So it’s no surprise that Bernie Sanders does very well among white, younger voters. After watching a video of Sanders defiling that African-American temple of music, the Apollo Theater, I was actually shocked at how clueless and tone-deaf he is to non-white America. I wanted to see the demographics of Sanders supporters for myself and went to the U.S. Census Bureau to find the numbers.
The actual data that I used is a Census Bureau estimate of population and various population characteristics. The Bureau describes the data this way:
“Although the American Community Survey (ACS) produces population, demographic and housing unit estimates, it is the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program that produces and disseminates the official estimates of the population for the nation, states, counties, cities and towns and estimates of housing units for states and counties.”
In other words, I didn’t just make this up!
The average white population of Sanders supporters is just over 80%. A word about Hawaii. The percentage white population is extremely low primarily because of the large Pacific Islander and native Hawaiian population in the state. They are classified as “non-white” in Bureau estimates. Alaska also has a relatively low white population due to the large native population of “Eskimos” (e.g. Inuits) and American Indians.
In a future post, I’ll do a comparison of the white/non-white makeup of Hillary’s and Sanders’ voters.
Here’s a recent video of Susan Sarandon telling MSNBC that she could never bring herself to support Hillary and might even vote for Trump instead.
She says she wants a real revolution. I totally get it that young people want their revolution and will overlook anything (common sense?) to support Bernie Sanders. I get it because I supported George McGovern and couldn’t care what anyone else had to say about the 1972 election. I was as dumb, blind, and idealistic as young people are supposed to be. As far as I was concerned, anyone except George was a sell-out, part of the problem, not the solution.
Of course, McGovern got blown away by Nixon in one of the biggest defeats in presidential campaign history.
So, Bernie’s kids I understand and admire in many ways. But Sarandon? She’s supposed to be an adult. She’s what — 70 years old or thereabouts? I wonder if Trump’s threat yesterday to “punish” women who have an abortion might help the actress see things in a different light?
Here’s what she said to MSNBC:
Rather than do my little lecture about the reality of American politics and the difference between having an idealistic plan and actually governing, let me call on John Lennon to help Sarandon see the light:
You say you’ll change the constitution Well, you know We all want to change your head You tell me it’s the institution Well, you know You better free your mind instead But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right All right, all right All right, all right, all right All right, all right, all right
Participating in the Maine Democratic Caucus in Brunswick.
The Brunswick site for the Maine Democratic Caucus was the town’s junior high school on Columbia Avenue. It’s about a 20-minute walk from where I live. The weather has been sunny and seasonably warm — a perfect day to do one’s civic duty.
As I made my way towards the school, it felt like I was one of many hundreds of marchers in a town parade. Because I live next door to Bowdoin College, nearly everyone looked well under 30 years old. Many carried signs or wore “Bernie” stickers on their sweaters and jackets. There was no question that this was going to be a Sanders rout; like most Hillary supporters I was mentally prepared for the inevitable.
The walk to the school was impressive, almost reassuring. Even though we had different candidates, the long line of people, young and old, walking together down the side streets of Brunswick and gathering at the school impressed me as the perfect expression of democracy in action. Of course, Brunswick itself has little in common demographically with the rest of the country. It’s very white, wealthy, highly educated. It is a “Sanders” kind of town. There are no local issues that I am aware of that would cause tension or create an “us against them” feeling among different groups in town.
Inside the school I found it reassuring to see a fair number of people wearing Hillary stickers. As a group we were clearly in the minority, but it felt OK. There was no sense of urgency or despair about being out-numbered by the “kids” supporting Sanders. I think most of us felt pretty good about Hillary’s prospects nationally, even if our little town gave Bernie something to cheer about.