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New Racial Dynamic in S.C.

By Jon Cohen
The racial divide has deepened in South Carolina, with Barack Obama leading Hillary Clinton by a wide margin among African Americans, but badly trailing both Clinton and John Edwards among white voters. And underneath the chasm in vote preferences in the new McClatchy-MSNBC poll by Mason-Dixon, there are signs of other, potentially irreconcilable differences.

The poll, released Thursday evening, has Obama outpacing Clinton among black voters 59 percent to 25 percent, but barely getting to double-digits among whites. (African Americans made up about half of all voters in the 2004 South Carolina Democratic primary.) Support for Edwards is similarly tinged by race: 40 percent of whites support him, compared with just 4 percent of black voters.

Of concern to any eventual nominee, however, is that white and black voters have increasingly divergent views of the candidates themselves.

Continue reading at Behind the Numbers >>

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 25, 2008; 4:36 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , Hillary Rodham Clinton , John Edwards , Primaries , The Democrats , The Pollster  
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And one more thing:

While the media raves about Obama's victory in South Carolina, it must be remembered that probably a full 90 plus per cent of the African-American vote that went for Obama in South Carolina consisted of young women (18-40). Hardly a representative slice of the electorate this November, is it?

Posted by: jhncrsp | January 26, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

It's strange how so many Republicans are now saying that Mr. Obama would be a great nominee, isn't It? As an African-American supporter of Hillary Clinton, I tell you that Blacks are now being misled and manipulated to a degree not before seen in the history of this country. While I don't believe the Obama campaign to be any more "evil" than the rest (relax "hotnuke 2007") I do believe that Obama's nomination will ensure a Republican victory in the general election. Karl Rove and company are absolutely salivating at the prospect of an Obama candidacy. After the Republican "swift boat machine" gets through with Mr. Obama, with The National Enquirer running weekly front page "baby mama" articles featuring alleged photos of Obama's supposed many "illegitimate" children, along with alleged photos of him doing drugs, he can forget it. We'll just see how much of the white vote he'll get in the general election.

Bottom line, while I would have the supported the candidacy of, say, a Colin Powell to the hilt, I tell you that, if nominated, Obama's loss in the general election will be catastrophic, of historic proportions, and utterly humiliating for the African-American community, ensuring that there will not be another Black candidate for a major party for the next 50 years. And we'll be stuck with another Republican president for another 8 years, with all that imports.

And remember, we've all seen this movie before. In 1972 Sen. Eugene McCarthy, the Democratic nominee, also ran a wildly enthusiastic youth-based campaign. If memory serves me, he lost every state except one - his home state. Which he barely carried. It's crazy, sad, and all terribly self-defeating.

Posted by: jhncrsp | January 26, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I am always surprised that people expect voters to support their own race or sex. I am another white woman who supports Obama. I think that Clinton's tactics are going to backfire on her. They don't really jibe with the sensitive, teary-eyed persona that got her a win in NH.

Posted by: LoisHK | January 26, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm undecided, but found this great article called "Slaves, Democrats and Honest Abe" on the BlogZine SAVAGE POLITICS.

WOW- all I have to say!
Here is an excerpt: "Since we are today nearing the closing of the voting polls in the Democratic Primary of South Carolina, it would be interesting to lightly discuss the racial elements that have been brought to the publics attention by the Media, ever since Obama's bid for the White House has taken the lead in all political discussions. One of the most important aspects of this year's campaign has been the continuous advocacy of the claim that it has always been the Democratic Party who has been at the forefront in the fight for diversity (which ironically negates true racial integration) and racial tolerance. Although most African Americans have historically proven themselves to be distrustful of all politicians, no matter their ideological inclination, they have also overwhelmingly voted for Democrats. Ever since the Democratic Party's convenient realignment in favor of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960's, a factor which directly caused the other famous realignment in Party Politics, in which many conservatives herded towards the Republican Party in the 1970's and 1980's, Democrats have coroneted themselves as the Party of equality and racial harmony. But their history is not as pristine as many of their advocates preach to the public. What is the historical background of Barack Obama's Party, when it comes to ideas of racial harmony?
Most people are not well versed regarding the facts surrounding the immense split in the Democratic Party which was directly responsible for the founding of the Republican Party. It all began with the (1854) Kansas-Nebraska Act, which intended to spread the institution of Slavery into Kansas, and in consequence to any new State that intended to join the Union. This Act..." Find the rest of the article at

Posted by: elsylee28 | January 26, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Hotnuke appears to be a Clinton campaign troll (he and svreader play bad cop, good cop quite effectively.) You can sometimes get svreader or lylepink to really engage you with ideas, but hotnuke is more into screeds than conversations.

Posted by: ViejitaDelOeste | January 26, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse


if hillary cried over katrina, it would have been ALL OVER the media. lol @ you acting like this occurred and JJ Jr. swept an imaginary Hillary-crying-over-Katrina event under the rug. That never happened and that IS a fact. If it wasn't, the Hillary campaign would have immediately responded 'Sen. Clinton DID cry for Katrina victims and here's the video', because there are cameras around her almost around the clock.

Posted by: bum1 | January 26, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The Clinton team made an fatal flawed decision/calculation...THEY DID INDEED PLAY THE RACE CARD, and in the end, they will pay dearly not only by loss of the black vote, but of the white voters too who truly believed in the ideal of this country being able to rise above and move beyond mere race/gender and other segregating divisions..Hillary has no problem playing THE SUPREME FEMINIST card either...THe Clinton camp is proving to be hardballing politcal hacks and frankly, many of us are tired and weary and NOT willing to go along with them just to get along or a Dem in the WH !!! Bill KNOWS how to subtext the coded wordings...he can DENY all he wants, think too he would be surprised at how many that once might of gone along, have actually made PROGRESS and realize that categorizing someone merely due to skin color or even gender or religion is NOT in the best interest of achieveing the GREATER COMMON GOOD for the TRUE MAJORITY, lol, the TRUE MAJORITY ARE ACTUALLY QUITE A DIVERSE GROUP...Bill is semi stuck in the good ol WB's union and failed to realize we all are NOT quite so naive nor stuck in that same mud !!!

Posted by: Bozly54 | January 26, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"I believe he is a racist, that the majority of his supporters are vicious Hillary-Haters and/or moronic racists themselves"

Nice. A very intelligent, well-reasoned analysis. (Please note oozing sarcasm). Hotnuke, everything about your post was off-base, including the words "the" and "and". I should note that I am both white and female, and I am supporting Obama. And Hillary Clinton is rapidly losing any possiblity of my voting for her for anything, including dog-catcher.

The Clintons have managed to turn Obama into "the black candidate" through their slimy attacks. This shows great disrespect not only for Obama, not only for the black community, but for America. Camp Clinton is trying to spin it so that if Obama wins S.C., it's only because black people voted for him. That is disgusting. It is tantamount to them saying, "hey white people, those dumb black people all voted for the other guy just because he's the same color as they are." And that is deeply offensive. For one thing, it assumes that all black people are the same, and that they will vote for someone just because he's black. It also puts out a message that because white people in S.C. don't vote for Obama, no white American will. So in one fell swoop, this strategy is saying that blacks are sheep who will vote on racialy loyalty alone, and that all (or most) whites are racist. If I were black, I would be tremendously offended. Being white, I am tremendously offended. Way to go, Clintons.

Posted by: ASinMoCo | January 26, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Your post was way to long. Think of it like your're carrying on a verbal conversation. You just dominated the whole thing. I read a few lines after that...well you get my point. Anyway Charlie Rangel supports Hillary. He's old school. His district supports Obama. Same thing for the so called "Black leaders," including the popular ministers. Their congregation will vote differently. Many Black leaders are just as out of touch as many White leaders. And tell me (talking about the Clintons being out of touch)who follows Robert Johnson former President of Bet, Clarence Thomas? Even the team that Bob owns will vote differently. The south will be the south. America will be America. Race and gender has and always will play a part in everything we do. Children don't have a problem with it, its the ignorant grown folks that has the problem. Still, the good part is that neither race nor gender when used negatively can stop a positive move forward. Look at your history.

Posted by: MILLER123 | January 26, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least julieds finally gets it. Congressman Charlie Rangel did not apologize for the content of his statement, he apologized for telling the truth that Obama played the race card FIRST. If Obama was so intelligent about political races then why did he resort to his own style of "scuzzy tactics".

Posted by: lindafranke1952 | January 26, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

To julieds:

The ENTIRE controversy over race was engineered and manufactured by the Obama campaign in order to fuel a win in South Carolina. Obama had seen the writing on the wall, namely that if he didn't win in South Carolina, a state whose Democratic Primary voters were composed of nearly 50% African Americans, he would be seen as nothing more than a boutique candidate on the order of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He understandably realized that Hillary was garnering the majority of black support, despite the fact he himself was black, and felt if he was going to have ANY chance at being nominated, he had to win South Carolina. His staff then decided they were going to play the race card, and did so. They sent their surrogates out immediately following the New Hampshire primary, including Professor Michael Eric Dyson of Georgetown (a major advocate of the Obama campaign who speaks on Obama's half on every major political show on TV), who began questioning whether the win by Hillary in New Hampshire was NOT because she had swayed voters in that state based on their belief that she was a more experienced, more qualified, and more genuine candidate, but rather that they, the voters, had simply voted for her and not Obama because he was black. That same evening, Jesse Jackson, Jr. (a Senior Advisor to Obama's Campaign) went on MSNBC and made the following comment (and I'm paraphrasing here, but it's pretty accurate and you're welcome to google for the YouTube video that shows it) that Hillary's "tears" needed to be examined in light of the "Fact" (and fact is a complete falsehood on his part as he hasn't got a clue as to whether this is factual) that Hillary never cried about Katrina. He made this remark three times, and its clear intent was to say HILLARY CLINTON DOESN'T GIVE A RAT'S A$$ ABOUT BLACKS.

This charge of RACISM, leveled at the New Hampshire voters who supported Hillary was a veiled attempt at painting ALL of Hillary Clinton's supporters (at least the white ones), in fact ALL Democrats who DIDN'T support Obama, as RACISTS. They then manufactured a controversy over Hillary's statement about MLK, which was ONLY made in response to OBAMA'S likening HIMSELF to MLK and JFK, claiming she had "DISSED" the man. Nothing could be further from the truth, but the media, nearly all of whom hate Hillary to the core, picked up on this in a heartbeat, and were defacto Obama surrogates in their effort to paint Hillary Clinton as, AT BEST, someone who wasn't sympathetic to blacks concerns or sensibilities.

The Obama campaign then went on to use Bill Clinton's words, where he OBVIOUSLY criticized Obama for his claim that he had been ADAMANTLY opposed to the Iraq War CONSISTENTLY TO THE SAME DEGREE, since before it started, and tried to paint those remarks as racist as well by misquoting Bill, twisting his words, and taking them completely out of context to suggest Bill Clinton had suggested Obama's ENTIRE campaign (and thereby the entire notion that a Black man could ever be president) was a "Fairy Tale". The TRUTH, though, is that Bill had said, CLEARLY AND CONCISELY, that Obama's claim that he had been consistent on his views about the war was a "Fairly Tale". Now, some could argue this is an unfair criticism of Obama, and that would have been a valid, if incorrect opinion in my view. However, they didn't do this. Instead, they clipped the speech by Bill to include NONE of the context of what he had said, and simply used the words "Give me a break, this whole thing is a Fairy Tale" as their quote from Bill, and then claimed he had said this in the context of saying Obama's entire campaign, his entire dream of becoming president, was a "Fairy Tale". This was done in order to anger blacks, to incite them to believe Bill Clinton was a closet racist. And it worked beautifully. Obama's lame claim that he had nothing to do with it was EASILY refuted by the MEMO that had been released by HIS CAMPAIGN which noted Bill's remarks, and did EXACTLY what I stated above in trying to claim Bill had made the claim Obama's campaign was a "Fairy Tale." Not to mention the remarks by Michelle Obama to that same effect at a mostly black event where she is quoted as having said, "That win in Iowa ain't no Fairy Tale"

Now, if you want to dismiss all this, you're welcome to. But it is completely and utterly factual. If you'd like links to all of the stuff, including the comments by Dyson, Jackson, and Michelle Obama, they're on YouTube. The Memo is at Again, you can dismiss it, but you're simply lying to yourself. Obama, and his campaign, in a desperate bid to stay alive in this contest, PLAYED THE RACE CARD. And while it's garnered him a great deal more support among blacks, he's also realized he's lost a great deal of support among women, whites and Hispanics because of it.

It was bad enough that he pulled such a lowlife move. The fact he's lied about it continuously, and is now having his campaign, his surrogates, and his supporters spread these vicious, EVIL, and completely phony stories about voter intimidation on the part of Clinton supporters shows me there is NO depth to which he won't go. People claim Hillary acts as if she's owed this nomination. I say they're blind. Hillary has NEVER acted like that. The Media has painted that narrative for a year and she's thoroughly rejected it. OBAMA IS THE A-HOLE WHO ACTS LIKE HE'S OWED THE PRESIDENCY. He acts, and his campaign acts, like any attack on him is an attack on blacks.

Now, I know that many blacks who are racist (and trust me, there are just as many racist blacks as there are whites proportionally), and many other blacks who aren't, but are no more interested in delving into the details of the campaigns as the majority of Americans, will be swayed by all of this nonsense that has been fueled by the Obama campaign and their defacto surrogates (the entire Hillary-Hating media). But they better remember one thing. WHITES MAKE UP THE MAJORITY OF THIS NATION, AND EVEN THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. Obama may find he's won the battle (South Carolina), and lost the war.

And if his and his surrogate's rhetoric goes much further, he may find himself in political oblivion soon. I don't believe he ever would have won the nomination. I'm a Hillary Clinton supporter and fervently believe she will win. However, I had hoped for, in fact have called for it for over two years, that she would choose Obama as her running mate. However, if he himself, his surrogates, or his advocates hope for even that, he had better REALLY begin to tamp all this down. Because if he doesn't, he's going to find his support among whites even lower than Hillary Clinton's support among blacks in South Carolina following his little round of racial hucksterism. And if he wants to see who would REALLY win a race war between a black and white candidate here in America, all he has to do is look at the campaigns of ANY black man who's ever run for president such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Both of them were seen as the BOUTIQUE Black Candidate, and Obama's heading toward that demise. His only chance at the nomination, or ANY further political viability, is to UNITE people, not divide them.

Furthermore, as I said above, for two years I have been calling for a Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama ticket, which I saw as both a winning ticket, one that would go far in healing our nation, and would provide Democrats with control of the White House for at LEAST the next 16 years. I am a Hillary Clinton supporter, but I have to say that whatever my analysis above, and my belief that Obama can STILL avoid doom if he stops what he's been doing, I personally will NEVER vote for the man. I believe he is a racist, that the majority of his supporters are vicious Hillary-Haters and/or moronic racists themselves, and if Hillary does put him on the ticket in order to heal the party, I will seriously consider voting for an independent candidate or skipping the election altogether. Barack Obama is not fit to be dog-catcher of Podunk, Illinois, let alone President of the United States of America. In truth, if he's elected, I won't just vote against him or not vote, I'll actively work to get others to do the same.

Posted by: hotnuke2007 | January 26, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I think it's funny that the Clintons have made Barack out to be the "Black Candidate", considering he's half WHITE!;-)

Posted by: tigero88 | January 25, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree with steveboyington. I don't think this can be extrapolated to the rest of the country. It's a red state with a racist past. Another thing to think about: a lot of the white votes Obama is losing could be going to Edwards, the native son. I think it's natural that rural white South Carolinians would be drawn to Edwards. And Edwards has been picking up support since the debate on Monday. If it was a 2-way race, I think Obama's showing among whites would be much better. Of course, the media is going to spin this as Obama being pigeonholed as a black candidate, but that's because they are obsessed with race and prefer to stir controversy rather than give information.

Posted by: p_seshadri | January 25, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if we can read too much into these numbers. South Carolina is not the same as the rest of the country.

Obama did just fine among white voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. Of course, that was before the Clinton attack on him.

My guess is that whites across the country are more likely to vote like whites have done across the country.

South Carolina (heavily Repubican) is likely to be an outlier. The places similar to South Carolina (deep south Republican states like Alabama, Mississippi, etc) may be similar.

The majority of the rest of the country is not as racially volatile.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 25, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this what we all expected when Obama got in the race? A SC vote that has blacks overwhelmingly supporting Obama, scared whites fleeing to Hillary/Edwards.

Posted by: parkerfl | January 25, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

These numbers are proof that is was NOT Obama who played "the race card". The Clintons pulled it, then blamed Obama for it. They knew his support would go down if people thought Obama was trying to play the "race card".

Don't underestimate the political brilliance of the Clintons.
They new that if they could marginalize Obama he would lose support among whites, then they could go back- just like they have- and win back the black vote, too.

The "race card" was NEVER going to help Obama.
The above numbers prove my point.

Hillary will probably win in SC, because of the scuzzy tactics.

Posted by: julieds | January 25, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

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