Saturday, May 17, 2008

Can Obama Make Confederate States Competitive for Dems?

In an earlier post, we asked the a question about how much of the white vote could Barack Obama take in November. The point of the post was that while Barack Obama doesn't have to take all of the white vote, he has to get a certain percentage of it in order to win the presidency. Indeed, implicit in the argument of the Clinton campaign about her "electability" in states like West Virginia is that Obama can't get enough of the white vote to win the presidency.

The flip side of that issue is by how much will Obama increase the black vote in November. The New York Times has an article about that in its May 16, 2008 edition. Here is a lead paragraph from the article:

The sharp surge in black turnout that Senator Barack Obama has helped to generate in recent primaries and Congressional races could signal a threat this fall to the longtime Republican dominance of the South, according to politicians and voting experts.

The article goes on to point out that while Obama probably won't carry states like Mississippi, he could make states like North Carolina and Virginia competitive. He could also carry states like Ohio and Pennsylvania with an energized vote from the African-American community.

If Obama could increase the African-American vote by 30% in November, he would handily win the presidency. He would carry states like Ohio and Pennsylvania and would be competitive in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. He would force McCain to spend a lot of money in states that Republicans normally take for granted. Given the fact that McCain will have to rely on Federal financing, that would make it much tougher for him to beat Obama.

Given how the GOP has worked to suppress the African-American vote in elections, ic would be only just if a huge increase in that vote elected Barack Obama.

1 comment:

Joe R said...

The fact huge numbers of not only African Americans but voters of all races are active voting and donating to campaigns the first time, I have no doubt Obama can win states that traditionally go republican.

I don't see it as a race issue at all frankly, in the majority of states including in the south, race has not been as much a significant factor as the media would like us to believe.

Education level, sex seem to be a much more consistant factor. I believe it comes down to getting the truth out despite the ratings of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. Those that choose to remain ignorant and base their voting decisions on information from those sources will be dificult to get period. Women though many support the idea of a female President, once that option is gone, there is no way they can listen to McCain's positions on appointing Judges and vote republican.

The good news is the truth does seem to be getting out. Not just the recent good news of Mississippi's 1st district going with a democrat for the first time in years, but even here in Ohio, its a shocker to me that Zack Space in the 15th district is considered safe for the democrats when 2 years ago everyone expected his time in the congress to be short having gained office in a staunchly republican district only because of the Ney scandal.

The other factor in the south, especially the gulf states is lingering anger from Katrina, that has not gone away. I visit there from time to time and have friends that voted for Bush twice that are supporting not only a democrat this time but a black democrat.