Mike Allen on how Romney becomes ‘old, straight, white men’ candidate


President Obama’s re-election campaign “wants to turn Mitt Romney into the candidate of old, straight, white men” says Politico duo Jim Vandhei and Mike Allen in a new article out Tuesday.

Allen and Vandhei deposit that Obama’s positions on everything from gay marriage and immigration to equal pay for women and more affordable student loans are allowing the campaign to paint Romney as a “throwback.”

To many Republicans, the president’s strategy is very crass — and potentially very effective. The threat of being marginalized as an aging, almost all-white, mostly male party is real and worth fretting about, they say…

The truth about politics is that Republicans — regardless of the nominee — are a mostly white party, and have been for decades. They get roughly 87 percent of their votes from whites — and rarely elect minority candidates at the national level. Right now, there are only two black and eight Hispanic Republicans in all of Congress. There are more than 270 whites.

Allen joined msnbc’s Morning Joe this morning to explain how the Obama campaign plans to target particular demographic groups while Romney’s campaign is taking a broader brushstroke approach.

“Obama has a campaign within the campaign. They call it ‘Operation Vote,’” Allen said. “It focuses on swing votes and base votes. So for African-Americans, they have a barber and beauty shop program to reach out to them. For youth, they have dorm captains and an urban DJ program. So systematically, state-by-state, demographic group by demographic group, they are looking for all of Romney’s soft spots.”

All of this follows a change in American voters’ ethnicity, Politico points out. Quoting a study of exit polls, it says the white U.S. electorate has gone from making up 88% of the vote in 1976 to 74% in 2008. Minority voters meanwhile doubled their percentage. 

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Mike Allen on how Romney becomes 'old, straight, white men' candidate