to what issues deserve attention, and what solutions would be best, will tend to be more similar to my own judgement and so, I benefit.

        But I will say that these powerful persons make their decisions in a context -and the modern political context has no interest in the well-being of men. These persons don’t identify as men as endemic to their sense of self, nor do they seek the maximum interest of men -those ideas are pure baloney. Rather, powerful persons are interested in self-preservation and ingratiation. If more power means advancing the interest of women, than that is what the political body will do, regardless of its gender homogeneity.

        It is important, as women achieve greater dominance in society, and those in power begin to reflect the life experience of the public at large -that we gradually demolish the feminist political paradigm and permit a more balanced political dialogue.

      • John Schtoll says:

        No Joanna, it wouldn’t make them have less power if their values didn’t match with mine BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT, it would make ME (a white male) have less power.

  3. John Schtoll says:

    I am really starting to think that this saying is true

    “A mans real weakness is his illusion of strength while a womans real power is her illusion of weakeness”

    http://www.westernstandard.ca/website/article.php?id=2775

    Does this story right true in the US as well or just Country C

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      John.

      Who makes the rules?

      White men.

      Even if they are, to some degree, protective of women, it’s still MEN making the rules. White men.

      Get it? That’s power.

      • Come now. “White men… make the rules?” Only white men, Joanna? Who elects them? Majorities of women, that’s who. Who has the power, the employee or the employer?

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          Now THAT is a legitimate challenge, JustAMan. And that electorate is DEFINITELY changing. And in 20 years will look very different because the voters are finally realizing their power and have options outside of white men. But as it stands, white men are still our legislators, and they’re the ones making all the rules.

          The employer does still have the power over employees, though. Employees don’t elect their boss. In this economy, almost everyone has to bend over and take whatever shit their boss throws at them.

          • I don’t think we have to wait 20 years, Joanna.

            Was Mourdock elected in Indiana? No. Was Akin elected in Missouri, despite Claire McCaskill’s weak record? No. Was Scott Brown, a pro-life Republican turned out of office in Massachusetts just because he was a man? The numbers would suggest so.

            So, if you are a white male politician, why would you spend a single moment addressing the large and growing male dropout problem? Or prostate cancer? Or testicular cancer? Or real birth control for men (condoms have a large failure rate, so spare me the condom talk)? Or the fact that men kill themselves at a rate 4-6 times that of women? Or the fact that men now die 5 years earlier than women and in 1920, they didn’t.

            As a white, male politician you would spend not a single moment on those matters, because they would not help you be re-elected. You would focus on the issues women voters care about because it is in your existential interest to do so. That is not power.

            Let me put this another way. If you and other women who write and comment here really care about men and men’s issues, YOU will have to be the ones raising those issues with the politicians, whether they are men or women, white, black, latino or asian, because your voice matters more than mine and other male voices in the political process.

            • Major correction: Scott Brown was and is a major Pro CHOICE Republican, who voted for money for Planned Parenthood.

            • JustAMan:
              ” Or the fact that men now die 5 years earlier than women and in 1920, they didn’t.”
              Why is this a problem? Since 1920 both the life expectancies for men and for women have risen, so what that the one for women has risen faster?

            • The point is that if it were the other way around it would be an enormous political issue. You can’t tell who holds power by who holds political office. You can tell who holds power by watching who the politicians cater to.

            • JustAMan,
              (btw, I like your name, reminds me of the character Frank in “Once upon a time in the West”)
              I get your point, but I disagree with the statement:
              ” You can tell who holds power by watching who the politicians cater to.”
              For example kids have very little power and people (including politicians) cater to them. As people usually have sympathy for some of the weak people and a sense of duty, the questions:
              -Who is in charge in this system?
              -Who benefits from the system?
              will usually have not the same answer.

            • Actually politicians don’t cater to kids. At least not in current America. That’s why we spend whatever it takes on transfer payments to old people, without any means testing at all, while our educational results compared to other western democracies have gone into the toilet.

              Anyway, don’t leave me hanging here: what empirical measure do you propose to determine who has greater political control?

            • JustAMan,
              there are other representative democracies than the US, but my point was more general about social behaviour of humans; those in charge with power often feel responsible for some of the weak poeple in their social group and act accordingly. I didn’t think this to be controversial.
              “what empirical measure do you propose to determine who has greater political control?”
              I asked the author of this post something similar below and believe that it is up to people who make claims like “White men have most power” to explain what those words mean and how they have come to this conclusion. I personally find questions about which demographic has how much power, to be unintereseting, as demographic groups rarely have a common sense of unity and hence seldom act as a group.
              To try to answer your question:
              there are diferent kinds of power. In a democracy the majority can outvote the remaining part of society and hence has a huge (and dangerous) potential power. So in many parts of the US the group white people have this voting-majority power. In all parts of the US women have this power over men. This would be an example of the institutional power of the majority in democracies. There are other examples of institutional power, given by denying some subdemographic the right to vote, the voters get more power. In general I don’t know how to answer the question or if there is an acceptable answer.

          • Now THAT is a legitimate challenge, JustAMan. And that electorate is DEFINITELY changing. And in 20 years will look very different because the voters are finally realizing their power and have options outside of white men. But as it stands, white men are still our legislators, and they’re the ones making all the rules.
            The employer does still have the power over employees, though. Employees don’t elect their boss. In this economy, almost everyone has to bend over and take whatever shit their boss throws at them.

            A legitimate challenge that is constantly ignored.

            And also there seems to be a constant conflation where the small portion of white guys that make decisions are being held up as representation of “white men” and thus it being declared that “white men have the power”. But mess around and challenge that assertion with the reality of men all of a sudden people want to talk about how that is not what they meant.

            If the folks that want to talk about how “men have power” don’t want to get accused of making generalizations then maybe, just maybe, they should taking that small group of men and concluding that they represent all men as a class.

      • What part of a FEW white men do you not get Joanna? It’s simple. It’s extremely simple. A FEW white men have power, the rest don’t share that power. The majority of the vote is in female hands. Hell women’s issues dominated this election, I sure as hell didn’t see any mention of male reproductive rights.

        • Scott Adams pointed this out several years ago; Yes, white males are predominantly calling the shots and making the rules in our society.

          But those are OTHER white men… not the vast majority of us. WE, the white men you encounter in your everyday life, don’t have any of that power. We don’t enjoy any of their advantages; they don’t do us any favors, they don’t invite us to secret White Guy meetings, and they don’t send us our White Guy rebate checks at the of the month.

          Your resentment is at the powerful, who are overwhelmingly the wealthy. But for some reason you’ve misdirected it toward your fellow working-class victims, who aren’t getting any of the alleged “perks and privileges” of white-maleness and yet are still dealing with the hostility and blame for everything that’s wrong in America.

          Sorry, but we’re not interested in playing scapegoat. The correct definition of privilege is “something that all men supposedly have, but only a few actually get to experience.”

  4. Tongue planted firmly in cheek (well, kinda)- White guys love to read de Tocqueville

  5. John Schtoll says:

    Joanna: Here is the problem with you assertion.

    Those white men in congress (535, for the sake of argument I am assuming all are white men) and in the senate (100, again assuming all are white men) . This means there are 635 white men in the US who have power and yet somehow people equate this to all white men having power. This is a fallacy of the worst order.

    I put this to you, if in the next election all members of congress and the senate were women and those women removed all the rights of women , would this still mean women had all the power.

    You are making the “Leap from the few to the many” and so is the OP.

    • This is a good point. Rich white men have made life good for themselves, and pretty crap for poor, or vulnerable white men.

      White men are not a homogeneous group.

      In the same way that women are not a homogeneous group.

    • Yeah this is so common these days, I am seriously wondering how people still come up with this logic?
      The majority of those in power are men, doesn’t mean the majority of men have power. This is especially true in times of conscription where the most oppressed class is those who are sent to war, who happen to be men mostly.

      How does less than 1000 people in power come to mean 100+ million (or whatever the number is) have power?

      There is a queen of England, women must have all the power!!!111

  6. Dear author,
    I have two questions.
    1.What is a “political group”?
    2.Given the set of all political groups in the US, how do we find out which one is the most powerful?

  7. John Schtoll says:

    Am I mistaken OR doesn’t the OP info graph actually prove that white men have almost no power. Afterall if it was only white men, the political landscape would look very different but since it isn’t then they don’t really have any power

    I think a really good one would be do the same thing with white women and see how much the graph changes. NOW that would be very good.

  8. Keith Baker says:

    The problem with this, is it’s a “majority” representation – I’d like to see this like the heat map on gizmodo:
    http://gizmodo.com/5960290/this-is-the-real-political-map-of-america-hint-we-are-not-that-divided

    Would it still show as strongly?

  9. Haha….we should turn back the clock and only have Pilgrims and Puritans vote (I mean, only the rich, male, landowning guys!)…

  10. “With all this reclinating back towards the good ‘ole days, it feels like we’re forgetting something far more relevant for the future. How does the electoral map look when we consider non-whites exclusively? Well, despite representing the driving force behind the nation’s demographic changes, it looks exactly the same as it did in 2008. Rather than recreate it here, I’ll just ask you to take a look at the original:
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ODa44Ca3Qog/SwiuXwrupvI/AAAAAAAABAI/dGvGYap_1Rs/s1600/2008+electoral+map+non-whites+only.bmp

    LOL! White men seem less prejudiced (more open to alternative politics) than minorities. The irony, it kills!
    http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2012/11/2012-electoral-maps-by-sex-race-and_12.html
    Warning: though the many electoral maps are useful the website seems to be racist at least judging by the commenters in the comments section…

  11. Is anyone else tired of the war on white men?

    • I wouldn’t call it a war, but I *am* tired of all the gloating. I’m of the opinion that Obama is nowhere near as progressive as he could be, so I didn’t vote with the majority of white males, but it’s getting a little tedious.

    • Snot a war Spidee…it a just annoying little ankle nippers with no power, influence or significance. Maybe…just MAYBE…someday they will learn you can’t gain any real power of influence by tearing-down others.

  12. “we can see what the USA would look like, politically, were it only comprised of white male voters, just as we were in 1850.”

    Not accurate. In 1850, we did not have the welfare state we have now. Also, politicians used to ask themselves if their actions were allowed by the Constitution. Now, they laugh at that question. There is far more money and power in the federal system than there was then. And, grievance politics is used to throw that money around (basically pandering to groups for their votes by giving them money).

    The system in the 1850’s cannot be compared to today, except in the most superficial manner–kind of like that map you have up there.

    -Jut

  13. wellokaythen says:

    Interesting hypothetical, of course, but it’s not like the major difference with 1850 is that women and nonwhite men now get to vote. Please. It’s hardly even the same political system, and in some ways hardly the same Constitutional structure, despite what it looks like on the surface.

    If, hypothetically, we went back to only white men voting (as if we could ever legally define “white” at this point), the electorate would just split in a bunch of other ways. We’d probably still have a two-party system and divide over lots of other issues, like we did in 1850. Letting only men vote hardly made the country homogeneous and men in agreement. There’s that little Civil War thingamajig, where more people died than in all other America’s wars put together.

    I don’t see a lot of evidence that shows that female legislators vote fundamentally differently than male legislators do. Maybe on some very particular issues, but on the whole they are (surprisingly? disappointingly?) similar in their voting patterns. That deep blue Washington State has had two female senators who are not all that indistinguishable from their male counterparts when it comes to their politics.

    I’ll leave aside for the moment the question of how you know whether a legislator is white or not. Is there a committee that rules on that designation?

  14. @John Schtoll: I don’t have a map, but Romney did win convincingly among white women. 56 to 42 (a third again as many). He got twice as many white male votes as Obama though.

  15. wellokaythen says:

    Funny how there’s still an expectation of a two-party system. If we’re going to pose some sort of hypothetical political revolution that radically changes the electorate, why not make a parliamentary system or a one-party state? Why do we assume there are and always will be only two candidates?

  16. I still find the REAL voting even funnier…like the 56 electoral precincts of Philly that had not ONE Romney vote. I’m not claiming (or thinking) any voter-fraud exists there. On the contrary, I believe fully that out of 10,000 Philly votes (in those 56 precincts), not one Romney voter lived.

    District and Precinct maps with mono-voting would make an interesting graphic…and yield little surprise.

  17. courage the cowardly dog says:

    why is our most powerful political group so different from the majority

    Ok, by definition “the majority” is the most powerful political group and since the question asks why is our most powerful group different from the majority, since the majority is the most powerful group, they cannot be different from themselves and since the “most powerful political group” references white men, but white men are not the majority, they are neither the most powerful political group or the majority. I stopped reading after that sentence. I am sending you back to 5th grade composition.

  18. Didn’t the republicans focus more on the economy? If so then all this shows is that white men are more worried about having a job before worrying about anything else including reproductive rights.

    • I agree. Most white men ( straight ) in USA more worried about economy . Most women, black men, gay, more worried about their rights. Why? Because no matter how good the economy is, it doesn’t mean a shit if you don’t have rights. Most white men don’t know it because they always have rights.

      And most people outside US more worried about whether US would attack their countries or not. That’s why we ( non US ) want Obama to won. At least we know we are safe for next 5 years lol. From polling, 80% people, men and women want Obama to became US presidents. Because US is the most powerful country in the world, US president is like world president.

      • John,
        which rights, that men have, do women lack in the US?

      • Which right do white men have that women don’t?

        More than likely John is talking about reproductive rights because after all in the US women are not allowed to control their reproductive destinies, while men are full in control of theirs, after all if a man is raped by a woman and a baby results, he can opt out by abortion, unilateral adoptions etc. OH WAIT, I have that backwards.

  19. From buzzfeed
    “It worth noting that these maps don’t at all imply that white men favor Romney by a 501 to 37 margin (in the case of the first map for example). They just mean that he got 50.01% of the white male vote in most states. That is to say, thanks to the obtuse electoral vote, a miniscule advantage can look like a total blow-out. That’s all that’s really going on in these maps.”
    Could be simply men favour romney a smidgen more?

  20. Bay Area Guy says:

    Even though individuals who are white men have power, the overwhelming majority of them don’t give a crap about the average white guy. They only care about their own personal wealth and power.

    That’s why I think a lot of average white guys get resentful when they’re told that “white men” as a WHOLE have power.

    Besides, going by the logic of certain female commenters, if I don’t feel powerful, then my group doesn’t have any power or privilege.

    • Bay Area Guy:
      “Besides, going by the logic of certain female commenters, if I don’t feel powerful, then my group doesn’t have any power or privilege.”
      You obviously don’t understand this, your feelings only reflect reality if you are a woman.
      “That’s why I think a lot of average white guys get resentful when they’re told that “white men” as a WHOLE have power.”
      There is another problem with the statement about the power of “white men”. If by “white men are the most powerful group” you are talking about their power per person, you are wrong, as you could find a more powerful demographic by excluding some of the least powerful white men. If you are talking about the sum of power of all white men, you are wrong because the demographic of all men would be more powerful for example.
      The statement: “White men are the most powerful political group” doesn’t seem to make any sense logically.

  21. Bay Area Guy says:

    To build upon my previous point, there’s a difference between a certain institution being run BY a group, and being run FOR a group.

    So yes, white individuals still dominate the top, but like I said, they could care less about average whites.

    Think about it. If the U.S. were really so white supremacist and hell bent on maintaining said white supremacy, the 1965 immigration act would have never passed, and there is no way that the “white men who run everything” would permit immigration that is currently around 90% non-white. Not to mention that a situation where non-white babies outnumber white babies would have never been permitted.

    The 1% is more interested in maintaing its class dominance than anything else. If it were really interested in maintaining its racial dominance, it would have shut down the borders a long time ago. It would not be moderately celebrating the impending non-white majority in mainstream newspapers.

    Those aren’t the typical actions of groups trying to hold onto their dominance.

    Just saying.

    • R-Can-Saw Man says:

      The one present is ok with immigration because they still need people to serve them… Kind of like National Lampoon’s “Piss Boy”. They’ll pay ya, but they drop it in the bucket.

  22. John Anderson says:

    The infographic makes a very big assumption. It assumes that the democrats would not have moved to the right. Even now some republicans are considering removing their opposition to the pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals. Certainly, the republican party would be no more if they don’t move to the left within the next 20 years or so.

    The fight would be more on the margins. Remember the democrats had 60 members in the senate and couldn’t move legislation because if the blue dog democrats.

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