But while Mr. Obama seeks to transcend race, his campaign cannot avoid the politics associated with it. A new poll on Friday, conducted by MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers, showed that Mr. Obama was winning support from 59 percent of black voters in South Carolina but only 10 percent of white voters. The majority of the white voters are splitting their support between Mrs. Clinton and John Edwards, the native son.
The national numbers are also showing heavy racial polarization:
In the poll last month, Mrs. Clinton held a 40 percent to 23 percent lead over Mr. Obama among whites, as well as support from a majority of African-Americans. Mrs. Clinton’s lead among whites has widened, 53 percent to 24 percent, and Mr. Obama has a 63 percent to 23 percent lead over Mrs. Clinton among African-Americans.
It was probably inevitable that Obama would end up with more support among blacks than whites, but it's sad that the priming of racial issues (often by Clinton surrogates) seems to have actually hurt him among whites over the last month.