It’s wrong to assume that just because I’m black that I’d cast my presidential vote for Barack Obama, or just because I’m a woman I’m more likely to vote for Hillary Clinton. Or that because I fall into both minority categories, that I'm a Democrat.
However, that’s what it seems like the media is focusing on right now, especially with primary and caucus results coming in. And I guess that’s fine, considering the historic nature of the Democratic nomination.
BUT there’s one thing us media folks do all the time (in every election, not just presidential races) that literally makes my skin crawl: we overanalyze and make a hyperbole of the “black vote,” or “Hispanic voters” or “women voters.” Another one I’ve seen: “better-educated black voters.”
I've witnessed talk of reporters being instructed to get elections' race breakdowns and find someone to analyze them. I’ve even heard stories being called “black-voter turnout stories.”
During the Shreveport mayoral election how blacks voted seemed to be a very hot topic for folks inside and (especially) outside of the newsroom.
Last I checked there were more white men voting in all types of elections all over the country than any other minority group. And out of the relatively small population of blacks and Hispanics in the country there are a small number of people in those races who actually exercise their right to vote.
I’m not saying that race and gender in votes should be ignored. They shouldn’t. And sometimes it is very interesting to focus on. But I am saying that in the grand scheme of things, those minority groupings— especially black voters— aren’t really the determining factor in deciding elections. The real decision is made by the hordes of majority voters.
That said, the next time I see a story about “black-voter turnout,” I hope to see one about “white-voter turnout” too.