Sunday, February 25, 2007

Bloggers across the political spectrum are reacting with disgust to the AP story about polygamy among Mitt Romney's ancestors -- which, by the way (scroll down), is rather old news.

I don't have much to add, but this just seems to be part of the press's ridiculous attempt to treat three candidates -- Romney, Obama, and Clinton -- as "the Mormon guy," "the black guy," and "the woman," as if voters will choose or not choose them based exclusively on those attributes. The religion, race, and gender (respectively) of the three certainly do matter to voters, and prejudices absolutely could kick in when voters vote -- but these are absolutely not the only criteria being used to judge these candidates. Yet you wouldn't know that from stories that ask, "Will voters vote for a Mormon?" (or black person or woman).

Political strategists focus a lot of their attention on demographic categories, of course -- as do the people who track ratings and circulation figures in the media. So it's no wonder that political journalists sometimes seem to have trouble seeing past demographic categories. They need to figure out, though, that most voters are looking at a lot more.

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