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Mitt Romney Rejects His Natural Voters

CAMBRIDGE – The political fallout from Mitt Romney’s characterization of 47% of the American electorate as “victims” who are “dependent on government” and refuse to take “personal responsibility” for their lives demonstrates anew that cultural generalizations, particularly in politics, are usually dangerous. In fact, Romney appears to have categorized a large segment of his party’s own voters as supporters of President Barack Obama.

As a rule, one should judge people on their merits, not on the supposed attributes of the racial, socioeconomic, or geographic groups to which they belong. Yet statistical relationships sometimes are so strong that it is worth pondering their significance.