IT'S THE YOUNG WHITE MEN, STUPID
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows strong support for President Bush, the war in Iraq, and even a possible future war in Iran, tempered only by a soupçon of squeamishness about the ongoing troubles in Iraq. The White House should be delighted. But it's interesting to see the results parsed. This is from the report on the poll at the ABC Web site:
There's ... a striking difference between men and women in their view of the level of casualties [in Iraq]. While 60 percent of men call it acceptable, just 42 percent of women agree. Democratic women are 11 points less likely than Democratic men to call the level of casualties acceptable, and there's a similar gap between Republican men and women.
And there are differences by age: Acceptance of casualties is highest among younger adults, and lowest among the oldest. Older Americans also are substantially less apt than others to say the United States can justify the war without finding weapons of mass destruction (but 52 percent do hold that view.)
The Washington Post story about the poll notes that the percentage of women who find the casualty levels in Iraq unacceptable is 50%.
Meanwhile, on June 19 The Washington Times reported on a poll of Hispanics by Sergio Bendixen:
The poll found that Mr. Bush would receive 34 percent Hispanic support against an unnamed Democratic opponent — down from the high of 44 percent he polled in May 2002. The 34 percent is about the same as the 35 percent of the actual Hispanic vote he received in the 2000 election.
"The president of the United States has an important credibility problem with Hispanic Americans," Mr. Bendixen said, citing numbers that show nearly 70 percent think Mr. Bush has failed to keep his word to make Latin American policy a priority and to complete an immigration agreement.
Would Bush and his policies still appear overwhelmingly popular if young white men were taken out of the mix?
This is the Fight Club presidency. It resonates with young white males.
I'm not sure why it doesn't resonate as much with nonwhite males. Maybe it's because the Bush presidency capitalizes on righteous anger, and black and Hispanic men generally know what it feels like on the receiving end of this kind of anger, in a way that white males don't. White males complain about hearing criticism from "politically correct" feminists. African-American men complain about being pulled over for "driving while black" by cops with big, dangerous guns. There's a difference. Maybe you're less likely to respond to talk of "evildoers" when on any given day you could be accused of being one.
(Thanks to TBOGG for the Washington Times link.)