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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:09 PM
Original message
More Blacks Lean Toward Obama
The Wall Street Journal

More Blacks Lean Toward Obama
Shift in Allegiance From Clinton
Could Tighten Primaries in South
By JONATHAN KAUFMAN and VALERIE BAUERLEIN
December 14, 2007; Page A5

Barack Obama's rising poll numbers among white voters in Iowa and New Hampshire are having an unexpected ripple effect: Some black voters are switching their allegiance from Hillary Clinton and lining up behind him too. That could mean a further tightening of the Democratic presidential race, especially in southern states where blacks make up as many as half of Democratic primary voters.


The evidence of movement is most clear in South Carolina, site of the first primary where black votes figure to make a significant impact. There, four polls now show Illinois Sen. Obama with a lead among African-American voters for the Jan. 26 vote. As a result, the race in South Carolina has tightened, with some polls calling it a dead heat. A Rasmussen poll completed last week among South Carolina voters shows Mr. Obama now attracting 51% of the African-American vote, compared with 27% for Mrs. Clinton. A month ago, the candidates were tied among South Carolina black voters. Along with other polls, Rasmussen shows the two candidates essentially tied among all South Carolina voters.

Readings of the national black vote are less clear, but there are suggestions of movement there also. A Pew Research poll completed late last month shows New York Sen. Clinton and Mr. Obama virtually tied among black voters nationwide; two months ago Mrs. Clinton held a 12-point advantage. But an ABC News/Washington Post poll this week shows Mrs. Clinton still with a commanding lead among African-Americans nationwide... But some analysts say Mrs. Clinton may do well because many of her black supporters are women and senior citizens who typically turn out for primaries in high numbers. "Hillary's voters are likely to vote," says Ron Lester, a Democratic pollster who has done extensive work polling African-Americans in the South. "That is going to help her hold her own."

(snip)


Mrs. Clinton initially built a big lead among black voters based in part on her husband's popularity. She also won a plethora of early endorsements from prominent black ministers and politicians, including civil-rights icon and Georgia Rep. John Lewis. But now Mr. Obama is making a big push for the black vote. His political director in South Carolina is a popular 34-year-old black former college-football star at the University of South Carolina who lists "old-school hip hop" as his favorite music on his MySpace page. The Obama campaign began running TV commercials in the state in the past two weeks but has been airing radio spots on 36 African-American radio stations for three months.

(snip)

Mr. Obama's efforts to woo black voters could create challenges for a candidate who has so far minimized the issue of race. "To some extent, white voters like Obama because he is nonracial and they are used to candidates like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton" who are more confrontational and emphasize black issues, says Mr. Lester, the pollster, who is African-American. At the same time, says Mr. Lester, "when Obama goes south, he will have to make extra efforts to get black voters. How that will play with white voters will be very interesting."


URL for this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119759876506928645.html (subscription)
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beaconess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. what is "non-racial?"
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Not Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson
Running on a platform of being black, of reminding other blacks of our shameful history, of the still covert discrimination, of "us vs. them."

Obama, of course, does not have any personal perspective of the Civil Rights. He has no family members who would reminisce about the days of marching in Alabama, of parents or grand parents who were share croppers, of even wondering about his own "Roots." This is why when he first started some, from the African American community, questions how "black" he was. (And this is what poor Biden meant when he referred to him as "fresh.")

But this is why he appeals for whites. Because he runs as an Americans concerned about issues that are important to many, regardless of racial background. And, it appeared, that for some (or many, I don't know) his appealing for all people and not carrying his race on his sleeve is a turn off.


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beaconess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. So, reminding people of the country's "shameful history" is verboten
but bleating about our noble forefathers, our flag, our Revolutionary heritage, is perfectly fine. White candidates reminisce all the time about things THEIR ancestors - much farther removed in time than the 1960s - did. But for some reason, when black folks talk about "marching in Alabama, of parents or grandparents who were sharecroppers," that is wrong and a turnoff to white people, so they'd better just shut up about it if they want to get anywhere in politics.

And it's fine for candidates to behave as if white Europeans created America all by themselves - and, thus, have every right to not only own it, but to keep anyone else that doesn't look like them from getting in (even though Europeans were the ultimate "illegal immigrants").

How interesting that some white folks want to take all the credit for the good parts of American history and think it's great that white candidates give them more opportunities to do this, but treat anyone who doesn't buy into that crap like they are some kind of race baiting traitors.

FYI, Obama DOES talk about these issues - he just does it in a different way than Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson do. That's because they're all different people with very different approaches - just as John Edwards approach is different than Joe Biden's. And, oh, by the way - John Edwards says many of the same things that Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson do, but I guess that's ok, since he's white and thus, can't be accused of "carrying his race on his sleeve."

And finally - yes, some African Americans questioned whether Obama was black enough. But those questions pale in comparison to the consistent drumbeat of stupid comments, questions and polls from white folks have been posing for the past year about Obama's blackness, how black people will respond to him, whether white people will vote for him, etc. But, of course, THAT's ok, too, since it's only black folk who aren't allowed to talk about their own blackness because that would mean they "are running on a platform of being black."

In other words, "non-racial" - as usual - doesn't mean non-racial at all. It just means "non-black" since we know that this entire country is built on and driven by race, but white people are the only ones allowed to talk about it.

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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. That's why the rise in SC but you can't say if a woman wants to vote
she is sexist...that's terrible.
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