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New Racial Dynamic in S.C.

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.

On the surface all three Democratic candidates are popular, but the gaps by race striking. While 85 percent of African Americans hold favorable views of Obama, only about a third of whites agree. And sizable majorities of whites, but fewer than half of blacks, have positive views of Clinton or Edwards.

And the trend has been toward more polarization. In the past week alone, Obama's favorability rating in the McClatchy-MSNBC poll has dropped 19 percentage points among whites, while Clinton's has dropped 13 points among African Americans.

Obama's advantage among African Americans in the latest Post-ABC national poll was not so clearly at Clinton's expense, or vice-versa. In that poll, 81 percent of blacks had positive views of Clinton. Fifty-nine percent of white said they have a favorable opinion of Obama. Among white Democrats, nearly eight in 10 viewed Obama favorably.

Over the last few weeks, however, the Clinton and Obama campaigns have engaged in a bitter dialogue about racial politics, with Clinton surrogates making disparaging remarks about Obama's self-acknowledged drug use and Clinton herself saying that it took Lyndon Johnson to effect civil rights laws.

Democratic voters have been more satisfied than Republicans with their choices throughout the campaign, but that enthusiasm may be challenged if the racial dynamic that appears to have set in among South Carolina voters spills over into other states.

Q: Do you have a favorable, unfavorable or neutral opinion of ...

Percentages from poll conducted Jan. 22-23; percentage from Jan. 14-16 poll in parentheses.

           Favorable  Unfavorable  Neutral  DR*
Barack Obama           
     All      63% (67)   15 (16)   22 (17)  -(-)
     White    34% (53)   34 (33)   32 (14)  -(-)
     Black    85% (78)    1  (3)   14 (19)  -(-)
Hillary Clinton       
     All      57% (62)   14 (14)   29 (24)  -(-)
     White    70% (63)   11 (10)   19 (27)  -(-)
     Black    48% (61)   16 (17)   36 (22)  -(-)
John Edwards           
     All      54% (56)   16 (13)   28 (31)  2(-)
     White    73% (69)   10  (9)   15 (22)  2(-)
     Black    41% (46)   21 (16)   36 (38)  2(-)
*Don't recognize candidate; dash=0; Crosstabs courtesy of Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon.

By Jon Cohen  |  January 25, 2008; 3:50 PM ET
Categories:  Polls  
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Next: Behind Obama's Big S.C. Win


No surprise here. People are getting testy as the race tightens and more people start paying attention. To think that race would not become a factor in this election would have been idiocy. Are the R's actually scared of Obama as the nominee? Some reports indicate they prefer Clinton but I wonder if the secret agenda is to knock her out of the box and than dirty up the general in the last ten days leading up to the election. If the shrub could get re-elected in 2004 praying on fear of terrorists why wouldn't the R's use race in 2008? They have already lost the Hispanic vote with their shop-worn immigration stance.What's a few black voters to them going to cost in an Electoral College where the winner takes all?

Posted by: Jerry | January 25, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Can we please not pretend that the white people in SC (or the South) are just like the white people in the rest of the country? Can we just stop pretending that it's the same? They may have the same needs and desires, but historically they have chosen to focus on their caste in Southern circles; so let's just stop pretending that this "divide" is anything but to be expected. Let's get out of the South and see, shall we.

Posted by: Michael's Mom | January 25, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Mission Accomplished Clintons! Good work.

Posted by: jjcooper | January 25, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

All these polls are leaving something out: the gender percentages within black and white Democratic voters.

As I understand it, black Democratic voters are about 50:50 men and women. White Democratic voters are predominately women (the men being Republican).

So when you talk about a 'race gap'...that's isn't really an accurate description.

Posted by: Tom J | January 25, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen,

I think your analysis is one dimensional, thus inconclusive.

Look at South Carolina's demography ( )

The racial make up of the demography is:

White persons, 68.5%
Black persons, 29.0%

With education level:

High school graduates, 76.3%
Bachelor's degree or higher, 20.4%

Hillary Clinton always fare well with the Less Educated electorate and Obama with more Educated folks.

Is it not fair to assume (since the MSNBC poll does not have any data on Education level ( ) that more less educated WHITE folks (because of the racial makeup) are voting for Clinton than Obama?

What do you think?

Posted by: Wayne | January 25, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Let's not assume that white voters in SC reflect white voters nationally. A Dem nominee can afford to lose the Redneck vote (c'mon, if any of you have visited Soutn Carolina, you know what I'm talking about) and the whole South and still win. If Kerry had won Ohio, we'd have a Presidentail Windsurfer.

This is a bigger story if it's a national phenomenon but there's nothing to indicate there is at this point.

Posted by: Dale Earnhardt | January 25, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Through the prism of race. You're forgetting that SC has a favorite son in the race. His supporters would go mostly for Obama. You're also forgetting that white Iowans and white S. Carolinians are from two different planets. The Clintons have succeeded in playing the race card and then blaming it on Obama. Enough drama, vote for Obama!

Posted by: thebob.bob | January 25, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Although I'm not a US citizen, and therefore am unable to bring a vote to the table, I have to ask this:

Can the US of NA afford to have "race" and "gender" play a role in the upcoming election, given that the state-of-the-economy *should* be the highest concern ?

My reasoning would be: Given that the Clinton machine already repaired a Republican deficit in the '90s, it might be prudent to give this machine a second chance to fix the current malaise.

Disclaimer: I'm a white, European, though not "Anglo-Saxon", male.

Posted by: Toon Moene | January 25, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Wayne, you're right that Clinton polls better among "downscale" voters, Obama better among those with higher incomes or more education. But those differences don't likely account for the racial gap that's emerged. I don't have the individual-level Mason-Dixon data to parse in more detail, but in our most recent national poll, blacks regardless of their level of education preferred Obama, while candidate preferences among whites varied significantly by education and by income.

Posted by: Jon Cohen | January 25, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what planet some of these people have been living on when it comes to the so-called "race card". Clinton's did not play the race card in any manner. It came from Obama's supporters who twisted Hillary's statement about Pres Johnson...which if you take a moment and read the transcript, you'll see exactly what she said. And the fact remains that Johnson did enact the civil rights laws. How is pointing out american history playing the race card? Also, the "fairy tale" remark by Bill was twisted beyond belief. The fact is that the black community wants to justify betraying their long standing allies, the Clintons in order to vote on skin color. They can't just block vote for a black man without making an excuse for it. If they were truly offended and upset with the clinton's about anything, then at least a few of them would be backing Edwards. But that isn't happening, so clearly they are creating this "race card" claim in order to justify voting based on Obama's skin color.

This will actually backfire on Obama and the black community. Because Obama won in lily white Iowa, and once voters see the results in South Carolina's primary Obama's national support will evaporate.

Posted by: Theo | January 25, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I think this is utterly depressing. Clinton, mainly Bill, has been trying to defame and slander Obama and the whole Clinton campaign is trying to be racially devisive just to get elected. I find it reprehensible, maybe it was inevitable, but depressing none the less.

And the fact that the media always plays as predictably as they do, (not just the WP) buying into the frame that now Obama is "the black candidate" rather than "a black candidate" means devisive tactics will work.

Posted by: Staffan | January 25, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse


Wait a minute, there Staffan.

Mr. Obama and his campaign claimed racism as soon as anyone dared to start asking questions about his positions, credentials and other particulars.

This is a Presidential campaign. He should not have thought that it would be "hands off" just because his father was from Kenya.

If Senator Obama were a white Senator or another female Senator with the same credentials and experience, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Let's not BS ourselves, OK?


Posted by: DickeyFuller | January 25, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

The Clintons used the same old strategy. They lie. They are not honest. The will say anything to win the nomination. They have no ethical value. Things that Bill Clinton did in the white house as president that has lead to the prelude of his impeachment, was so bad, I do not even know how to explain it to my 6 year old. Precisely, what I am refereeing here is the need to be candid under all circumstances. They used all kinds of tricks, tears and anger to manipulate the media and scare up votes. This is disgraceful. I know that Bill wants to finish his legacy, but he needs to conduct the campaign in a way that is conducive to respect, and civility.

Here is the current strategy -- Bill goes loose and says anything that he wants including distortion to derail Obama off his message. In the meantime, Hillary will have more time to talk about the economy and her mandating health care system, similar to the ones implemented by governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts before his departure. People in Massachusetts, who cannot pay for their heating bill, would rather pay the current fine because it is less than buying a health insurance premium. Forcing people to pay a fine and yet calling the plan, universal heath insurance, sounds more like a great euphemism to me. This sounds just like as a real fairy tale to me; give me a break. Our problem will not be solved until we remove the lobbyists in Washington. The previous attempt to solve the healthcare crisis was done behind closed doors. The second attempt will be a mandating health care plan to force people who can't afford it to pay additional fees. She may as well choose the previous governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, as a running mate, for they have the same health care plan.

The strategy outlined above may win the nomination, but it will lose the election.
1. The Clintons are working vigorously to put a wall - calling Obama "young African American.
2. This morning, she called him a frustrated young man
3. The Clinton purposely lied to provoke Obama and to derail him off his message.
Please Obama do no let this only hope dies.
Without Obama, there is no more interest in politic on the democratic side. Without Obama, there is no surge in voting registration. Without Obama, there is no full auditorium with thousand and thousands followers. Without Obama, there is no more reason to believe in again. Without Obama, the Tiger Woods analogy ceases to make sense - he made golf interested to young people as Obama make politic interested to college kids across the country. Without Obama, citizens would stop changing party affiliation from republican and independent to become democrats. Without Obama, we are back to the same food fight - red and blue state again -- Red for republican and blue for democrats.
Please don't let the status quo blocks the change movement and derail Obama off the message to unite the America. - Please let be honest!!!
"There is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America - there's the United States of America."

Posted by: Richard Andre | January 26, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

The conduct of Hillary and Bill Clinton so far in this campaign has been a disgrace to the Democratic Party and to the country! If South Carolina or any state votes for her, they share the shame of the Clintons. Please Americans, in order to restore honor and dignity to our party and to our country, we must stand up for honesty and integrity in our leaders.

Vote Barack Obama for President!

Posted by: Katy7540 | January 26, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Politics is a game; everyone in it, senate, house and admin branch all play the game, to win. Obama wants to show an ability to excel without playing the game. How can you effect change without the skill of winning at the game. To think he can give inspirational speeches and cause legislative followers and foreign leaderhip followers is naive. It takes true grit to weather and excel in the game, not denial of the forces at work. He cannot control others or pretend to wave a magic wand to transform the whole landscape. This is a weak position globally. Combatting the evil in the world takes deft maneuvers beyond his current ability or understanding. Look how easily he is knocked off balance. To win in the game (with national and global players) you have to know how to play it. True it can and will be elevated by new leadership, it also requires experience in the real world of politics.

Posted by: Michele | January 26, 2008 4:09 AM | Report abuse

I agree with several commenters here that your analysis is lacking.

Yes, the Favorables moved alot.

But the Unfavorables barely budged.

All of the good feeling went to NEUTRAL.

That says to me that the conversation, and ugly back and forth, about race has obviously shifted the ground. But it's made voters take a step back and try to reassess things. It does not look as if they have come to any crystallized opinions yet.

That is also borne out by the high Undediced numbers in most polls this week.

Please look at all the data and present a balanced view, even if that means saying things are still fluid and muddled.

Posted by: along | January 26, 2008 6:09 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Theo. I believe the African Americans voters are looking for an excuse to vote for Obama and are using racism by the Clinton as that excuse. Any criticism of Obama will be racist. I'm not blaming the African Americans. They got in this claim because the did not think Obama could get elected. Now they believe he can, but he can't. If for one moment , I thought Obama could really get elected I would vote for him in the primary. I will vote for him in the general if he gets the nomination, but it won't matter. If his followers think the Clintons are racist. wait until the general election. Here in Tennessee. we had one of the greatest candidate in Harold Ford for senator. Shortly before the election the polls showed him ahead. I was so proud of Tennesseans. The subtle racial ads started coming out and and Harold's chances evaporated. I'm sorry to say, I don't believe an African American can get elected president right now. Blue states will never vote for him, and also some southern red states. I believe Obama has one good chance to be elected President and that is to be vice-president for an administration that did well. I'm not being racist, and I sincerely hope my reasoning is wrong. But I'm afraid it is not.

Posted by: Chief | January 26, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Barely a month before Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton was unbeatable. At that stage, the media and Obama supporters pressured Obama to attack Hillary Clinton. He attacked Clinton's judgement in supporting Iraq war. When Obama made the keynote speech in the 2004 Democratic conference for nomination, he enthusiastically supported John Kerry, and never for once supported Howard Dean who was the candidate against the Iraq war. So his criticisn of Hillary Clinton on the war issue was just plain political. His campaign manager called Hillary clinton the senator from Punjab. The media never once questioned the validity of his strategy, and tried to coronate him with biased reporting. He calls Hillary clinton the status quo candidate. Obama surrogates even accused Hillary Clinton of being responsible for the death of Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan through her vote on the war resolution. Mind you, her judgement on the war resolution is the cause of Bhutto's death, not the people who sent the troops to Iraq. The fact is that the troops would have gone to Iraq, whether there was a war resolution or not because the administration never hesitated to hide its intentions. Hillary voted with Edwards and John Kerry for the war resoltion because of their desire to give no room for Saddam to hamper the UN inspectors. Where were the media when these attacks were taking place even as they painted Obama as the candidate above political trickery and hard ball strategies. When Hillary showed a little teary eyes, the media was all over her as if she will not be able to confront the rough and tumble in presidential decision making. If she stands upto the crtics and the Republicanc, she is a polarizing figure. When she says that it took a president to get the civil rights laws passed, she was chastized for being insensitive to the blacks. Obama had it easy over the last few months because of the all-too apparent media bias. It seems to me that race was injected into this contest by a thoughtless media who saw virtue in everything to promote Obama, and tried to present a portrait of Hillary as a demon to support this promotion. This lack of objectivity and adoration of the concept of a black president without a critical examination of the merits of individual candidates objectively has created a backlash. The media pundits have actually hurt Obama by their rosy presentation of his personality in a highly competitive and capable candidate field. Ethical journalism demands fairness in reporting, and if properly directed, could have constructively guided this election into a race-bind contest because the candidates were not supporters of racial divide. I think that with a refreshing candidate like Obama who had tremendous support among whites lost his bearing because of the media hype on black-white polarization. A seemingly open and uncritical endorsement of a black candidate and a naked attempt to substitute style for substance in the electoral politics is the root cause of the current polarization. If the uncritical media hype about Obama and the naked bias against Hillary was not all too apparent, the elections would never have become so race-centered. It is a pity that those who clamour for race-blind politics have actually created this polarization.

Posted by: Nathan | January 26, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

lots of arrogance floating in here re white folks from south carolina. hate to be the bearer of bad news but, by calling out the "rednecks" you are guilty of the same base ignorant stereotyping you accuse south carolina of.
but don't worry about it, you are still morally superior to everyone if you vote for obama, there is no question about that. jk

Posted by: Anonymous | January 26, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

lots of arrogance floating in here re white folks from south carolina. hate to be the bearer of bad news but, by calling out the "rednecks" you are guilty of the same base ignorant stereotyping you accuse south carolina of.
but don't worry about it, you are still morally superior to everyone if you vote for obama, there is no question about that. jk

Posted by: Jay | January 26, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

With web stats like these:

(Hillary vs. Barack - the web battle)

I would say Obama has it in the bag in South Carolina.

Posted by: David | January 26, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who suggest that white South Carolinians are "not the norm" are correct. I grew up in South Carolina and racism was and still is very much alive. The reason why it seems like there is a racial divide in S.C. is simple--because there is. Even today when I visit, I experience blatant racism. It'll be interesting to find out if this will occur in other Southern states. It will answer the question of whether racism is still alive in America...a question that many choose to avoid. I love all people, but let's face it, S.C. still has a lot of ignorant racist individuals that continue to believe that we are separate and unequal. Shame on Clinton for playing the race card. It all started when she stated during the Iowa caucus, "We're losing our country". My first reaction was to whom? A black man?

Posted by: Dee | January 26, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I also agree with Richard Andre...Let's erase color lines in America. "Chief" your type of thinking perpetuates racism in America....which is utterly ridiculous. Consider this: IF TERRORIST CAME AND ATTACKED/INVADED OUR COUNTRY they would kill white, black, asian, latino, anyone as long as they are Americans. When will we see ourselves as one...and not a nation divided among color lines. The terrorist see us as one...why can't we?

Posted by: Dee | January 26, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a good conversation for all of us to be having. It's rare when we have this opportunity - its actually a first time! We've never had a black man who was this competitive. A lot of people are going to be quick to assume southern whites are, by definition racist, because of the history of the region. I have no idea, but as a black man myself, I think that there's a lot of progressive whites all over the country to over ride any ignorance in certain states. It's a good conversation to be having as a country. All of us need to consider exactly how much race and gender are still issues in 2008. Anybody who had thought we were way past this is probably going to be disappointed. Speaking of disappointment, Im utterly disgusted with the Clintons. I was prepared to accept Hillary, Barrack or John as a nominee and support any of them in the general - but after seeing the 'win by any means' politics the Clintons are playing I will 100% switch from Democrat to Independent in the fall and support McCain if he gets the Republican nomination. I know lots of young blacks who are expressing the same ideas I am, and the Clintons should seriously consider the long term effects of this kind of campaigning.

Posted by: the964kid | January 26, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

In South Carolina, the outbreak of talk about race in the Democratic primaries is what everyone has been thinking but not saying. It was refreshingly honest for a change.

Everyone has been talking about race all along, but in code words. What else does it mean when Obama's campaign says that electing him will send a real signal that America has changed to the rest of the world? What signal would his election send that is not related to the color of his skin, that tells the world of vast change in America?

In terms of platform substance, Edwards' poverty and worker campaign is a bigger change from the last 20 years than Obama's platform. In terms of experienced, ready-to-go competent preparation, Clinton's campaign is a bigger change from the last 8 years of inept Bush executives, than anything Obama can articulate. If American wants to send an international signal of "change" to the rest of the world based on social and international policies, why doesn't that include electing a Clinton, as the Clintons are wildly popular with the rest the world?

If not for the color of his skin, what "change" does Obama campaign signal to the rest of the world? They can't mean his ability to give great speeches, that would signal change to the world because most people "around the world" can't speak English. No, they mean that he's got black skin and his middle name is "Hussein."

There's no "change" that an Obama election would signal to the world, except the one related to race. That's what the word "change" refers to, and that's what it has always referred to. It's just a code word that no one openly admits to understanding to mean race. What broke out in South Carolina was a brief period in which people were speaking honestly about it.

Frankly, because I'm not looking at skin color, I don't see Obama as "change". I see him as another underprepared, naive politician with ideal-appeal like Bush was in 2000, but Obama is the left instead of on the right as Bush was. When I see Obama, I see another 8 years of inept, unrealistic government except with a different set of rhetorical idealists. What kind of "change" is Obama proposing to bring to office? To make nice in partisan Washington! That was exactly one of the big cornerstones of Bush's 2000 campaign -- the last underproven, inexperienced naive guy to run for Presidency. If you look past the color of his skin, Obama is another Bush, in terms of his lack of real life experience and privileged, academically insular background. There's a reason why his messages are the same as Bush's 2000 campaign. They are left-and-right mirror images of each other, both in their fundamental lack of preparation for high office, the appeal that their empty idealism holds for idealogues in their parties and in their naive and ambiguous promises of change. Just as it's dangerous to elect an underqualified President because he claims to be born again and oppose abortion, it's dangerous to elect an underqualified black man as President, particularly when there is a more experienced, qualified and prepared woman running for the job.

I would love to vote for a black leader. It's appalling that there are so few women and blacks in Congress and as judges, because those other two branches of government are considerable movers of the direction in our society. But I can't vote for a black guy who is a little too much like Bush in too many ways, like having too little proven ability. The next President has a lot of heavy duty damage control to do from Day One in office, in many areas of our fragile economy, eroding military, a pointless war without end, eroded international standing, crumbling infrastructure and threatened currency. Obama is just too much like Bush in the ways that are important for the success or failure of these important problems, for his skin color to be worth electing another under-experienced guy to office for another 8 years.

This contest is all about race, unfortunately. IF OBAMA HAD MORE TO OFFER THAT WOULDN'T BE THE CASE. He didn't build a record because of his frequently voting "present" on controversial issues when he was a state senator and he didn't distinguish himself otherwise. The comments in South Carolina just reflected that reality that he has nothing to offer except race. Obama should build more of a resume by doing something meaningful in the Senate, establishing a real record as a politician and a following there, and then come back in 8 years to run as a more experienced politician.

Posted by: Annette Keller | January 26, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Can Hillary Get the Black Vote?
The race question should be turned around. The Democratic Party, political pundits, and others should be asking whether Senator Hillary Clinton can get the national black vote? She has not proven that she can get blacks to for her nationwide. She has had various black politicians, ministers, etc.,. to endorse her, but that is not the same as having the popular black vote. Even though, the black populations were small in Iowa and New Hampshire, she did not attract a large percentage of votes from that small group. Nor did she do well with the black population in Nevada. She has received a large number of black votes in New York state elections but she has not mirrored this in a national election. Likewise, Latinos have voted for Senator Barack Obama in large numbers in Illinois state elections, but he has not yet mirrored that on the national stage. But the Latinos voters, although a very important consistency, do not yet play the same role in the national electorate as black voters. Senator Clinton cannot win the national election without black voters. If Senator Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, many black people will probably not vote for her just because the Republican alternative is likely to be worse. If she thinks that black people will vote for her by default, she is mistaking. Her behavior is serving to suppress black voter turnout in the general election and might be a forerunner of a black political realignment. It does make me wonder whether she has any understanding or regard for the corrosive long-term effects -- on her Party and the nation. The Democratic Party electorate is more divided and bitter than it was before the New Hampshire primary. She has pitted women against men, blacks against whites, Latinos against blacks and labor unions against themselves. Moreover, she appears positively ecstatic in that divisive political landscape that she has fashioned. It is not evident from how her campaign is being conducted that she is able to be anything but a divisive politician.

Senator Obama has proven that he can get white males to vote for him. Now he is being ask to get white southern male voters, a consistency that the Democratic Party has had serious difficulty attracting years. Why is it that a Senator Obama is being asked to "leap over tall buildings, run faster than a speeding bullet" and so on in order to be considered a viable presidential candidate?

Posted by: Lydia | January 26, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about Black & White, Men & Women is so much noise.

Talk about AGE.

Older people just aren't getting the real
appeal of Obama, they're just stuck on putting the Clintons back in the White House. That's why they say Obama
doesn't represent "change"...(as if the Clintons do?) Another poster said:

"Frankly, because I'm not looking at skin color, I don't see Obama as "change".
Well, if you think Obama's UNIQUENESS is a matter of SKIN COLOR, you're STUCK somewhere in 1970.
No wonder you support the Clintons. This same poster also thinks Obama is unique because of his MIDDLE NAME. How superficial can you get?

Obama is unique because he is talking about a NEW PARADIGM in America where we
recommit ourselves to working as a country
that has a fresh set of ideals and a new hope for the world, for peace, and the environment. He gives people a chance to believe Americans can put down the bitterness of the past which has suffocated meaningful progress in solving the problems we ALL face.

Does ANYONE HONESTLY think that another Clinton Administration is capable of that?

Posted by: stonhinged | January 26, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it strange that so many Republicans think that Obama would be a great nominee? As an African-American supporter of Hillary Clinton, I tell you that Blacks are now allowing themselves to be mislead and manipulated to a degree not seen in the history of this country. Make no mistake, Karl Rove and company are positively salivating over the prospect of Obama as the Democratic nominee. By the time that the Republican "swift boat machine" is through with Mr. Obama - with The National Enquirer running weekly front page "baby mama" pictures of Obama's alleged illegitimate children, and alleged pictures of him doing drugs - he won't be able to be elected dog catcher. His loss will be catastrophic, of historic proportions, and absolutely humiliating for the African-American community. And it will guarantee that no African-American will again be nominated by a major party for another 50 years. And we'll end up with another Republican president for another 8 years, with all that imports. It is insane, and all so sad, like watching what you know will be a huge accident unfolding in slow motion, and knowing that you can't do a damn thing about it.

Posted by: jhncrsp | January 26, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

These numbers are absolutely depressing. 34% of white Democratic voters have an unfavorable opinion of Obama? Based on what, exactly? The man was editor of the Harvard Law Review, is incredibly intelligent and thoughtful, and is trying to bring a bi-partisan spirit to government, and 34% of Democrats have an unfavorable opinon of him? I don't know why I expect anything of the idiots in this country after they re-elected Bush, but these numbers are still a shock.

Posted by: Tom S | January 26, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

It was really refreshing to hear a black person speak so unabashedly about politics, but about your support of McCain consider this:
he supports continuation of the war in Iraq. The Iraqis are not deeply or widely committed to democracy, so our efforts are likely to fail. So far, we have endangered our own freedom for that "beacon of democracy." We are on the brink of financial ruin. Our efforts there dilute our ability to fight the real war against Al Quaeda and threaten success in Afghanistan and embolden those who enlist more jihadis. Since we do not have the will to do what is necessary to win in Iraq, any more of our brothers' and sisters' spilt blood will be a complete waste. It is immoral to continue the war in such circumstances. McCain is another potential Johnson. He is blinded by his past and belief that American might can accomplish anything. It is pure hubris. Our abilities are finite and we have already passed the limit of what we can do in Iraq. Even the much-vaunted "surge" has not worked: it has just temporarily driven the insurgents to other areas of Iraq. It is not "cut and run" to strategically withdraw and live to fight another day, on better terrain and with right on our side. A vote for McCain is a vote for another Viet Nam debacle and it is a shame because he is a good man. The Clintons are arrogant and only care about power. I'm liking Obama more and more. Read Caroline Kennedy's endorsement!

Posted by: Dave_M | January 26, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse


Correction: I meant to say it was refreshing to hear a black person so unabashedly express their support for a conservative politician. -dave_m

Posted by: Dave_M | January 26, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

As to voting 'present' 100 times. Consider that Obama voted on over 4000 bills. That roughly 40 bills that Obama DID vote yeah or nay on, to one bill that he could not vote yeah to but wished to refine before final vote, which is common for the Illinois legislature.

I would rather that a senator seek to refine whenever possible and not settle for a bill that is clearly lacking but could be an effective bill with modification.

So to keep this in perspective, Obama voted for the bills that came across his desk 97.5% of the time, with only 2.5% 'present' due to a political or procedural need for refinement.

Posted by: Geo | January 27, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

" Make no mistake, Karl Rove and company are positively salivating ... by the time that the Republican "swift boat machine" is through with Mr. Obama - ... he won't be able to be elected dog catcher. His loss will be catastrophic ...."

Sounds like the Republican Smear and Fear campaign has you running for the nearest closet. Better put a pillow over your head and not wake up until December.

Hasn't anyone told you about Karl Rove's and John McCain's love children?

If you REALLY want to put fear into peoples hearts, run around like a insane maniac telling everyone that what we NEED MORE THAN EVER TO VOTE REPUBLICAN SO THAT WE CAN GUARANTEE that we will have:

1) 1,000 more years in Iraq and Afganistan, like John McCain avocates, while insuring that no Iraqi politician will go without a handout, yet being certain that Bin Laden still remains at large;

2) a moral and financial debt that is out of sight, but needs to grow bigger; a dollar that is certain to be worth much less than it is now;

3) $5.00/gallon gas so that you will be eager to drill in the Arctic and you can assure global warming will flood Wall Street in your lifetime.

4) guarantee that the planet that will continue to warmer faster and that the environment that will continue to shrink until its no longer an issue;

5) assure that we continue with a health care system that will grow even more unaffordable with even more uninsured (but don't worry you will get to put $100/year in your health insurance plan tax-free in the event you get a heart attack, assuming of course you can afford to);

6) maintain a political system that only listens to those who pay first before a politican will listen to them;

7) support the continuation of justice system that must be made friendlier to lobbyists and no-bid contractors, but with 24/7 surveilence of ever American and EVERY phone converation without any questions or review, all the while allowing crime to go up;

8) insure that the current welfare system continues to bail out the heads of corporations that are involved in bid-rigging, stock scams, monopoly price-fixing, political kick-back schemes and anything else they feel that they can get away with so long as they grease the right palms;

9) guarantee the appointment of judges who rule that a one-party state is OK because everyone agrees with the government and that all the telecos can't get sued, even if they do break the law, but no women will have any rights over her body whatsoever; and anyone under 25 who illegally copies a CD will get an automatic 25-life sentence, commutable only if they kick back $25,000,000 to the recording industry.

10) guarantee that the US will continue to be the laughing stock and the butt of all jokes and the world's emmnity, while continuing to buy foreign goods to keep American CEO's and the Walmart's of the world in the money, not to mention the (Chinese, Japanese, British and Saudi Bankers);

11) and ...

One could go on, but really all you have to do, if you hear the Rove boogey man coming your way is be sure to SCREAM EVEN LOUDER, so that in the din of all the craziness that will surely grip the American politiclal system you will just drown out the BS. Karl Rove isn't the boogey man, he just knows that the wheel that squeaks the loudest gets the grease (the nature of the squeak is irrelevant).

All you have to do is SCREAM LOUDER AND BE A LITTLE GREASIER than Karl and you will win for sure. Its the American Way!


PPS. IT HELPS TO DO IT ON TV, where all the REAL CRAZINESS TAKES PLACE (Just look at the promotion Howard Dean got).

Posted by: sgp | January 27, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm a little confused by the media.

When Hillary won New Hampshire by a huge white female majority, Obama's campaign staff was allowed to swamp the media shows and claim the Bradley Effect, implying the ONLY reason Hillary won handily was because New Hampshire voters were "secret racists."

But when Obama won South Carolina, with polls showing it was clearly because of 81% of the Black vote, that's NOT racism.

Is there a media motive here?

Posted by: Mary | January 27, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

John Edwards' proposals on education would seem to benefit the poor families of South Carolina. Barrack Obama is an outsider, a brilliant northern academic reminiscent of Woodrow Wilson. Raised by a white mother and his white grandparents in Hawaii and Indonesia, what does he have in common with African Americans in South Carolina? John Edwards grew up in South Carolina. He never mentioned race. Obama's father was an intelligent man from Kenya who played virtually no role in his upbringing. So Barrack shows up in South Carolina, black voters take one look at him and without using any other criteria, say "I'm votin' for him." John Edwards, overall the most level-headed and electable candidate if the media would just give him an equal opportunity chance, is left frustrated out in the cold.

Posted by: Filippo | January 27, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

when hillary wins a state, the voters are racist. when barack wins a state, the best qualified candidate won. both are wrong statements. john edwards should be running away with this race. if john edwards doesn't win the nomination, we will have a republican president again. if marion berry was a candidate, he would have won s.c. now don't start looking at me as a racist, if colin powell was a candidate, he would have my vote in a heartbeat.

Posted by: amazing1 | January 27, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I've been a Republican and a Democrat, and I believe the Democrats have the moral high ground in this election, but I won't vote for O'Bama. He engaged in racial baiting and was the first to backhand Hillary in the SC debate, he is certainly no gentleman. Some of the right wing media is helping O'Bama bias the voting to racial issues (corridors of shame, great racial divide, etc.), perhaps because they think he'll lose handily in the gerneral election. I'll gladly vote for a black man, a woman or a mormon but not one who speaks only shameless rhetoric. Go get 'em Hillary!

Posted by: Jess | January 27, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm a nasty and feared conservative; from the South by the way. So, please enlighten me friend. How does the democrats have the moral high ground in this election? Between Senator Clinton And Senator Obama i'd rather Obama . If Miss Clinton wins God help this country cause tax payers like me and you would have to work extra hard just to pay our bills.
Not to mention the damage that will be inflicted upon the military. She will try and finish what Mr. Clinton started.
Either way may the best man/woman will win and write history of thier own. Because in the end we have to pick the lesser of the evils.

Posted by: overtaxed1 | January 28, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm undecided about who & which party I'm voting for, but found this great article called "Black Voters and a Twist of Bias" on the BlogZine SAVAGE POLITICS.
WOW- all I have to say!
Here is an excerpt: "Last Saturday's South Carolina Democratic Primary produced the widely expected result of a Barack Obama victory. From the beginning of the week, it was the ethnic composition of the State in question which was amply discussed by both the Media and it's multiple pundits. It was here and through other sources that we discovered that 55% percent of Democratic voters in South Carolina were African American. An interesting number when you consider the "coincidence" that Obama actually won the election by exactly the same margin: 55%. Of course, many in Clinton's campaign have used this demographic reality to spin their defeat, vociferating that they had always expected to loose from the start. It should be noted that it has been this exact attitude which they have ridiculed Obama's camp for, insinuating that they had proved to be "sore losers" by not admitting their own failures in stating their case to the American People. As we all know, in modern politics, no campaign is free of idiotic childishness, sadly resurfacing the reality that our current political existence is dominated by whining imbeciles of the lowest ilk. Nevertheless, the Clinton Campaign's affirmation (victory based on a unified ethnic constituency) is valid, especially when we consider the data.
The Primary's exit polling, presented by all major networks, were utilized by analysts to determine how was Obama's, Edwards', and Clinton's support spread throughout different social markers. Their results indicated that 80% of the Black vote, and only 20% of the White vote, went towards Barack Obama. Regarding most White voters in the State, you could easily identify their split between John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. The significance of this racial division is crucial in understanding the fate of Barack Obama's campaign, and the Democratic Party, if they chose to face the General Election with him at the helm...." Find the rest of the article at

Posted by: elsylee28 | January 29, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

If the US people take this racial factor for granted,then they w'd have made the whole election process meaningless b'se it will rob us of a good and responsible leader.All they need is a person black or white who will address their problems especially in such a trying moment when they're in a political crisis.Let them value this election with a sane mind otherwise they will give their nation a deadly brow

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