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  • 30


     
    Barack Obama's Got a Growing Problem with Whites
    Race; Posted on: 2008-05-11 13:42:26 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Face it, Democrats

    By Juan Williams

    Hillary Clinton, down to her last straw, is making the case that she is the better candidate to run against the Republicans because, unlike Barack Obama, she can win white Democrats.

    She is right. But because she is daring to touch the hot button of racial politics, she is being told to shut up or risk being charged with exploiting racial tensions for political advantage.

    The facts are stubborn, however. Since his phenomenal win with 33% of the white vote in nearly all-white Iowa, Obama has been unable to get a firm grip on white Democrats. He has won a majority of these voters in only six states. Clinton has defeated Obama among white voters in key states such as California, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Exit polls show Clinton winning an overwhelming average of 57% of white Democrats since the February Super Tuesday elections.

    If you think none of this is a real issue for Democrats, then listen to Republican guru Karl Rove. Citing Obama's inability to get more than 30% of Catholics or working-class white voters in a big state such as Pennsylvania, Rove recently said: "Defections like this elect Republicans."

    And now we are heading into a general election with an even larger group of white voters in play, key independents and suburbanites in "toss-up" districts that swing between Republicans and Democrats.

    In particular, being silent on race is not going to erase Obama's ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the preacher's fireballs of inflammatory rhetoric.

    Nearly half of the voters in North Carolina and Indiana said Wright was an important issue for them. Then there is an April poll by The Associated Press that found "about 8% of whites would be uncomfortable voting for a black for President." According to a May Newsweek poll, 12% of voters said they thought most Americans would "have reservations about voting for a black candidate that they are not willing to express"; 41% said they thought some Americans would have such reservations.

    To some, any reference to such numbers is desperate at best - and race-baiting at worst.

    "I have much broader base to build a winning coalition on," Clinton told USA Today this week, making clear that she consistently does better among white, working-class voters. "There is a pattern emerging here."

    That prompted The New York Times editorial page to write: "Yes, there is a pattern - a familiar and unpleasant one," making reference to charges that during the primary campaign the Clinton camp has used veiled racial attacks against Obama.

    Continue...
    News Source: nydailynews

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