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Wag the Blog: Obama's Success Among Black Voters

The most remarkable data point from the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll was the ground that Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) gained on Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) among black voters.

In a January Post survey Clinton led Obama 60 percent to 20 percent among African Americans. In our February poll it was Obama who was ahead 44 percent to 33 percent -- a remarkable turnaround in such a short period of time. It's worth noting that in the latest poll the margin of error in the sample of black voters was plus or minus eight points, making broad conclusions about any CURRENT gap between candidates sort of beside the point. Suffice it to say that Obama at least narrowed the past gap considerably.

Opinions vary about Obama's quick growth. Some observers argue that it is simply a function of the wall-to-wall coverage of the Illinois Senator by state and national newspapers as well as television stations. It follows that as Obama gets better known nationally, his numbers will increase across the board -- including in the black community. Others believe that Obama's rapid rise among black voters is a sign of the historic nature of his candidacy and only hints at his potential among this key voting bloc.

So what do you say? In today's Wag the Blog we ask the Fix community what accounts for drastic change in the head to head numbers among black voters? Is it a temporary blip or a long term trend? And what can Obama do -- if anything -- to sustain his progress among African Americans?

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 1, 2007; 8:15 AM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
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