What the Comic Industry Can Learn from the 2012 U.S. Elections

Obama and Spiderman ComicThere’s a very important lesson that the comic book industry can learn from the 2012 U.S. elections. You can’t just cater to straight white men anymore.

Last night we saw Mitt Romney carry the white vote and lose, a record number of women win Senate seats, and multiple victories for the LGBT community.

As ABC News puts it “Romney’s most reliant bloc the whole campaign was white men.” He won the white vote by 20 points but lost the election and the popular vote. The same margin of white voters Reagan used to win by a landslide in 1980 is no longer enough to win an election.

Republican analyst Steve Schmidt said it beautifully last night on MSNBC when he explained  that the Republicans will never again be able to win a national election by catering only to white men.

There were also some interesting things that happened in the Senate races. Not only did a record number of women win Senate seats, but we also saw the defeat of Todd  “Legitimate Rape” Akin and Richard Mourdock (who thinks pregnancy resulting from rape is “something God intends to happen”).

Wisconsin elect Tammy Baldwin as the first openly gay Senator

Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay Senator

And let’s not forget that Wisconsin elected Tammy Baldwin as the first openly gay Senatorten anti-LGTB Senate candidates lost, Minnesota shot down a “traditional” marriage amendment, and Main, Maryland, and Washington all passed marriage equality laws.

This shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone. Back in August Republican senator Lindsey Graham said “the demographics race we’re losing badly. We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”

It’s time to stop acting like being a straight white man is the norm. Comics can’t keep demographics like these and stay relevant and continue to attract new readers. We are not a society of straight white guys.

The comic book industry (and the GOP) can’t keep being Eric Cartman once they realize that there are minorities at their water park.

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