Basketball fans can take the game of H-O-R-S-E a bit too far.
But what is striking is the change in attitudes about Mrs. Clinton among those voters, and her struggle to win them over again. In dozens of interviews in diners, offices and neighborhoods across the country, many white male Democrats expressed an array of misgivings, with some former supporters turning away from her now.
Many said they did not trust her to overhaul the economy because of her wealth and her ties to Wall Street. Some said her use of private email as secretary of state indicated she had something to hide. A few said they did not think a woman should be commander in chief. But most said they simply did not think Mrs. Clinton cared about people like them.
“She’s talking to minorities now, not really to white people, and that’s a mistake,” said Dennis Bertko, 66, a construction project manager in Youngstown, Ohio, as he sipped a draft beer at the Golden Dawn Restaurant in a downtrodden part of town. “She could have a broader message. We would have listened.”
“Instead, she’s talking a lot about continuing Obama’s policies,” he said. “I just don’t necessarily agree with all of the liberal ideas of Obama.”And the plunge into the yawning abyss:
The fading of white men as a Democratic bloc is hardly new: The last nominee to carry them was Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and many blue-collar “Reagan Democrats” now steadily vote Republican. But Democrats have won about 35 to 40 percent of white men in nearly every presidential election since 1988. And some Democratic leaders say the party needs white male voters to win the presidency, raise large sums of money and, like it or not, maintain credibility as a broad-based national coalition.
To win a general election, Mrs. Clinton would rely most heavily on strong turnout from blacks, Hispanics, women and older voters. Though she won among white men in Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee, and tied in Texas, some Democratic officials and pollsters say they fear that without a stronger strategy, Mrs. Clinton could perform as poorly among white men as Walter Mondale, who drew just 32 percent in 1984, or even George McGovern, who took 31 percent in 1972.
Comparisons to Mondale and McGovern, who between them carried two whole states? Ouch.
But so what? This is a speed bump on the Democratic road to overthrowing the dreaded white patriarchy, with the working class the first ones overboard.