Strange Trump

The new Time cover has text saying “WHY THE ECONOMY IS TRUMPING RACE.” I haven’t read the article those words are teasing, and you can’t hold a journalist responsible for what gets said about his work on the cover, but I think it’s pretty strange to say that race is being trumped in the current presidential campaign. Consider the latest ABC/WaPost poll. It’s full of bad news for John McCain:

Powered chiefly by the public’s economic concerns, Obama leads John McCain by 10 points among likely voters, 53–43 percent, in this ABC News/Washington Post poll. Though every race is different, no presidential candidate has come back from an October deficit this large in pre-election polls dating to 1936.

So . . . economy trumps race? Well, not really:

Among all white voters, McCain leads Obama by 7 points, 52–45 percent; that, however, is a bit less than the average Republican advantage among whites in presidential elections. Obama makes it back with 95 percent of blacks, as well as clear majority support among Hispanics.


Now, clearly, if race were dominating the election, Obama would be doing somewhat worse than Gore or Kerry among white voters. But it’s still the case that McCain, for all his problems, has a solid lead among white people. But Obama is doing very well among America’s growing non-white minority and that seems to be primarily powering him into the lead.