Since 1964, no Democratic candidate has won the presidency without winning at least some of the states of the Old Confederacy. Johnson, Carter in 1980, and Clinton in both 1992 and 1996 won at least some of the 11 states that made up the Confederate States of America. The thinking has always been that only a southern white could win such states, but a look at the demographics of southern states as set forth at www.census.gov show that maybe Obama could change that thinking.
As this page at the Census Bureau's website shows, there are six states in the South where Afro-Americans make up more than 25% of the population. They are Mississippi, Maryland, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama. Five of those states were in the CSA, while Maryland, although it flirted with secession, was not. In Mississippi the percentate of Afro-Americans is 37.4% of the total population.
It would seem logical that Afro-Americans in the South would come out and vote heavy for Obama. His candidacy could spur huge voter registration drives in the South. Much more than Clinton or Edwards, he could make a difference in Southern voting. If nothing else, his candidacy would force the Republicans to campaign in Southern states and spend money in those states.
We aren't saying that this will happen, only that it could happen. While it is not a reason in and of itself to support Barack Obama, it is certainly something to think about.