Skip to comments.Obama's Problem with White Voters
Posted on 03/21/2008 4:32:04 AM PDT by Renfield
The racial dimension of Barack Obama's electability problem is now apparent, but no prominent Democrat dares discuss it openly. Similarly expect no discussion of the subject in the major media.
The white working class vote
I am not referring to the ongoing and intense discussion of The Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Wright is a separate problem for Obama. Whether Obama has been, or will be, permanently weakened by his long and close association with Wright, or has soared above it with his Philadelphia speech, is not the subject of these thoughts. Something much simpler than the answer to that question has been starkly apparent for some time, certainly since well before the Wright eruption: Consistently, and by large margins, Obama has lost the white working class vote to Clinton in all states critical to the Democratic ticket this November. The lurking suspicion -- impossible to verify or refute -- is that much of Clinton's handsome portion of this demographic will not go to Obama in the November election.
This has grave implications for a Obama, at least in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Working class whites have voted heavily for Clinton in these states (or, in the case of Pennsylvania, will soon do so). The return of the Reagan Democrats, not the odious fulminations of Reverend Wright and their consequences, is what is now driving Democratic Big Wigs to the bourbon cabinet. Predictably, the media either refuses to acknowledge this now established voting pattern or, in some cases, actually denies its existence.
The latest example of denial is by Dan Balz, staff writer for the Washington Post, who remarked in his March 17, 2008 article purporting to analyze the white male vote, that Wisconsin (where Obama did relatively well among white males overall) and Ohio (where Clinton crushed him, 66-33%, among white working class males) are "states with striking similarities." It appears Mr. Balz has not looked at the two states closely and thoughtfully. In the crucial details of racial demographics, Ohio and Wisconsin are worlds apart; and it is through these details that Obama's white working class problem can be understood.
A tale of two states
Here are some pertinent facts about Wisconsin and Ohio: Wisconsin has about 5.5 million residents, Ohio about 11.3 million. Wisconsin is about 89% white and 5.7% black, while Ohio is 85% white and about 11.5% black. The small (but statistically significant) difference in percentage of blacks living in the two states was the least part of Obama's problem in Ohio. Obama's real difficulty in Ohio - and it has been a consistent one for him in similar states -- is the widely dispersed and interwoven location of the two racial groups in that state, versus their relative isolation from each other in Wisconsin. Here, I warn the reader, we are entering emotionally rough terrain for those schooled only in the mandatory American racial catechism of the last forty years.
For at least the last two generations America's racial policies have been predicated on a near religious belief that increased contact between the races will produce harmony, good feelings and positive relationships. Our experience during this period has been uniformly the opposite. Urban white liberals have fled the public schools by the hundreds of thousands, self-segregation by blacks on university campuses is widespread, resentment in the workplace (by both races) ubiquitous etc. In his Philadelphia speech Obama himself referred -- perhaps the first such reference by a black politician without open contempt -- to the concerns that many white Americans have about blacks.
The salient fact is this: in settings where the two races deal more directly with each other, and get to know each other better, through shared public schools, workplaces, public conveyances, universities, etc., they seem to like each other less, not more.
This fact is laid bare, at least for anyone willing to see it, by the Democratic primary results thus far.
Consider the following additional facts about Wisconsin and Ohio, those states with "striking similarities."
In Wisconsin more than 75% of the black population resides in the Milwaukee area, a metropolitan area that accounts for only 32% of Wisconsin's total population. This means that in Wisconsin the white portion of 68% of the state's population (which is more heavily white than the state as a whole because of the concentration of blacks in Milwaukee) rarely if ever encounters blacks. Thus, for a high proportion of Wisconsin whites, blacks are abstractions, approached most closely by turning on Oprah.
Now consider Ohio: to begin with, the black population, in percentage terms, is nearly double that of Wisconsin (11.5% versus 5.7%). But its dispersion within and among the white population is the real difference between the two states'racial demographics. In Ohio 80% of the state's 11.3 million residents reside in the eight largest metropolitan areas (Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Youngstown and Canton). These cities contain, in the order listed, 24%, 51%, 43%, 24%, 28%, 43%, 44% and 21% black residents. Thus, in Ohio a very high percentage of the white population, particularly its working class component, has regular contact with blacks, or, if living in outer suburbs, has direct contact with other whites who do.
The widely disparate residential patterns of the races is obvious: in Wisconsin, the vast majority of whites live, work, shop, and send their children to school in a world that includes few if any blacks; in Ohio the reverse is true, and the races regularly brush up against each other in all these categories of daily life. Judging from how well Obama did among white voters in these states (satisfactorily in Wisconsin, abysmally in Ohio) increased racial familiarity is not a boon to the Illinois Senator.
The sad truth about racial interaction
Good debaters (and those on the ideological Left) will point out that I have linked two phenomena causally (racial interaction, on the one hand, and disinclination by working class whites to vote for a black candidate, on the other) without actually demonstrating cause and effect. But fortunately it does not take a Ford Foundation grant and a two year study to see what is happening. In this year's Democratic primary results the two phenomena -- extensive racial interaction and poor outcomes for Obama among working class white voters -- have been so universally conjoined that cause and effect can be reasonably presumed.
Without exception, the Wisconsin pattern (little interracial contact) and the Ohio pattern (much more such contact) have correlated with identically opposite results throughout the Clinton/Obama battles: every state outside the South where Obama carried the white vote and won the primary or caucus was one with a small to negligible black population (Wyoming, Vermont, Wisconsin, Maine, Washington, Nebraska, Minnesota, Kansas, Utah, North Dakota, Idaho, Alaska and Iowa); in every state where a substantial and widely dispersed black population regularly interacts with whites, Obama lost the white vote and lost the primary: Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. I have omitted the candidates' home states (New York for Clinton, Illinois and Hawaii for Obama). Pennsylvania, where Clinton has a commanding lead, will follow the Ohio pattern, as will Florida and Michigan in the increasingly unlikely event of do overs.
Simply put, blacks and whites are not doing well together in America, circa 2008. Obama's battle with Clinton, all the pretty rhetoric notwithstanding, is remorselessly exposing that undiscussed fact. Obama is hurt by this -- severely it would appear -- in states where the races interact extensively, particularly at the working class level; while, in states with few blacks, the lamentable state of America's race relations is masked and Obama does reasonably well among white Democrats.
But the states with extensive racial interaction are precisely those that Democrats regularly carry, or need to carry, to win. Of course in several such states whites in general vote sufficiently Democratic to overcome the now obvious disinclination of working class whites to vote for Obama (e.g., Massachusetts, New York, California). But that is not true of the critical states mentioned above and, possibly, several others.
Michelle Obama attended Princeton and the Harvard Law School. Taking her at her word, interacting with whites in these rarified settings did little to improve her feelings about her country, including, presumably, the whites who made up the majority of her classmates. Given America's current rules of racial engagement -- which allow negative views of whites by blacks to be expressed but forbid the reverse - Mrs. Obama felt free to express herself publicly (though now, no doubt, wishes she had been less candid).
On the other side of the divide, the only remaining permissible venue for white expression of racial grievance is the voting booth. Where social policy, proximity, and numbers create mandatory interaction by whites and blacks in settings less elegant than Princeton and Harvard, white disenchantment engendered by that interaction finds its outlet in elections.
The theory that greater familiarity is an antidote to mutual antagonism holds only if each party likes what it sees in the other as the familiarity develops. This does not appear to be the case with either principal race in America. The consequences are playing out at the ballot box.
Doubters of this reality should not only consider Mrs.Obama's words, but take a look at the racial demographics of states outside the South where her husband won the white vote (and the state), and compare them with the racial demographics of the states where he lost the white vote (and the state).
Whether this voting pattern will persist is a matter on which no guess is ventured. Whether the Wright fiasco will worsen it for Obama is unknoweable. That the pattern does exist is an indisputable fact.
But it's not just about race.
And send all them crackers... to Gitmo!
They want a win. First they thought Clinton. She didn't run a way with the nomination. Then they thought Obama. He was gaining new voters and seemed untouchable above the fray. That came to a screeching halt when the Wright tapes finally got aired.
The DNC still want a win. If the polling continues to show him sinking faster than a rock by the PA primary, the DNC may find a way to bring the MI and FL delegates and give Clinton the win.
One commentator/pollster yesterday on Hannity’s radio program came up with a scenario where Al Gore could turn out to be the Dems’ default candidate.
“One commentator/pollster yesterday on Hannitys radio program came up with a scenario where Al Gore could turn out to be the Dems default candidate”.
...absolutely! Why do you think he keeps harping about “Global Warming”? Because he gives a s#%t about the environment?! That’s his ace in the hole.
I see only one way out of this for the rats.
The black racists don’t like hillary, and the white racists don’t like obama.
They need to nominate a Robert Byrd/Louis Farakhan ticket, so the racists on both sides have someone to support.
The rats can throw a Selma hose and dog party to celebrate.
Obama doesn’t have a race problem, Americans are over the race issue. Obama has a anti-American, Socialist, kook problem. Blacks should be offended that such ideas would be identified with them, and the color of their skin.
Obama’s popularity among Dems has always resulted from their knowing that Mrs. Clinton could not win. He became the alternative.
there. fixed it.
The truth seems to be for the Dems that
A. Obama and his wife and pastor hate what America stands for and sees it as a force for evil used by white people to oppress the world.
B. Hillary sees America in a similar way but likes the idea of using Americas might to oppress all people who oppose the UN or a world government type system. The Clintons are citizens of the world.
Now compare this with McCain who had is arms torn from his sockets for his country.
I mock the Rats choices.
It angers me that the media is trying to turn this into a “race” race for the presidency.
I think this is a pretty good analysis. I grew up in Wisconsin, so I can verify his description.
"Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community ... Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love."
That is the essence of this alien religion...this perversion of Christianity...and is why there is so much nager and hate in it. This is what Obama has embraced.
Could you imagine saying that Obama is:
A “typical black person” and the attitudes he expresses were “bred into” him.
White people get chastised for saying such ‘typical’ things by the PC Police, well he needs to be held to the fire for using and perpetuating stereotypes...for profiling the ‘typical’ white voter.
I was listening to a black talk show host Vincent Warren? and there was no inward thought going on. It was all Hannity's, Limbaugh's, etcs... fault.
They were destroying the good will and "healing" this election was about to realize.
A lose, lose, lose situation ... and are the blacks gonna be pissed off?
It came bursting through a long time ago, but we were too dumb to notice:
From Dreams of My Father, “ I FOUND A SOLACE IN NURSING A PERVASISVE SENSE OF GRIEVANCE AND ANIMOSITY AGAINST MY MOTHER’S RACE”. Barack Hussein Obama
From ‘Dreams of my Father’, “The emotion between the races could never be pure, even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race (WHITE) would always remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart.” Barack Hussein Obama
From Dreams Of My Father: “That hate hadn’t gone away,” he wrote, BLAMING “WHITE PEOPLE some CRUEL, some IGNORANT, sometimes a single face, sometimes just a faceless image of a system claiming power over our lives.” Barack Hussein Obama
From ‘Dreams Of My Father’, “There were enough of us on campus to constitute a tribe, and when it came to hanging out many of us chose to function like a tribe, staying close together, traveling in packs,” he wrote. “It remained necessary to prove which side you were on,to show your LOYALTY TO THE BLACK MASSES, TO STRIKE OUT and name names” Barack Hussein Obama
Very, very good analysis. Highly accurate.
No America will never be over the race issue as long as white perceive blacks are carrying the legacy of slavery from 150 years ago as a crutch.
I spoke with an Obama volunteer yesterday regarding Rev. Wright, etc. She said she had gone to the Church and never heard the Reverend say anything offensive. I asked based on what some are saying about Wrights comments, her opinion of what is offensive and my opinion may very well be miles apart. She became upset and immediatley threw the “we came here as slaves” argument at me. I said 600,000 died ending that tragedy and I am sick of hearing that crutch. Needless to say, it really went down hill after that...
If the Democrats nominate anybody besides Obama, which they will have to do if they want to even have a small chance of winning in November, blacks will scream that they are again being moved to the back of the bus and all hell will break loose including blacks staying home in November. Maybe even a few riots.
Perhaps...perhaps it would be then that Blacks finally awake to realize how Democrats are have never really been interested in Black people other than to use them and to harness them for their political power.
true I guess
I guess it would be unhelpful to point out that they were sold into slavery by other more successful blacks who had defeated and captured their ancestors in Africa? Just askin’ ;)
None of Obama's people were slaves unless they were slaves in Africa of other black people
As far as his deranged preacher. He went to integrated schools in Philadelphia
Black people's plight would be worse had there been no US slavery. None want to return to their roots.
For all intents & purposes he was running against two other Democrats (Hillary & Dem lite McCain)... Turn out would have been huge ... He is a smooth talker ... (although he is like Chance the gardener in "Being There")... and there probably would have been enough RINO's crossing over to do the job.
Now, Obama is history. And the irony is that he did it himself.
But ... as with any Democrat ... it is everyone else's fault but his.
Bararack Hussein Obama, and his mentor the infamous J.Wright, may well go down as the guys who set race relations back for generations to come.
“The salient fact is this: in settings where the two races deal more directly with each other, and get to know each other better, through shared public schools, workplaces, public conveyances, universities, etc., they seem to like each other less, not more.”
You got it. Once you start judging people on the content of their character, you soon realize that there is not a whole lot to love.
The blacks don’t care. THey are smart enough to know that democrats do damage to america. They hate america. THerefore they vote democrat.
This is my suspicion now, after hearing so much crap from the obama camp.
I can imagine that downhill slide...
This article is so accurate, it’s scary. It’s also SOOOOO anti-PC, that I’m shocked this guy, Pennington, would publish it under his name.
I am not “anti-black”. I work with, and around several black people that I love dearly. For those blacks who actually WORK, who take pride in what they do (whatever it is), who give a crap about their families, and who are striving to improve themselves and their communities.... I have the utmost respect and affection.
For the many, many others that I see every day.... hanging on the street corners drinking beer at noon, shooting each other in the streets of West End Louisville at 2 am, cruising around town in flashy “drug-store-on-wheels” hot rods..... I have nothing but contempt.
They drag our society down in so many ways. Take a look at every state that scores AT THE BOTTOM in academic achievement. What do they have in common? High %’s of black population. Where are the unemployed? The single parent homes?? Largely dominated by heavily black populations.
I’m sorry.. but, this does make me mad. For goodness sakes, WHEN??? will they care enough to DO SOMETHING about their own plight? I refuse to believe that it has to be this way.... It is not WHITE AMERICA holding them down. They keep themselves down... believing crap like that espoused by Rev. JWright.
“One commentator/pollster yesterday on Hannitys radio program came up with a scenario where Al Gore could turn out to be the Dems default candidate.”
Dems: The party where every vote counts... Except when they don’t want it to count.
Obama’s probably shocked that his comment of
“typical white people”
has raised so much ire.
Actually, the phrase doesn’t bother me one bit, EXCEPT -
if it were reversed, the person uttering such a thing would be vehemently attacked as a racist.
The best thing to do when there’s injustice enforced from on high is to “make the rulers live by their own rulebook”.
I suspect you may be right about this. They are exposing the great divide. And, this will drive us farther apart, not closer together.
Were you really offended by the phrase, or by the knowledge of what would happen if this were reversed?
I’m not offended by it, but it REALLY pisses me off to know that he can think he can say it, but that someone white would have been pilloried.
After listening to the rev (???? not someone I would call a rev) wright, I have no doubt why she FINALLY feels good about her country. All those hate filled sermons had an effect on her, as well as others in attendance. Anyone who doubts there are racial issues being stoked and kept alive by the radical "spiritual advisors" in the black community have their head in the sand or firmly up their backsides, giving themselves an eyes-on view of their own colonoscopy.
Remember all the funeralizing the black pastors had for the "N" word a few months ago? Now, we hear B Hussein O's "spiritual advisor" and other "revs" use it time after time from their churches' pulpits. Talk about hypocrites.
Then the "rev" @l $h@rpton has the gall to get on TV and says he hears NO RACIAL remarks in those speeches. Two straight nights in a row, he was on with Greta and denied that he heard on single racial comment directed against a person. He said Imus should have been fired for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy headed ****", and that was a racial slur.
The "rev" wright said that "whiteys control the country" and "hillary ain't never been called a N*****" are not racial slurs. Well, the last one in actuality isn't because of a double negative, but I doubt the rev even thought about that.
That settles that. The "N" word is no longer a racial slur. The "rev" @l $h@rpton said so, so I will use it every day again. /s
Obama’s supporters are going to be ESPECIALLY pissed off because they’ll know that he was rejected because he held the same beliefs that they do.
You nailed it. Those "working class racists" as described by this author are, by and large, patriotic. They drive around with flags on their vehicles and are among the first to volunteer when their country needs them. They're the salt of the earth types whose families have been here for generations. They just don't get it yet that the Democrat Party (for which they've voted for generations) has veered to the far left.
The author of this article is trying to deflect the issue and put whites on the defensive again. Gotta keep the focus where it belongs - on the "hate America" crowd (of any and all races).
“we came here as slaves” -
If you REALLY wanna anger someone using this “argument stopper”,
ask them if they’d be better off born in Africa.
I think I recall that PK is an Obama supporter.
He may use this as ammo to take out Hillary.
It's the perfect 'Rat ticket.
He may use this as ammo to take out Hillary.
Use what as ammo?
Based on my reading of the article, you must follow the Wisconsin pattern.
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