The online political opinion magazine Slate, to its great credit, has published its fourth quadrennial presidential voting survey among staffers and contributors (you can see Reason's exercise here). Slate's results for 2012?
29 Barack Obama, 2 Mitt Romney, 2 Gary Johnson, 1 Jill Stein, 1 nobody. Or, if you prefer percentages, 83-6-6-3-3. (The two Johnson votes came from former Reasoner David Weigel, and Account Manager Ryan Trow.) Let's stack up that tally against previous years:
2008: 55 Barack Obama, 1 John McCain, 1 Bob Barr (96-2-2)
2004: 46 John Kerry, 5 George W. Bush, 1 Michael Badnarik, 1 David Cobb (87-9-2-2)
2000: 29 Al Gore, 4 George W. Bush, 2 Ralph Nader, 2 Harry Browne (78-11-5-5)
Though Obama's once-Castroesque support has now dipped down to positively sub-Kerryian levels, Slate Editor David Plotz still feels the need to defend the massive pro-Obama tilt:
I don't think Obama's Slate victory reflects a bias that has corrupted the magazine during the campaign. There are obvious reasons why Slate would lean heavily toward Obama: Slate's voters tend to skew young and all polls show younger voters favoring the Democrat. And we are journalists. To quote [former Slate editor Michael] Kinsley: "No doubt it is true that most journalists vote Democratic, just as most business executives (including most media owners) vote Republican, though neither tendency is as pronounced as their respective critics believe. This is a natural result of the sort of people who are attracted to various careers. It is not the product of any conspiracy."
Also, most of our staff and contributors live in Democratic-tilting cities in blue states on the East and West coasts.
It might be pointed out that Reason staffers, too, "skew young," "are journalists," and mostly "live in Democratic-tilting cities in blue states on the East and West coasts." So there are other contributing factors at play here.
In fact, if you believe Slate contributor Tom Scocca (whose vote-disclosure is absent from this year's exercise UPDATE: Scocca says he's fixing that now), the real skew in this election is white people voting for Mitt Romney. Scocca's look-at-me-I'm-being-controversial lede:
I'm voting for Barack Obama on Election Day. This fact will appear on Slate's list of which candidates its writers are voting for, a list which will almost certainly look like the 2008 list, which is to say an almost unbroken string of "Obama." People will look at this list—Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama—and they will say, Look at the Slate writers, inside their bubble.
And they will be wrong. There is a real, airtight bubble in this election, but it's not Obama's. As a middle-aged white man, in fact, I'm breaching it. White people—white men in particular—are for Mitt Romney. White men are supporting Mitt Romney to the exclusion of logic or common sense, in defiance of normal Americans. Without this narrow, tribal appeal, Romney's candidacy would simply not be viable. Most kinds of Americans see no reason to vote for him.
This fact is obfuscated because white people control the political media.
So, Romney's 23-point advantage among Caucasians is more bubbletastic than Obama's 76-point spread among Slatesters. On second thought, I can see why Plotz was being defensive.
In any case, here we are on Election Eve, and there are now three publications I'm aware of that have applied journalism's haughty transparency standards to themselves. This fact is shameful. Show us your vote, political journalists!