Opinion

Steve Russell: Analyzing the outcome of the presidential vote





"The battle is over, and pundits now stroll to the battlefield and shoot the survivors. I have used this bully pulpit to urge that Indians bloc vote only when threatened as Indians. My own vote turned on threats I perceived to my family. Your mileage may vary.

Before I parse the numbers, I must observe that, as usual, hard numbers on American Indian voters are hard to find outside of states with huge reservations where everybody has to pay attention to the Indian vote, both whether it will come out and which side will benefit if it does.

Anecdotal evidence tells me President Obama carried the Indian vote by substantial margins, in spite of the fact that my Indian relationships are skewed towards Cherokees, who are historically Republicans.

The last Cherokee Chief, Chad Smith, was a Republican. The current Chief, Bill John Baker, is a Democrat. That had nothing to do with my vote. I vote tribal elections on tribal issues, and I’m sure most Indians do the same. A certain skepticism about endorsements from tribal leaders follows from that, although I don’t doubt that tribal leadership can inform Indian voters when there is an Indian fighter on the ballot."

Get the Story:
Steve Russell: Election 2012: Shot at and Missed (Indian Country Today 11/11)

Related Stories:
Steve Russell: Indian fighters in the annals of American politics (11/6)
Steve Russell: Partisan blowhards ruin the political landscape (11/5)