Monday, May 05, 2008

Obama Not Really Hurt by Wright

An op-ed piece and an article in The New York Times over the past couple of days show that Obama's support among Democratic voters is not deteriorating as badly as is being portrayed in the media. The Clintonistas and the media have been crowing about Obama's loss of support since the Rev. Wright incident. As much as Obama has been trying to move past the divisive rhetoric of the Wright brouhaha, the media and Hillary Clinton have been keeping it at the top of broadcasts for the past five weeks.

New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote about a "Blacklash" in his May 3rd op-ed piece about the Democratic nomination contest. Excerpts from the op-ed piece follows:
The rhetoric appears to be trafficking in old fears and historic stereotypes. The unspoken (and confusing) characterization of Obama is that he’s militant yet cowardly; uppity yet too cool for school.

The question is this: Have white Democrats soured on Obama? Apparently not. Although his unfavorable rating from the group is up five percentage points since last summer in polls conducted by The New York Times and CBS News, his favorable rating is up just as much. While a favorable opinion doesn’t necessarily translate into a vote, this should still give the Clintons (and the superdelegates) pause. Electability cuts both ways.

Many blacks are aghast that their extraordinary support of Bill Clinton in the past would be repaid by the Clintons with racial innuendo (in a Times/CBS News poll after the salacious 1998 Starr report was released, his unfavorable rating among whites climbed to 52 percent; among blacks it was only 10 percent). [Many] who stood by him then now apparently feel betrayed.
Recent polls by The New York Times and CBS News show that Hillary Clinton's support has eroded with the Black community far more than Barack Obama's support among white Democrats. The graphic below shows Hillary's support with Black Democrats has eroded by over 35 percentage points since last summer and took a real nosedive after the primary season began this year. In contrast, over the same time period, Obama's support among white voters has risen by 5 percentage points.

CBS News Poll


Each candidate has a core constituency that is needed for the election in November: Clinton's working class whites and Obama's Blacks and affluent whites. After the nominee is selected in Denver, the Democratic Party is going to have to do a huge PR campaign to bring the other's voters into the fold for the fall election.

Excerpts from The New York Times article on Rev. Wright follows:
A majority of American voters say that the furor over the relationship between Senator Barack Obama and his former pastor has not affected their opinion of Mr. Obama, but a substantial number say that it could influence voters this fall should he be the Democratic presidential nominee, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

At the same time, an overwhelming majority of voters said candidates calling for the suspension of the federal gasoline tax this summer were acting to help themselves politically, rather than to help ordinary Americans. Mr. Obama’s rival for the Democratic nomination, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, has made the suspension of the gas tax a centerpiece of her campaign in recent days.

In the survey, taken in the days leading up to the primaries on Tuesday in Indiana and North Carolina, Americans were divided over the merits of the gasoline-tax suspension, which has also been backed by the presumptive Republican nominee, Senator John McCain, and condemned by Mr. Obama as political gimmickry.

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama spent the final Sunday before the two primaries debating the gas-tax holiday and other issues on morning talk shows and in events across Indiana.

Read the entire New York Times op-ed piece about the graphic here.

Read the entire New York Times article about Rev. Wright's affect on Obama's support here.


plez sez: i'm not a big fan of polls and celebrity endorsements. and even though the poll above doesn't reflect a loss in support, one would have to be deaf and dumb to believe that there was no loss based on Obama's performance in the pennsylvania primary. and if he was such a hot commodity, then he would easily win the primaries in Indiana and North Carolina this week.

i still contend that Obama is the strongest democratic candidate, but i cannot be sure that the Clintonistas don't have another couple of tricks up their sleeve to grab the nomination at the convention.

if Obama is not the democratic candidate against john mccain, then john mccain will be the next president. i'm not saying that Obama is a shoo-in against mccain, but i KNOW billary will never win because more democrats won't be voting for hillary than won't be voting for Obama!

1 comment:

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

I had a feeling that the longer they harped on Wright, the better it would be for Barack Obama. At first some people were shocked by Wright, but now most people are just sick of the controversy (including me) and just wish the press would move on.

But, I think the longer the press continues with this the better it might be for Obama. It shows their manifest color-aroused bias (why not give equal attention to McCain's Pastor John Hagee, who says that the destruction of New Orleans was God's punishment of Louisiana because of its gay population?)

And the longer they harp on Wright, the longer it will be before the invent some other "issue" in their attempts to destroy Obama's campaign.