If Obama wins, his stats among Midwestern working-class whites might kill a key GOP tactic.

By Edward Wyckoff Williams, theRoot.com

So much of this election cycle has focused on political maneuvers straight out of the Jim Crow era: voter-ID laws designed to suppress minority votes and race-baiting, ad hominem attacks on the president that have sought to frame him outside the American mainstream — which is sadly still considered white by defaultdespite the changing racial and ethnic demographics.

Richard Nixon, campaigning for president at a rally in 1968, gives his iconic "victory" sign.

Richard Nixon, campaigning for President at a rally in 1968, gives his iconic “victory” sign. His “Southern Strategy” of using racial divisiveness to win working-class whites to the GOP was used again by Ronald Reagan. Reagan opened his successful presidential campaign in the tiny town of Philadelphia, Mississippi (where three civil rights workers were slain) with the coded racist language now known as “dog-whistles.”

Loud voices within the Republican coalition have steadily used race and cultural identity as a mitigating factor to defeat hope and change: from Mitt Romney’s campaign co-chair, John Sununu, to Birther-in-Chief Donald Trump or even VP candidate Paul Ryan, who recently claimed that President Obama threatens “those Judeo-Christian, Western civilization values that made us such a great and exceptional nation in the first place.”

All those dog whistles may just have fallen on deaf ears. The very people whom pundits had once written off as being the most susceptible to the GOP’s racially divisive message — working-class whites — are actually proving to be Obama’s firewall in key battleground states.

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