But in a more complex and indirect way, the stubborn refusal of a majority of whites to vote Democratic is all about race. Take a look at this chart. The alignment of whites with the Republican Party hasn't made it impossible for Democrats to win presidential elections, but it has made it fairly difficult. For the past 40 years, whites have made up 74 percent to somewhere north of 90 percent of all voters. Jimmy Carter got elected president by narrowing to four percentage points the gap between whites voting Republican and whites voting Democratic. Bill Clinton did it by narrowing the gap to a remarkable 2 percent. I don't think it's a coincidence that both men drew some appeal simply from being white Southerners. The South is where the GOP holds its tightest grip on the white vote.
So, at least South still equals racist, even with a black president. Jesse Jackson will be so relieved.