Thursday, November 8, 2012

The New America v. the Old

Much has been made of Mr. Obama's near unanimous support among minority voters. The state with the highest percentage of Black people is Mississippi with over 37%. With Mr. Obama getting well over 90% of the Black vote but only getting 44% of the vote in Mississippi, it is apparent that the vote in Mississippi is approximately as racially polarized among White people there as among Black. If those figures could be further refined for "White Men" no doubt you find an even higher degree of polarization. Mr. Romney had his own near-unanimous voting blocks, that were as large or larger than Mr. Obama's.

Conversely, Vermont has the second lowest percentage of Black population of any state, less than a percent. There are not too many Hispanic people there either; but the state gave Mr. Obama one of his highest winning percentages. Absent Mr. Obama and the democrats having some hidden plan to subsidize the maple syrup industry, it would be reasonable to conclude that the Vermont population is markedly different from Mississippi aside from racial composition.

The Obama team did well when the economy would otherwise have pointed to their defeat, in part because they were very analytical about how they approached the election. They also did well because their team itself was diverse and their message was targeted toward a diverse population. In effect, they expanded their shelf space and went looking for votes in places the Romney team did not. Although, even collectively, minorities in the US are still a minority, a message crafted for everyone and targeted for differing demographics won out over a message that just resonated with the majority. As the minority actually becomes the majority in the US, today's newspapers are filled with recriminations about how the republicans will re-tool themselves and re-tool their message

So why the political discussion on a TV blog? The consumer electronics market has much more in common with an Obama demographic than a Romney. The consumer base is younger and diverse. One would expect that the marketing leadership of the industry would start to resemble the people that they market to in this country not only ethnically but by gender as well. Pursuing the pages of the trade press, looking at the faces, one gets the impression of the Old America rather than the New.

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