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March 27, 2008

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Based on anecdotal evidence, I would tell you that Obama has tanked among southern white voters. The group was never big on him to start with (remember the Louisiana exit polls on satisfaction if the other candidate got the nomination?), but I think the Wright comments shifted the feeling from discomfort to distaste. I would be really interested in seeing some regional crosstabs on the Gallup defection question analyzed yesterday.

I would tell you that Obama has tanked among southern white voters

Looking at Brendan's primary charts, I'd say Obama was rejected by southern whites long before most had heard of Rev. Wright.

The south is still very unique politically and racial politics plays a huge part of that. The question is how he's doing in the rest of the country. If he's competitive in most of the states LBJ won in 1964, he doesn't need southern whites.

It is amazing that Hillary has so alienated her own party in her primary run. At some point, I expected her to realize that if she ever wanted a future in the party, she would have to throw support to the party in general, if not Obama in particular, and gracefully bow out. At best, she's missed the opportunity to unify the party, throw her support behind Obama, make it look like her idea to heal the division, beat the Republicans at all costs, and turn the nation around. Instead, she's put her entire future in one campaign. She lost a month ago, and yet she's still stabbing herself in the throat (under sniper fire, etc.) All America will remember this in 8 years when she again gets the chance to run. We will remember how she lied, how she played racist politics, how she encouraged breaking the rules to win at all costs. And I doubt that her career will ever, EVER rise above the level of the Senate again. Tragic.

Jinchi, I referenced the Louisiana exits, which I remember as the worst in terms of white/black divide (though if I remember correctly, Mississippi was bad, too -- can't find the charts you speak of). My point is that Obama has "gone south" from that starting point. While white southern voters preferred Hillary, they have now strayed in large numbers to the column of Democrats who would vote for McCain if Obama were the nominee. I wholeheartedly agree with you that Obama does NOT need these voters to win the general election, and that they are significantly different from other Democrats. That's actually the whole point in looking at regional crosstabs.

If we were able to look at these regional crosstabs on the Gallup defection question I referenced, and as I said, southern white Democrats were overwhelmingly defecting from Obama, then that would skew the results for the nation as a whole. Thus, learning what southern white Democrats think about an Obama candidacy actually could tell us a lot more about how Obama is doing in the rest of the country than a national poll by itself.

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