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January 21, 2008


So can I argue that Rudy Giuliani has a 10% ceiling in the white vote? What about McCain and Huckabee (not to mention Edwards himself)?

Is there anyone white voters will support?

This argument is nonsense. You've got several candidates in the running. Voters can only pick one candidate. Obama did quite well in two very-white states. There's no evidence of a ceiling.

This is why I hate the obsession people have with polls. Too much gets read into them.


I'm surprised that you are falling for this nonsense. Exit polls show that lots of white Democrats like Obama. Many if not most of them vote for Clinton because they feel more comfortable with her / have a lot of loyalty to the Clintons. Running against the former President's wife is hard. If there wasn't a quasi-incumbent in the race, it is very possible that Obama would get a lot more white votes. Jesse Jackson was running against much weaker competition - nobody outside of MA knew who Dukakis was or had much loyalty to him.

Besides, lots of white people in rural Nevada and NH voted for Obama. An absolute majority in some parts of northern Nevada. Did Jackson win in those sort of areas? I didn't think so.

Brendan's not out on too wobbly of a limb here; lots of people have studied the so-called 'Bradley effect': white voters will publicly support a black candidate but privately defect to a white one. There's an article in this week's New Yorker about this issue, which the Obama campaign itself is worrying about:


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