The latest New York Times-CBS News poll identifies the demographic group with the highest level of support for John McCain: rich old white men. Coincidentally, they are also the people who control Wall Street, Congress, and the White House.
The poll defined "old" as "45 or older." Many will take issue with that definition, but those old white men supported McCain over Obama 48-42 per cent. White men under 45, in contrast, supported Obama, 50-43. And white women supported Obama, 45-42, whatever their age.
The poll also shows that rich white people are even more likely to support McCain – no surprise. Here the poll defined "rich" as earning $50,000 or more. Most will take issue with that definition, but those rich white people supported McCain 49-42. (The poll did not provide separate figures for women and men among rich old white people- probably their sample was not big enough.)
White Protestants are even more likely to support McCain, according to the poll: they split 55-34 for McCain. White Catholics in contrast supported Obama, 53-46.
Extrapolating from these figures, we can conclude that rich old white Protestant men are the base of McCain’s support — and thus the number one problem in American politics today.
The poll did contain some signs of progress, even for old white men: fewer of them support McCain than supported George W. Bush four years ago. 62 per cent of old white men voted for Bush in 2004, according to the poll, while only 48 percent plan to vote for McCain this year – a switch of 14 per cent of old white men from the "problem" category to the "part of the solution" group.
The shift away from the Republicans among old white men was dwarfed by the figure for young white men. Their support for the Republican candidate fell from 62 percent in 2004 to 43 per cent today–a whopping 19 percent switch away from the "problem" category. Young white men today prefer Obama, 50-43.
Another recent poll shows Obama winning more white voters than any Democrat in three decades. The Gallup Poll shows 44 percent of non-Hispanic white voters supporting Obama. Politico’s David Paul Kuhn calls that "the highest number for a Democrat since 47 percent of whites backed Jimmy Carter in 1976." It’s more than Bill Clinton got in 1996, when he won the support of 43 per cent of whites and 38 per cent of white men. The peak support for a Democrat among white voters was for Lyndon Johnson in 1964, who won more than 50 per cent.
The New York Times-CBS News poll was released October 24 and showed that the split among all registered voters was 52 per cent for Obama, 37 for McCain.