South Carolina: Obama in a Landslide

The polls have closed and based on exit polling, most outlets have called it for Obama.  With just 7% reporting, Obama is flirting with having won a majority of votes (the tallies will be updated periodically below the jump).  Edwards, who won South Carolina in 2004, is trailing Clinton early. 

Some questions: How will Obama do among whites?  What will Edwards do if he finishes substantially behind Clinton in third place?  Does Obama's strong showing create momentum going into Tsunami Tuesday?  Is the rancor over, or does this ensure it continues?

Your thoughts? Discuss.

________________________

With 99% reporting (10:10 pm Pacific time):

55% - Obama (25 delegates)
27% - Clinton (12 del)
18% - Edwards (8 del)

Comments

  • (Show?)

    White vote < 1/3. This is going to be a worry for the general.

    Edwards: can't run on Feb 5th. I hope he withdraws and throws his support behind Obama, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Big Mo: yes. But the supposedly non-contested Florida will matter, also (seem my coverage of Florida turnout here and here ).

    Rancor? Of course. The Clinton's are like cornered animals and will only lash out harder. It's a sad scene.

  • (Show?)

    Obama did better than expected among whites, it looks like. From CNN's report on exit polling:

    Vote by Race and Age, Clinton, Obama Black 18-29 (8%), 19%, 79% Black 30-44 (16%), 16%, 83% Black 45-59 (19%), 17%, 80% Black 60+ (9%), 21%, 75% Non-Black 18-29 (5%), 28%, 52% Non-Black 30-44 (9%), 35%, 25% Non-Black 45-59 (16%), 38%, 25% Non-Black 60+ (17%), 42%, 15%

  • liberalincarnate (unverified)
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    The rancor will certainly continue and likely get worse. The only hope is that Hillary self-destructs by her and her husband's own hand. The LA times today reported the liberals are softening their support of Clinton lately.

    I never thought that I would say this, but, if Hillary is the nominee, I will choose NOT to vote for president or write in a candidate come November. She will not win in November without liberal support. Period.

    Good luck Obama and I hope that Edwards does well too.

  • (Show?)

    Only a 7% difference in the percentage of white who voted for Obama than voted for either Clinton or Edwards. The white vote didn't "polarize" in any significant way despite the constant drumbeat in the media that it would.

    Obama Black - 79.25 Non Black - 29.25

    Edwards Black - 7 Non Black - 34.25

    Clinton Black - 18.25 Non Black - 35.75

    Total Black - 52% Non Black - 47%

    The even more positive news for Obama is the party ID breakdowns with Obama crushing Clinton in GOP and Independent cross-over by double digit margins.

    Obama Dem - 57 GOP - 37 Ind. - 42

    Edwards Dem - 14 GOP - 42 Ind. - 31

    Clinton Dem - 28 GOP - 20 Ind. - 26

    Total Dem - 73 GOP - 4 Ind. - 23

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Like a lot of us, I started as an Edwards fan. He's done, so my 2nd choice is definitely Obama. While I think Clinton will make a fine president from a policy perspective, watching the Clinton machine kick into gear these last few weeks has just made me realize how much I don't want to go back to the partisanship and triangulation of the 90s. The only time this country has rallied around the President in my lifetime was in the 80s with Reagan, and they were rallying around the wrong causes and the wrong ideas. In my view Obama has some serious electability issues to overcome, but he could also be a progressive the country can rally around.

    So I'm trying to figure out how he can win the nomination, and I just don't see it. On Feb. 5th, Clinton is going to win NY and NJ. I also think she'll win California. The combination of her strong support among women, plus Obama's very poor showing among hispanics, will make it very difficult for him to win that state.

    So isn't that kind of the whole ballgame? Even if Obama splits the remaining states with Clinton (polls show him leading in only a handful of the remaining 19), doesn't he still lose pretty seriously on delegates? After that, where does he go? If he is a few hundred delegates behind, it seems his only hope is to keep Clinton below the majority and hope for a brokered convention.

    I'd love someone to show me a more optimistic roadmap.

    Finally, Lestat, Obama's strength among independents and republicans doesn't do him a lick of good in the upcoming closed primary states. Until SC, I think Obama has lost the Democratic vote in every state, hasn't he?

  • (Show?)

    Turn out! Turn out! TURN OUT!

    Did I say Democratic turn out is the big story for this election. Did you hear me?

    Projected 450,000 Democratic voters in SC!

  • (Show?)

    Obama - Great Speech! Check out Devilstower's Post over at the Daily Kos about a greater turn-out for Democrats over Republicans for the first time in recent history.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    I haven't felt this good about a political leader in 40 years! I have to admit I get choked up when Obama speaks. Great speech! And this was a landslide, no matter how the cynics want to spin it! Obama brought out voters in a way that no other has, in this red state, beating the Repub turnout. More than doubled Clinton's vote. With 98% he has it 55% to 27%.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Phil Philiben | Jan 26, 2008 5:59:39 PM

    With 96% reporting: 507,320 voted, beating GOP turnout, and Obama by himself broke the previous Dem turnout record.

  • anonymous (unverified)
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    Hillary brings shame to our party. I will not support her in any way.

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)
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    Just got back from our Obama South Carolina watch party in Southern Oregon. Woo HOO!

    And what an amazing unifying speech by Senator Obama. No other candidate can reach out to so many people like this candidate.

    What stuns me is that the ClintonS threw everything in the book at Barack in South Carolina. He had to battle both Bill, and Hillary, and their slime. And his victory was a complete blowout, 55% of the vote. The first blowout we've seen. A complete repudiation of Clintonian slime tactics.

    And now voters have a choice on February 5th. Embrace the future and pull together, or go back to the divisive politics of years past.

    And Miles, do some research on barackobma.com "States" section and you'll see Barack has strong organization in all Super Tuesday States. He will battle her hard in New York and New Jersey and yes even in California. Get ready to be suprised as Obama has the mo now.

  • (Show?)

    Just taking a break from watching the returns with my parents in this weekend from Tampa. We couldn't be happier. Obama brought a tear to my step-mom's eye during his speech. They threw a house party for Obama back in April, and we're all going to be working as hard as we can from now till Sept. 5. and beyond. Go Obama!

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)
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    It would be interesting to compare the turnout tonight with the turnout for the Republican Party Primary in South Carolina.

    This should show why an Obama nomination will put the South in play for the first time in years.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    you'll see Barack has strong organization in all Super Tuesday States. He will battle her hard in New York and New Jersey and yes even in California.

    Battling her hard and winning are two separate things. Are you saying that Obama might actually win NY or NJ? Seems pretty remote. As for California, it's possible, but he'll need to make massive inroads with Latino voters in order to be successful. MSNBC just reported that of the 5 super-Tuesday states with the largest hispanic population, Clinton leads among hispanic voters 4 to 1.

    I want to be as optimistic as you are, but Obama had the "mo" coming out of Iowa, too, and then promptly lost New Hampshire and Nevada. South Carolina is a great win, but 52% of the Democratic electorate in SC is African American, and he won 80% of them. The demographics in other states just aren't that favorable to Obama. He will need to make serious gains among white and Latino voters, and keep Hillary's gender gap to a minimum, in order to stay in this thing.

  • Displaced Oregano (unverified)
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    Go Barack! I'd be happy to vote for Hillary, but what the D's need is unity, and the sooner the better. SC gives me hope that Obama can seal up the nomination Feb.5. Again, nothing against Hillary personally, but she has the incredible ability to unite the opposition while simultaneously alienating many democrats. What a wonderful world it would be if Edwards endorses Obama tomorrow and Hill and Bill gracefully join him a week from Wednesday. I'm sorry to say it, but the worst scenario would include Oregon's primary vote deciding this thing

    Also, cheers for Caroline Kennedy! She knows charisma and leadership when she sees it.

  • (Show?)

    the important "racial" figure to note in Jeff's list above: the split was generational. Obama got 52% of the white vote under age 29. 30+, and that was down to 25% or less. along with his numbers in cross-over Rs and indies, he demonstrates a lot of strength that will come into play in the general election. can he overcome Hillary's machine? the polls in the coming week will be interesting, but not very trustworthy. after all, they blew it again today. no one predicted he would double-up on Clinton. this is a classic beatdown, and she's going to have trouble explaining why she lost so badly. if he can split the vote on Feb 5, i think that gives him, and not her, momentum for the remainder of the primaries.

    with the vote in Oregon in May being his final margin of victory.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Matthew Sutton | Jan 26, 2008 7:58:01 PM It would be interesting to compare the turnout tonight with the turnout for the Republican Party Primary in South Carolina.

    As I was mentioning up-thread, the Dem turnout not only broke all records in SC Dem primaries, but beat the GOP turnout from last week in SC, where they hold a registration advantage and the state went for Bush by 8% in 2004.

    With 99% reporting in the Dem SC primary, we have this total turnout:

    Dem SC primary: 530,562 GOP SC primary: 442,918

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: t.a. barnhart | Jan 26, 2008 8:45:20 PM the polls in the coming week will be interesting, but not very trustworthy.

    Good point. This has a lot to do with the fact that the Dems (and Obama in particular) are crushing turnout models which makes polling on the Dem side out the window by and large. The GOP side is turning out in slightly depressed numbers, but in a traditional model, which is why the polling on the other side's race has been fairly accurate across the board.

    The modeling thought it would be strong and record breaking by the Dems turning out 300k and we brought out over 520k. This is why the polling is so wild... there is no modeling for this which is reliable, which is a good sign for us Dems.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "As for California, it's possible, but he'll need to make massive inroads with Latino voters in order to be successful"

    I used to live in California, and recently read the numbers for district and state delegates. The area Hillary visited in California is part of the Congressional district I lived in and where my brother and his wife now live. He's undecided about the primary as of a few days ago when we talked.

    "Winning Latino voters" alone will not be enough. The most delegates go to the candidate who wins statewide AND in a number of cong. districts, and then the delegate selection process kicks in to determine who the actual delegates are. That last might be important if it is a contested convention.

    Oh, and btw, I was at a neighbor's home this evening for a gathering, and while eating refreshments there heard an interesting remark. A retired primary teacher who doesn't usually make political statements said she really liked a recent headline she had seen: CHILL BILL!

  • (Show?)

    Miles,

    My understanding is that in Iowa Obama won in every single demographic save one where I believe he ended up tied with Hillary.

    While those results may well not be representative of how he WILL perform in other states, it does demonstrate that he CAN win virtually every conceivable demographic and do so in an overwhelmingly "white" state.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    I don't like Hillary and don't have a lot of use for Bill, but let me say this about the "Clinton Slime," that's about as easy a time as you get. This is still Dem on Dem, it's not Republicans on a Dem. If you want to get your knickers in a knot about so little, either you think your candidate can't take spit or you're over sensitive.

    Now both sides have engaged in contentless sniping, if they want to crack each other on policy, they'd better put some policy distance between each other. I'll stick with Edwards and see what shakes out. If nothing else, maybe he'll drive one of them left.

    Obama gives a heck of a speech, right up until you try to pull something other than Unity out of it and I'd like to pull something other than getting along with the Mitch McConnells out of a campaign. I don't want to get along with Mitch, I want him and his ilk bulldozed and buried. Today's Republican Party is not something you can reason with or compromise with, it is a political horror show.

  • (Show?)
    Obama gives a heck of a speech, right up until you try to pull something other than Unity out of it and I'd like to pull something other than getting along with the Mitch McConnells out of a campaign. I don't want to get along with Mitch, I want him and his ilk bulldozed and buried. Today's Republican Party is not something you can reason with or compromise with, it is a political horror show.

    Thank you, Chuck! I could not agree more. This is why I can't embrace Obama yet. All this kumbaya stuff makes me crazy. It sounds pretty but I think it leads to ruin.

  • (Show?)

    Chuck, there is a vast difference between reaching out to and getting Reagan democrats to come home, to compromising with Mitch McConnell.

    The only way you can bury the Mitch McConnell's is to with Reagan like landslides, which require not red meat style, but speaking of hope, positive reasons to embrace your agenda. Obama's agenda is one of the most progressive and liberal in generations when it comes to Presidential elections.

    Whining by simply eeking out a bare plurality or a 50+1 win, means you will never be able to finally toss the McConnell's onto the dust-heap of history. There is nothing of substance to equating Obama's style and transformational message of hope, change, and positive reasons to believe you can make the difference once again with selling out, or finding middle ground with extremist GOP policy.

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)
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    Thanks for the figures lestadelc, here are more from a reputable news organization:

    "Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats in South Carolina. But in the state’s Democratic primary Saturday, presidential contender Barack Obama has 294,799 votes, with 99 percent of precincts reporting — more than the top two finishers in last week’s GOP primary combined."

    "Last Saturday, winner John McCain pulled in 147,283 votes. Runner-up Mike Huckabee captured 132,440."

    <hr/>

    So more South Carolinians voted for Barack than McCain and Huckabee combined. Will South Carolina turn blue in 2008? If so, it may not need to come down to voting practices in Florida or Ohio. As Martha Stewart likes to say, "that's a good thing."

  • Robert G. Gourley (unverified)
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    CHILL BILL!

    I've seen that echoed a lot on TV, and often sadly by those who call Clinton the first black president. Hillary tried to pass it off as being the same as Obama's spouse, an enthusiastic supporter - the audience laughed.

    It may end up being recorded as the equivalent of Dean's scream.

  • (Show?)
    All this kumbaya stuff makes me crazy. It sounds pretty but I think it leads to ruin.

    I hesitate to challenge a zealot but I can't help but be deeply skeptical that you'd say the same if it were Edwards being talked about and voted for.

  • dartagnan (unverified)
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    Billary's sleazy and dishonest "gotcha" campaign against Obama might have turned off many SC Democrats. I damn well know it turned ME off. Leave this sort of Roveian slime to the Republicans.

    Caroline Kennedy's op-ed endorsing Obama is excellent. What she is saying, as I understand it, is not that Obama would pursue the same policies as her father, but that he has a similar ability to inspire and lead. God knows, after the debacle of Smirky McChimp we could use some inspiration and leadership. The Clintons, OTOH, seem to offer nothing but the usual bland DLC pablum.

  • dartagnan (unverified)
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    "White vote < 1/3. This is going to be a worry for the general."

    Not at all. Remember this was South Carolina, the cradle of the Confederacy. Racism is alive and well down there -- probably even among many white Democrats. And the Democrats won't carry South Carolina no matter whom they nominate.

  • (Show?)

    Clinton got well under 40% of white vote. If she had won by what was reflected in earlier polls, it would have been because of her then massive lead among blacks. Obama convinced them he could win.

    It will be interesting if there's that sort of effect for Latinos in California or if they see it as matter of ethnic rivalry for priority w/in DP.

    On Obama & Reagan -- Reagan won with a combination of a message of hope & change AND "red meat." He was not pulling punches. He was relentlessly attacking liberals & liberalism, and recruiting racist votes with coded states rights speeches given at places like Philadelphia, MS, where Chaney, Goodwin & Schwerner were murdered by KKK cops during "Freedom Summer."

    Hope and unity message is good. Unity based on milqetoast program = not really change after all, not so good. Obama needs to show he can fight what needs fighting.

  • (Show?)

    you know i like you plenty, Chuck (and you, too Stephanie, esp as a fan/friend of my kid bro), but i am sooo tired of this horseshit:

    Obama gives a heck of a speech, right up until you try to pull something other than Unity out of it and I'd like to pull something other than getting along with the Mitch McConnells out of a campaign. I don't want to get along with Mitch, I want him and his ilk bulldozed and buried. Today's Republican Party is not something you can reason with or compromise with, it is a political horror show.

    i keep asking and no one can tell me where Obama ever says anything about getting along with the McConnell's. he talks about finding common cause with Republicans who realize it's the McConnell's who've destroyed their party, Republicans who actually care about the nation, desire that all people share in the American dream, and see the neocons/religionists undermining that traditional/conservative/progressive goal: equal opportunity for all Americans.

    it's Obama with his clear call for Americans of all kinds to join together to oppose the lobbyists and the McConnell's who has gained the (political) trust of Americans of every cast. Edwards' anger sounds the wrong note, especially after 28 years of pointless political warfare. This is what Democrats want:

    So this will not be easy. Make no mistake about what we’re up against. We are up against the belief that it’s ok for lobbyists to dominate our government — that they are just part of the system in Washington. But we know that the undue influence of lobbyists is part of the problem, and this election is our chance to say that we’re not going to let them stand in our way anymore. ... We are up against decades of bitter partisanship that cause politicians to demonize their opponents instead of coming together to make college affordable or energy cleaner; it’s the kind of partisanship where you’re not even allowed to say that a Republican had an idea — even if it’s one you never agreed with. That kind of politics is bad for our party, it’s bad for our country, and this is our chance to end it once and for all. ... And what we’ve seen in these last weeks is that we’re also up against forces that are not the fault of any one campaign, but feed the habits that prevent us from being who we want to be as a nation. It’s the politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon. A politics that tells us that we have to think, act, and even vote within the confines of the categories that supposedly define us. The assumption that young people are apathetic. The assumption that Republicans won’t cross over. The assumption that the wealthy care nothing for the poor, and that the poor don’t vote. The assumption that African-Americans can’t support the white candidate; whites can’t support the African-American candidate; blacks and Latinos can’t come together. But we are here tonight to say that this is not the America we believe in.

    It might make you feel better to see a scorched-earth campaign from the Dems, but that's how Karl Rove does politics. He spreads rumors about John McCain having a black child. He transforms Mac Cleland into bin Laden. He finds ways to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of voters. You want Obama to rant about what a horrible piece of shit Mitch McConnell is? And then what? When McConnell becomes even less cooperative (if such a thing is possible, and it probably is), what happens then? Do you remember how Ted Kennedy undermined Jimmy Carter's presidency — and helped open the door for Reagan and the horrors that followed?

    If you watch Obama speak in South Carolina last night, you see an angry man who is in control of his words. He hits back at Billary, at Paul Krugman, and the punditry what is still totally ignorant of what's going on (they haven't even figured out Howard Dean yet, and he's transformed the DNC into an organization that wins elections — running mostly progressive candidates). Yet Obama sees the big picture; he sees the need to win across the country which means a message that appeals to a vast array of beliefs and perspectives. And after you win, you have to govern. That's the part the Rs never got right: Karl Rove could win elections and his scorched earth tactics could force through legislation in a time of fear, but over the long-term, Rove/Cheney/Bush have been unable to govern the country in a way that works. Barack Obama won't be satisfied with winning the nomination or the presidency; he actually wants to be able to govern effectively. And you don't govern effectively if you've spent a year spitting in the faces of senators and representatives of the other party

    Case in point: Minnis/Scott.

    Give me something productive, Chuck, and not just pointless rage against sob's like McConnell who, sad to say, still play a role in government. An Obama presidency will carry a mandate that shuts McConnell up, pushes lobbyists toward the door, and tells Harry Reid it's time to step aside and let real leaders do what the American people elected them to do: govern.

  • (Show?)

    I don't like Hillary and don't have a lot of use for Bill, but let me say this about the "Clinton Slime," that's about as easy a time as you get. This is still Dem on Dem, it's not Republicans on a Dem. If you want to get your knickers in a knot about so little, either you think your candidate can't take spit or you're over sensitive.

    Sure, Chuck. Obama can't "take spit." Except that Obama just dominated last night's primary despite Bill Clinton's scorched earth tactics and distortions. Are you really arguing going up against the Clintons in a Democratic primary is as "easy a time" as you get? Wow. Guess that's why they got thirty-one flavors...

    And again, you can say Reagan had ideas without thinking his ideas were good. This is not a complicated concept. I think Huckabee's run a good race, all thing considered. Does this make me a Huckabee supporter?

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)
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    Some of the cynics on this board are missing the point.

    Slime doen't energize. Slime doesn't build coalitions. Slime doesn't advance progress. Slime doesn't inspire.

    Hope does.

    Exhibit "A", I offer you South Carolina.

  • (Show?)

    Demographics Obama lost: 65+ in age Non-Black 30-44 Non-Black 45-59 Non-Black 60+

    As I was telling my husband tonight, both Obama and Clinton are going to have trouble in the Southern states that have larger white populations. Those populations are very unlikely to vote for an African American for President and almost as unlikely to vote for a woman. The exit polls in South Carolina show this.

    Obama did extremely well in every age category for African Americans. He won the non-black 18-29 year-old category with 52% of the vote. But in all other categories of non-blacks, Obama lost and he lost big.

    From CNN:

    Non-Black 30-44 Clinton: 34% Edwards: 41% Obama: 25%

    Non-Black 45-59 Clinton: 37% Edwards: 40% Obama: 23%

    Non-Black 60+ Clinton: 42% Edwards: 42% Obama: 15%

    In South Carolina those categories only made up 40% of the vote as there was a very large population of African American voters (54% of the vote). That's not true of all the southern states, especially those with larger racist populations like my home state of Texas (which has 11% African Americans as opposed to SC's 29%).

    It's sad that it's still that way, but it's the truth in many of the communities in these states. I come from a Democratic county in Texas, and I can tell you that they have in the past elected a white Republican over an African American Democrat even when all other county-wide positions are held by Dems. It all came down to the color of his skin.

    So Congrats to Obama on his win. It's definitely going to be an interesting primary season for some time to come.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    Charlie, you didn't see me agree with the Clintons, in fact you quoted me, "I don't like Hillary," and I DO NOT like Hillary. And it is still true that Dem on Dem is light weight stuff, not the General.

    Obama runs his campaign how he does, and effectively, see SC. Hillary runs her's her way, and effectively, see other States. This is politics, it's not nerfball. Obama has to deal with junk, starting the day he announced. And despite his supporters' whining, he's doing it well. I have no problem complimenting a campaign for doing well and doing it fairly cleanly.

    You guys don't read much of me, I've smacked the Hillary experience mantra repeatedly and Obama's proving it doesn't matter. He doesn't whine about it, he turns it back on them, learn from him.

    You can talk about marginalizing the McConnells, what you're going to get is the defeat of the Hagels. Moderate Republicans are going to get whacked in 08, the red meat ones will survive and if you think they're going to cooperate, read some of Boehner's thoughts on how that works. Obstruct and demonize at every turn is the short version.

    Go ahead and tell me how George Bush's toady Greg Walden is going down to a Democrat this election...that scenario is going to play out in a bunch of CDs and they tend to be more hard core than the Waldenbush.

    As for moving the plutocracy off its I win now and all the time exactly whatever I want to win, that's not going to make friends in high places. You're gonna have a hard time selling Obama to me on that one. Edwards is angry about it? Been paying any attention? They ain't gonna lose anything gracefully or easily or without one heck of nasty fight and they have their allies in both parties.

    I can probably manage to do work for Obama in the General, that is not true of Hillary. Nobody will touch it, but they both stink on civil liberties, see #2.

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    Chuck, you gotta allow Charlie a little triumphalism. Obama just thumped Hillary, and his objectivity was compromised. Mine might have been, but it's been too salted with cynicism. Great win for Obama, but there's a LONG way left to go. (I do agree that he's run an impressive campaign--I think he's done a pretty nice job with the Clintons so far. Where exactly is the evidence that he's a shrinking violet?)

    Jenni, I'm not sure I trust your barometer on this one. If Obama's so weak among whites, how did he win Iowa, effectively tie in Nevada, and lose only narrowly in NH? Each state has its own thing going on. I wouldn't read too much into SC's.

  • (Show?)

    I never said he was weak among whites in general. I went back and looked at the exit/entrance polls for the other states.

    Iowa did not list race of voters, but it was pretty obvious that it was the support of the 17-29 and 30-44 year-olds that won him the race there.

    New Hampshire was almost all-white, and the voters were typically more affluent (44% made more than $75K and almost 70% made more than $50K). By comparison, only 47% of voters in SC made more than $50K. States like New Hampshire are known for being lass racist/bigoted.

    In Nevada, Obama only got 34% of the white vote and 26% of the Latino vote, while taking 83% of the African American vote. Once again it was the younger voters (18-29 year-olds voted for him at 59%) that helped him bring in high numbers. And just like SC, the older the voters, the less likely they were to vote for Obama.

    And none of these states are in the south, which is what I was talking about in my post (..."both Obama and Clinton are going to have trouble in the Southern states that have larger white populations.")

    The south is a lot different than Iowa, New Hampshire or Nevada. I lived there for more than 22 years in a fairly sterotypical southern town.

    Older democrats in the south, sad to say, are often times more racist than their northern counterparts. There does seem to be a large shift in thinking among those in my younger sisters' generation and that of my nieces and nephews. But those in my generation and older still harbor a lot of racist feelings.

    I've experienced this first hand on many occasions when we had an African American candidate. People would vote for the white Republican before they would the African American Democrat.

    So it's going to be interesting to watch as this plays out in southern states, including much of Texas (I know a lot of people call it SW, but people in the eastern half of Texas consider themselves the "south").

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    once again, Chuck, you talk as if what Obama is saying is that we have to cooperate with the "red meat" Rs like McConnell. but what he said in SC was that we have to be prepared for the attacks from those kinds of politicians. he pointedly spoke of lobbyists and others who will fight change in order keep their (overly large) piece of the pie.

    but you don't defeat the McConnell's by trying to out-duke them or nuke them. you defeat them by making them such a minority that they can do little. case in point: Karen Minnis last session: she sat in a corner and did virtually nothing. Wayne Scott caused more trouble, but he's quitting now. he sees the game is up. as are a lot of the other rats now jumping ship. in 2009, Dems and decent Rs (for example, Frank Morse, bad on labor and the environment but excellent on other issues) will be able to do even more good. sorry if you won't get your public executions, but the country, and state, is made up of a diversity of beliefs and opinions. good leaders find a way to reach as many of them as possible -- not in Billary's way of promising everything, but in Obama's way of making them part of the process.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Thanks TA.

    From the people who are excellent on some issues but not on others:

    Ben Westlund back when he was a Republican,

    Larry Wells (before he was term limited) on water quality and treating citizens like "we the people" named at the beginning of the Constitution rather than intruders who get in the way,

    Frank Morse who doesn't have a perfect record on everything but was a bulldog on certain issues incl. PCOL issues--most importantly that the pipes in the capitol wings were carrying seriously polluted water from decaying pipes (complete with a display outside his office),

    national Republicans incl. Chuck Hagel, Olympia Snowe and others

    to the voters who don't vote straight ticket, the people in both parties need to decide if they want to solve problems or just battle over ideology.

    A few decades ago, the credit and other laws regarding women in Oregon were pretty "dark ages" laws. But 10 women members across the spectrum were enough to be a power bloc in a 31-29 House. They did so much updating of laws relating to women that they were sent thank you notes from E. Oregon Business and Professional Women's clubs.

    I think THAT spirit of cooperation to solve problems is what Obama is talking about. One year near the end of the legislative session, a good bill was stuck in conference committee. A friend told me that the 2 people sitting on opposite sides of the conference comm. chair agreed on nothing other than their dislike of the chair, so they voted the bill out to the floor to show the chair what they thought of him. It was the sort of bill that no one wanted to publicly vote against, so once it was on the floor it passed. Does it matter if the 2 who got it voted out of committee were liberals, conservatives, mavericks in their parties, or whatever?

    Never underestimate the power of hope and inspiration that comes from really good candidates. Paul Evans and Brian Clem had well organized campaigns. But more importantly, they motivated first time volunteers AND old timers who were burned out but came back to politics to help great campaigns.

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    but you don't defeat the McConnell's by trying to out-duke them or nuke them. you defeat them by making them such a minority that they can do little. case in point: Karen Minnis last session: she sat in a corner and did virtually nothing. Wayne Scott caused more trouble, but he's quitting now. he sees the game is up.

    Yes. And that is what Jeff Merkley understands how to do, as evidenced by Minnis sitting in her corner.

    Out-duking or nuking the "enemy" may feel self-righteously good, but what does it accomplish? Aren't results what matter, presuming that change is the point rather than vengence?

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    States like New Hampshire are known for being less racist/bigoted.

    I don't think this is true. It's differently racist. For one thing, there's a good argument to be made that all the white racists have gone over to GOP side in SC, leaving mainly progressive whites in the Party. But also, New England has a long history of racism, but it plays out differently, as you would expect in the whitest region of the country. Not only that, but with indies in the NH primary, it might well have been a more hostile environment for Obama--who nevertheless garned quite a few white votes.

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    Uh, Jeff, the whitest region in the country, the one the white separatists supremacists focus on when they indulge their homeland fantasies -- that would be where we live.

    Plus whole big honking areas of the red state midwest.

    Maine is pretty white, actually much like Oregon in a whole number of respects. Vermont too. Southern New Hampshire has gotten more complicated by Boston exurbanization. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, all much less white than PNW.

    For sure you're right about a different history of racism that's very real. I was in high school when a black man was stabbed with spear-point at the end of an American flag pole in front of the State House in Boston during the busing struggles. Discovering the racism of some of my suburban classmates when we debated the possibility that busing might go metropolitan was illuminating, in a way.

    A New York African-American friend from grad school who was doing a joint JD-PhD program at Yale after Harvard undergrad used to comment on how depressing he found Boston, because he felt that the black community at 20% of the population was pretty much beaten down compared to vibrancy in NYC. But really, compare that 20% to Portland's 7%.

    Jenni's right about the parts of the South(east) that are potentially in play. Something related but different will be at stake in northern places where George Wallace did well, like Michigan.

    A piece of the "Reagan Democrat" phenomenon had racial undertones and overtones, at minimum, in white working class resentments over busing, affirmative action, liberal focus on the very poor -- painted falsely by Reaganites as majority black when they were majority white -- at the expense of the working poor and the insecure lower middle class.

    In Iowa John Edwards got a lot of self-described progressives, but he outright won those Ds who called themselves conservatives. The $64 dollar question about Obama is whether his appeal that is supposed to bring back some of the "Reagan Democrats" can overcome the racial dimension of that phenomenon.

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    For one thing, there's a good argument to be made that all the white racists have gone over to GOP side in SC, leaving mainly progressive whites in the Party.

    I have a real hard time believing that. It's not true in my home state of Texas, it's not true in Georgia, where one of my good friends lives, it's not true in Louisiana, it's not true in many of the southern states. I have a hard time believing they'd do that in South Carolina.

    And I never said NH didn't have racists - every state does. But they're a lot more tolerant than those in the south.

    When I was a teenager we had low income housing that was set on fire because people were afraid that African Americans were moving into town (our town has almost no apartments because of this feeling - people fight to keep them out).

    The year I was born (only 30 years ago) there was a huge KKK rally in my home town and they were threatening to kill Vietnamese fishermen.

    Unless you're pretty new to town, you know all about the "hanging tree" outside town. And it's only been about 2 decades since the sign about not being caught in town after the sun sets if you're black.

    While in high school there were crosses burned in people's yards. The handful of African American families we had in town were chased away. The local justice of the peace had a policy that all African Americans in town were to be stopped by the police since they didn't belong. The police arrested an African American who was "walking on the wrong side of the road." The man had been at the station just minutes before trying to get directions. The joke was on them, though, as the man was with a news station and had a hidden camera on him.

    And that racism still lives today, which was a big reason why we moved away (my husband is Vietnamese).

    Those who have never lived in these areas of the country for any length of time don't understand the racism that is still alive and well in many parts of the south. And sad to say, many of these people vote for Democrats and are registered as Democrats.

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    Like Jenni, I was raised in the South and there are definitely plenty of racists and misogynists in the Democratic Party there---they have NOT all 'gone over to the dark side' and become GOP. Most of my family is Dem and with the exception of my parents, none of them would ever consider voting for either a black or a woman as President (or dog catcher for that matter).

    Clinton has a particular problem in the South that she doesn't face anywhere else---Southern Women. The assumption seems to be that women will vote for Clinton because she's a woman---which I find annoying but somewhat true, unfortunately. It is a truly scary idea that anyone would vote for or against anyone based on gender, religion, or race, but there you go.

    My impression is that Southern Women in general do not support Clinton because they are in two camps, neither of which will vote for her.

    Camp #1 is the Southern feminists---they won't vote for Clinton because they have no respect for the fact that Hillary didn't boot Bill to the curb years ago and many feel she's only gotten where she is because of her relationship with Bill.

    Camp #2 is the Southern traditionalists--they won't vote for Clinton because she's "uppity" and is "reaching beyond her place". Those are quotes from at least a dozen Southern traditionalists I've heard from this year while visiting down South.

    Either way, she's not going to be able to draw on that traditionally supportive pool. Most I spoke to are voting Edwards, except a few are willing to cross over to Obama---I guess being black is less offensive than being a woman in their book. Personally, I'm voting for the person who I think can do the job best and whose policy plans are most in line with where I think we should be heading. For me, that's Obama.

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