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Why so many white men still don’t like President Obama

Earl Ofari Hutchinson | 3/8/2011, 8:01 p.m.

Though the penchant for white males to back Republican presidents gave Bush the electoral edge in the race against Gore in 2000, Gore won the popular vote as well as the electoral votes in more than a dozen states and women voters provided the margin for victory in those states for him. The GOP’s grip on male voters, however, could have even spelled doom for Bill Clinton in his reelection bid in 1996.

If women had not turned out in large numbers and voted heavily for Clinton, GOP presidential contender Robert Dole may well have beat him out. While men rate defense, a strong military, the war on terrorism, and national security as high on their list of concerns, women say abortion rights, education, social security, health care, equal pay and job advancement, and equal rights are highest on their list of concerns.

While racial, gender, and economic tensions and fears are major forces behind white male devotion to the GOP; they’re hardly the only reason for their political love affair with the party. Republicans have also played hard on the anger, frustration, and hatred that many males harbor toward government and their swoon over military toughness. The Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Fox News and the shrill pack of right-wing bloggers and talk show hosts have fanned and inflamed the anti-government and borderline racism of many white males to power their movement.

This paid big dividends in the November mid-term elections. And for four decades before that it has been the trump card for winning GOP presidents and even losing GOP presidential candidates, like McCain.

Win or lose, the GOP still banks heavily that that vote will be there for whomever emerges from the GOP presidential contender pack again. The Pew Center Survey simply confirmed it’s not a fawn hope.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst.