Why Obama could still lose in these financial times

evan bakker

Even while Wall Street plummets to an all-time low and Americans watch their once-stable jobs disappear in front of their eyes, Obama is stuck with only a slight edge over John McCain. While the Hillary Clinton voters line-up behind the other Democrat and while some skeptical Republicans become Obamacans, one group remains entrenched in the anti-Obama column.

Voters of the age 65 and older, for many reasons, understandable and unjustifiable, refuse to vote for him no matter the societal conditions. And it is these very folks who will ensure a victory for McCain, blocking the path of history that Obama will be so close to capturing.

Throughout America’s history, citizens 65 and older have been a solid block of voters, while the youth have traditionally flaked on election night. In most polls, Obama holds a 20 percent lead among 18-35 year-old voters. But among the older, more skeptical voters, his numbers have hovered at an equally astonishing 20 percent below McCain.

The elderly voters who refuse to support Obama have cited many reasons ––sometimes shocking––as to why they would be opposed to an inspirational young leader. A handful of them are Vietnam veterans who looked down on hippies who didn’t fight and formulated their views on liberals around those memories, following Nixon’s Silent Majority in lockstep ever since.

Others recall the days before the Civil Rights era of the 60s, when African-Americans “knew their place” in society. When they discredit Obama as an elitist, this is often times the hidden message.
Psychologically, these voters are less likely to support massive change since they have doubts about what that might entail. Yielding to a new generation of change seems much harder when you’re retired and feel out of the loop.

The change that Obama promises is aimed at helping the future generations bear the weight of social security taxes and health care costs. This promise is a hard sell to people who feel crunched enough as it is while they worry about their own pensions and health care costs.

The younger voters have grown up in post-Civil Rights times and have less trouble accepting a skinny African-American with a funny name, while the elders in our society have a broader and more complex relationship and experience with African-Americans from which they can attribute characteristics to them.
But this is a horribly outdated lens to look into the future with, and a warped view of the past.

The racism concentrated in the older generations will pool out in the general election, demonstrating that it is still a force to be reckoned with.

Even pundits on Fox News are beginning to prophesy a win for Obama, but admist all of the election season drama, they have taken their eye off of this consistent group of voters.

As long as it’s not snowing too hard on election night, these older folks will turn out to forcefully stop history in its tracks, handing over the the next four years to a lame duck who is unlikely to get anything done.