Voters' preference for Hillary Clinton nationwide seems to be fading across all demographic groups, according to a new Gallup poll released today. Barack Obama leads Clinton by 16 points nationally and she's lost support among both men and women over 50 and under 30. Obama ...
Voters' preference for Hillary Clinton nationwide seems to be fading across all demographic groups, according to a new Gallup poll released today. Barack Obama leads Clinton by 16 points nationally and she's lost support among both men and women over 50 and under 30. Obama even edges Clinton among voters with a high school or less education (47-46 percent), Latinos (51 to 44 percent) and is tied at 47 percent among non-Hispanic whites.
Meanwhile, to preview today's Kentucky primary, Tribune correspondent don't think too highly of Obama:Munfordville, a small town where residents apparently
The Munfordvilles of America — and there are many—present a troubling reality for Obama's campaign, as his lopsided loss in neighboring West Virginia showed. [..]
"Right now it's not that Hillary attracts the white vote," said Jack Bunnell, 79. "It's that Obama's black."
Bunnell, a lifelong resident of Hart County, isn't proud of this. But like many in Munfordville, he accepts the sentiment as a fact of life in a town that's nearly 90 percent white, a place of little racial tension but a very clear separation between races.
Rife knows of no more than 10 other people who, like him, will vote for Obama. Still, he doesn't view people in his community as mean-spirited. Few will express any particular dislike of black people, he said, but asking them to vote for a black man for president is simply too much of a leap: "They just aren't ready for it."
Huppke offers up these localized anecdotes under a broad headline: "To Many White Voters, Race Still Matters." Yet he fails to make clear the distinction between white voters from Kentucky and white voters more generally.
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While Huppkelast week:Josh Marshall teased out convincingly
There's been a lot of talk in this campaign about Barack Obama's problem with working class white voters or rural voters. But these claims are both inaccurate because they are incomplete. You can look at states like Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states and see the different numbers and they are all explained by one basic fact. Obama's problem isn't with white working class voters or rural voters. It's Appalachia. That explains why Obama had a difficult time in Ohio and Pennsylvania and why he's getting crushed in West Virginia and Kentucky.
If it were just a matter of rural voters or the white working class, the pattern would show up in other regions. But by and large it does not.
What's more, as Charles Blow pointed out in a recent New York Times column, it's not as if Obama needs to win over Appalachia to succeed in the general election:
The region is whiter, poorer, older, more rural and less educated than the rest of the country, and seems to be voting like a bloc.
In fact, it hasn't been Democratic country for the last two presidential elections. Only 48 of the counties voted for John Kerry in 2004, down from 66 counties (or 16 percent) that went for Al Gore in 2000. The only states with counties in the region that have consistently voted Democratic in the last four such elections have been New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Part of Clinton's win-while-losing argument is that her husband won more than half the region's states in both elections, and so can she. Unfortunately, she is not the Bill Clinton of 2008. Obama is, and his candidacy could energize enough young voters and African-Americans to shift the landscape of swing states.
Obama is unlikely to win the heart of Appalachia in the general election, but he may not need to if he can make up ground on its northern frontier. If he wins New York and Pennsylvania (he lost both in the primaries) and flip-flopping Ohio (another primary loss) he will be in good position.
(h/t Mori Dinauer)