Pew President Says Obama Lost N.H. Due to Race

Andrew Knoupt, the President of the Pew Center, attributes Obama's loss in New Hampshire to race and bigotry, not women. His piece is about why the pollsters got it wrong, but he's not too subtle:

Poorer, less well-educated white people refuse surveys more often than affluent, better-educated whites. Polls generally adjust their samples for this tendency. But here’s the problem: these whites who do not respond to surveys tend to have more unfavorable views of blacks than respondents who do the interviews.

What he's really claiming is that white people who make less than $50k a year and didn't attend college are bigoted.

Mrs. Clinton beat Mr. Obama by 12 points (47 percent to 35 percent) among those with family incomes below $50,000. By contrast, Mr. Obama beat Mrs. Clinton by five points (40 percent to 35 percent) among those earning more than $50,000.

There was an education gap, too. College graduates voted for Mr. Obama 39 percent to 34 percent; Mrs. Clinton won among those who had never attended college, 43 percent to 35 percent.

As to why this didn't happen in Iowa, he only says:

My guess is that Mr. Obama may have posed less of a threat to white voters in Iowa because he wasn’t yet the front-runner. Caucuses are also plainly different from primaries.

I'm not buying this at all, and I think it's insulting to New Hampshire voters.

Update: Here's another view, one I subscribe to more: Hillary's message and moment won the day. [More...]

Women, in particular, responded: Several said they chose to vote for Mrs. Clinton at the last moment because she had shown a human side of herself that they had never seen.

....Based on interviews with a dozen New Hampshire voters, a review of surveys of voters leaving the polls, and revelations from Clinton advisers about their own surveys there, it is clear that Mrs. Clinton’s remarkable turnaround after her loss to Mr. Obama in Iowa occurred because of several key moments — some planned, some not.

This is the one that makes the most sense to me:

She also won support by sharpening her message of experience into concrete terms, casting herself as a doer competing against Mr. Obama’s image as an eloquent talker.

I do think experience played a role even though the voters wanted change. Perhaps her newer message that you get change through experience and she's always been for change made an impact.

It also appeared, based on that exit poll, by Edison/Mitofsky for the television networks and The Associated Press, that Mrs. Clinton’s argument that she is the most experienced Democrat in the field — contributed to her victory. She was backed by 71 percent of Democratic voters in New Hampshire for whom experience was the most important quality; these voters made up 19 percent of those surveyed.

Bill played a factor too.

According to a survey of voters leaving the polls Tuesday, Mr. Clinton was viewed favorably by 83 percent of Democrats, while 49 percent had a very favorable opinion of him. Of the latter group, Mrs. Clinton got a majority of their votes.

As did the Saturday debate, particularly her "hurt feelings" comment which probably increased her likeability factor, and Obama's "your likeable enough" comment which many may have seen as condescending.

Bottom line in my opinion: Women voters and the experience and empathy factors won New Hampshire for Hillary. There also may have been a sense that voting for Hillary was a vote for the underdog after Iowa, and a belief that Hillary needed to win N.H. to keep this a two candidate race. People weren't ready for her to go away and the media kept insisting she was done if she lost New Hampshire.

I just don't see race as a factor, and racism even less so.

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    It's insulting to all of us (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 12:02:25 PM EST

    Again I say it's possible but definitely not probable. Obama's numbers from the polls and the primary were quite close, if you use RCP's averages.  Clinton's numbers just shot up, taking numerous undecideds people I guess thought would have gone to Obama.

    But you can't just use the poll numbers. (none / 0) (#11)
    by JayR70 on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 12:59:41 PM EST
    There's no way to tell how those who weren't polled and the undecided broke.

    You're right (none / 0) (#28)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:43:03 PM EST
    Answering two replies from you at once.

    1) I'm insulted as a voter and a person of color though because I think it's wrong, and so to answer your other reply where you said it's not insulting even if this determination is not true, I disagree with.

    It being wrong to me makes it into a thing where the pollsters try to use race as a Get Me Out of Jail Free Card, and that undermines anti-racist activism by making it seem arbitrary, when it should never be so.

    I take offense because from what I see, which is a large spike in Clinton numbers alone, also because it discounts the effect the woman voter had on this primary election. Focusing on race and saying the overwhelming margin of woman voters for Hillary Clinton didn't win the election for her, even though she floundered in Iowa when women went more for Obama, also doesn't seem to jibe with the polls.

    2) About those not polled, I think it has validity, but as the amateur I am, I'm seeing the election another way. I can see how Obama's race may have lost the NH primary, if much of Hillary's latent support holds more racist views than Obama's support, however, I do not view the loss as being caused by that. I see that in Iowa, lower income households were still heavily Clinton, and Obama won big time in a three way race.

    Now, in NH, a state he wasn't even competitive in a month ago, he garnered 36% support, close to Hillary's 39%, and very close to the poll numbers that had him winning with that level of support, mid-to-high 30s, so I feel that while racism is too obviously existing to say otherwise, it DID NOT lose the primary for him.


    I agree that it's an insult across the board (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by scribe on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 12:18:48 PM EST
    and have to wonder what motivated it.

    Beyond that, Obama got almost exactly the percentage of the vote which the polls (collectively) predicted he would.  It would be one thing to predict "Obama will get 37% at a turnout of X (yielding a prediction of a definite number of Obama votes = .37X)", but then have all the turnout numbers come out wrong (and low) as Y, where Y = say, 1.2X and then have Obama still get .37X votes, thus reducing his percentage of the actual votes ((.37X)Y = (.37X(1.2X) = (.37/1.2) = about .30)to about 30%. But, that isn't what happened.  Obama still got the same percentage of the enlarged turnout.  

    More than anything else it was HRC's turning out voters for her that won her the primary.

    Need to Blame (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by BDB on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:28:14 PM EST
    This need to blame the voters is fascinating.  Pollsters screw up so - obviously - the voters are terrible people.  And it's interesting that there wasn't this concern over sexist men putting Obama over the top in Iowa, but then that's probably because pollsters didn't have to CYA in Iowa.  

    Some whites won't vote for Obama.  Some men won't vote for Clinton (I ran into several of these in NH).  That's life when you're tying to make history.  But there's no empirical reason to believe that either of these voter types are turning these elections.  And trying to take credit away from either Clinton or Obama for their wins is crap.  Not to mention, the real turning point in NH appears to be college educated women breaking for Clinton.  She also won among voters "angry" with Bush, which turned out to be a LOT of Democrats.

    As for low income voters, after talking to many of them, I just don't think Obama's change message resonates with this group.  They don't care about changing Washington, they are interested in much more tangible things like health insurance and universal pre-K, the "boring" things Clinton was talking about.  I think Obama made a mistake in focusing too much on the change message and not enough on what that change would tangibly mean.  College kids and wealthier folks lapped it up, but it did nothing for people who just want healthcare.  And I know Obama technically won the healthcare voters, but I'm convinced that lower income voters see healthcare as part of the larger issue of "economy" and those are the voters Clinton won.

    Finally, even if you hate Clinton and think all NH voters are racist rednecks (which I think is wishful thinking by people upset their guy fell short), this needs to stop for Obama's sake.  By repeatedly saying whites won't vote for him, there's a chance of making it actually true.  Just as many Iowans were put off by Clinton suggesting she might lose because she was a woman, there will be people who will be put off by the suggestion that they don't like Obama because they are racist and will vote against him.  Not to mention that it could also suppress the black vote for him.  Or that it makes Obama look like a poor loser, even though he's not the one advancing the story and, in fact, I thought his concession speech was very good.

    I saw first hand that Clinton had an amazing ground game in NH that was closer to the grassroots and had been there longer than Obama's.  Just as Iowa was largely Obama's turf, NH is Clinton's.  I'm not surprised that undecided voters in NH "came home" to Clinton, they have a long history with her and her family and she worked her butt off to bring them back.  Just as Obama's campaign worked their butts off to get the youth vote out in Iowa and deserve the win there.

    Racism and Class (none / 0) (#22)
    by BDB on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:32:21 PM EST
    And let me add that I do not believe lower income people are more racist than higher income people.  I believe they may do a worse job of hiding it or be more willing to express it, but I'm not sure that makes them empirically more racist in their beliefs.

    Polling (none / 0) (#23)
    by JayR70 on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:35:08 PM EST
    Why were the pollsters pretty accurate for the GOP primary?

    Undecided (none / 0) (#32)
    by BDB on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:53:45 PM EST
    Because the late deciders didn't change things.  Also, the projected winner and actual winner on the GOP-side was a candidate with close ties to NH.  Much as with the Clinton's, NH has a history with John McCain.  

    On the Dem side, you have a large number of late deciders (many of whom apparently didn't realize Biden and Dodd were out of the race) and Clinton is the one with close ties to the state.  Until recently, she'd had huge leads.  I'm not that surprised that the late deciding voters went for her - NH loves the Clintons.  

    And don't underestimate gender playing a role in late deciders.  I think gender explains NH way more than race.  Women voters were essentially told that if Clinton lost, her candidacy was over.  I think a lot of women couldn't bring themselves to cast a vote that would end the first female candidate's chances. That many of them did not feel strongly about another candidate helped immensely, they didn't have a strong preference, which is why they were undecided.  In fact, I heard one late deciding woman say this exact thing on the radio there - she was having trouble deciding among the candidates on policy grounds.  On Sunday she had what she called an "epiphany" and realized that if she liked them all equally, then why wasn't she voting for the woman?  She felt like she had been holding Clinton to a higher standard, that simply being as good wasn't enough and she didn't like she was falling into the same trap that she had often faced as a woman.  Her daughter, who had been leaning Obama, called her the morning of her mother's epiphany and recalled that when she was younger she had told her mother that she would never grow up to be a feminist and that her mother had told her she was ungrateful.  The daughter then reported to her mother that she, too, had had an epiphany and would be voting for Clinton.  

    While hardly a scientific sample, it would not surprise me if these women's experiences were replicated across NH.  Interestingly, they moved on Sunday to Clinton, IIRC.  And in the NH area I was in, the Clinton campaign started to pick up a ton of votes on Sunday and early Monday before Clinton's emotional moment.  I honestly think those two debate moments were more influential than the "teary" stuff (put in quotes because she didn't actual cry, no matter what that jerk Maureen Dowd says).


    Hm. (none / 0) (#34)
    by JayR70 on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:00:00 PM EST
    From what I recall the GOP polls were just about dead on.

    Regardless of the explanation it's certainly not a theory that can be counted out. It's most certainly going to be a combination of things though.


    I just readd that many people (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:02:03 PM EST
    at an Obama event in NH just before the primary put there hands up when he asked how many were "undecided."  Interesting.  Maybe they heard him, weren't all that taken with his presentation, and decided to vote for Clinton or Edwards.

    Actually (none / 0) (#38)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:10:00 PM EST
    I heard it had quickly gone from one-third to barely any hands in a matter of days, in all seriousness.

    Not asking for links, as I'm (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:16:05 PM EST
    just oing on recall also.

    Non-NH Voters (none / 0) (#43)
    by BDB on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:30:33 PM EST
    I can't speak about Obama events, but the Clinton event I attended had a lot of non-NH people in the crowd.  NH is a small state and it's not that hard to come over if you want to see the candidates, which makes perfect sense because nobody is going to see them this often and this up close in most other states.

    At the Clinton event, I met a lot of folks from Maine and one from Michigan.  So I don't know that all of the Obama crowds were NH residents.  Some may have been decided, but voting in other priimaries and not NH.


    Obama and race (none / 0) (#2)
    by billisleft on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 12:09:40 PM EST
    I'm, buying it and as a former resident of NH,having NH vote first is an insult to all of us!!!!

    Seems unlikely... (none / 0) (#4)
    by mike in dc on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 12:19:30 PM EST
    ...but I don't think you'll find a lot of sociologists who'll disagree that poor, less-educated whites often have more overt antipathy towards minorities than well-off, well-educated whites do(their antipathy will manifest itself a little differently, perhaps).

    If a pollster from Iowa suggested males in Iowa evidenced a gender bias, I suspect you wouldn't be jumping on that quite so much.

    But (none / 0) (#12)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:00:03 PM EST
    I think the two candidates have campaigns that cater more to either gender, though they obviously have cross-over appeal. I think that Obama is trying hard, very hard, to frankly distance himself from what is considered black, and that's part of why I find the Wilder Effect a hard thing to fathom here. It's not because I want to believe in some greater American race consciousness.

    It's because Barack Obama is running as the black candidate who's not TOO BLACK. Not black enough to campaign against white male supremacy that's to be sure, granted few are. And that itself is not to say Obama is not black enough to win black votes, but that he's running as the safe black candidate, and so I don't think I'd see as many white voters fearful of the changes he'd make. [That's also part of why I am not completely sold on him. (80% sold)]


    Last night I was thinking of Tiger Woods, (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:21:21 PM EST
    adn how he is feted by people of all ethnicities.  See any comparison?

    Between democratic elections and golf? (none / 0) (#18)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:27:05 PM EST
    I mean, Obama and Woods are both part black.

    But other than that, they're in completely different fields where success and talent are completely different concepts with completely different factors.


    I was speculating re Woods's endorsement (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:39:14 PM EST
    contract, star quality actually.  I don't even know if there have been any top black pro men golfers before him.  

    There have been, and some of them are now (none / 0) (#41)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:23:54 PM EST
    on the Senior's Tour.

    None of them have dominated nor had the star power like Tiger, but then again, with the exception of Jack Nicholaus back in the day, no golfer ever has dominated or had the star power like Tiger.

    fwiw, according to one of my golf mags that I got last night, last year he earned $99,800,000 in endorsements and another $23,000,000 on the course. He's expected to have earned - earned, not gained through stocks or other investments - 1 Billion by 2010.


    Side note (none / 0) (#42)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:27:08 PM EST
    In America, stocks and investments are earned money. Why else would we be so damned afraid to tax it if it wasn't robbery of earned money to do so?

    In case you've never had a job.... (1.00 / 0) (#50)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 03:08:51 PM EST
    The first thing you have to do is save money to buy stocks/bonds, etc. You pay taxes on the money you earn before you save it, and you pay taxes on the saved portion if you haven't invested it in stocks....

    If the stocks pay you a dividend you pay taxes on that, although the company/corp that has paid you has already paid taxes on the profit.

    If you can add, you will see that this is three layers of taxes, maybe four. It could be worse, but robbery is still illegal.

    If you have a 401K and/or IRA, etc., you can invest some limited dollars before you pay taxes. That's because the government wants you to save because they know that Social Security isn't going to be there in a large enough amount to keep you off welfare. If you withdraw early you will pay a penalty and taxes. And when you retire and withdraw you will pay taxes.

    Now. Doesn't your complaint look unfounded???


    Oh dear me (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 03:27:35 PM EST
    You're right...big bad Soviet taxes are levied on our income. Oh no.

    My point was more on the arguments that taxes on dividends and savings were tyrannical and authoritarian. I think such arguments are hyperbolic. Is that clearer for you?


    Yes. (1.00 / 0) (#85)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 09:11:23 PM EST
    Am I breaking the law (none / 0) (#83)
    by ding7777 on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 09:04:31 PM EST
    because I don't "pay taxes on the saved portion" - just the interest or dividend generated from the saved portion

    Good point (1.00 / 0) (#84)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 09:10:23 PM EST
    But we'll jail you anyway.



    Ummm..Arnold Palmer? Bobby Jones? (none / 0) (#68)
    by oldpro on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 05:44:08 PM EST
    ...star power isn't measurable in dollars...apples to apples....but yes...Tiger is beyond beyond...and he's young, so there's undoubtedly a lot more to come.

    The difference between Tiger and Obama (none / 0) (#27)
    by scribe on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:41:24 PM EST
    is that, when someone on The Golf Channel said something about lynching*, she got suspended within a couple days.

    * I think the "context" was she was showing how invincible (in her opinion) Tiger was, by explaining (she'd probably say "waggishly") to a co-host the only way (in her opinion) young golfers could have a hope of beating Tiger.  No matter, there.  She got suspended regardless.


    They say they're friends too... (none / 0) (#29)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:45:46 PM EST
    She and Tiger apparently made up and she still got sent to the doghouse. Not good for her. Still, I don't like lynching, so a strong message from the Golf Channel may be needed.

    She still was suspended (none / 0) (#35)
    by scribe on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:01:10 PM EST
    from work for two weeks, regardless of making up with Tiger or not.

    Which, BTW, is how MSNBC should handle Tweety's silliness (I'm being polite).  Guy needs to shower up, take a nice long nap, and get two weeks or so off (w/o pay) in a place where he's nowhere near a TV, camera, or internet.  Time to get some perspective, Chris.


    Not all bigots (none / 0) (#5)
    by eric on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 12:21:11 PM EST
    I don't think he is saying that ALL whites who didn't attend college and make less than $50K are bigots.  He is just saying that it is MORE LIKELY that they are.  If you don't agree, then I would submit that you don't know enough white people who didn't attend college and who make less than $50K.

    Racists in NH (none / 0) (#6)
    by kindness on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 12:22:49 PM EST
    Does NH have racists?  Surely it does.

    Would a racist tell a pollster they are supporting Obama and then vote for Hillary?  NO.  A racist would vote for Fred Thompson or Ron Paul.

    wouldn't respond (none / 0) (#7)
    by eric on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 12:27:29 PM EST
    Or, as this article points out, he might just refuse the survey.

    heh (1.00 / 0) (#51)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 03:11:20 PM EST
    If he refuses the survey his answers aren't counted.

    They ask someone else.


    Bingo! (none / 0) (#89)
    by eric on Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 08:57:29 AM EST
    EXACTLY!  That is why the polling is off - That's the whole point of the coulumn.

    Surely you jest... (none / 0) (#15)
    by HeadScratcher on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:13:49 PM EST
    All racists vote for Paul or Thompson?

    If you don't think for one moment that there is one white Democrat who is a racist then you have your head in the sand. My own idiotic mother in law comes to mind. She loves affirmative action, decries racism, but will not go see a black doctor, lawyer or accountant...She does, however, have a Hillary sticker on her Toyota Camry.

    Hmmm, maybe that's why I'm supporting Obama...


    Just when I think that there... (none / 0) (#8)
    by magster on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 12:41:50 PM EST
    ...was no Bradley effect, Andrew Cuomo opens his mouth.  

    Obama started gaining momentum after Shaheen, Kerrey and madrassa-spam-gate.  Racism and sexism are both alive and well.

    overworked and poor (none / 0) (#9)
    by eyesonthestreet on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 12:44:31 PM EST
    I hate to break it to Mr Pew Research Director, but the Median household income in the US is about $48K,


    They are making minimum wage, and presumably if it is a "household" have children to feed and raise.  Assuming both parents work, they each are making less than $25K each, or a single mother making that alone.  

    Just maybe they want a sure thing, avoid risk and also maybe just don't have time for taking a survey....

    Poor people are less inclined to gamble (none / 0) (#88)
    by wprange on Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 07:21:49 AM EST
    I can fully understand why people who are having a hard time scraping by, are less willing to take a gamble with someone who sure is promising but still has to proof himself on a national stage. With Hillary they know what they've got. Maybe not the most perfect candidate to their liking, but at least a tried and tested one.
    IMHO, that's the explanation why lower income people are voting for Clinton, and not Obama

    But we do agree that racism is alive and well (none / 0) (#10)
    by JayR70 on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 12:56:02 PM EST
    in America right?

    Oh yeah (none / 0) (#13)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:01:26 PM EST
    It's central to American history, it's not going anywhere.

    Unfortunately I agree (none / 0) (#14)
    by JayR70 on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:12:24 PM EST
    So it seems that this analysis is not insulting or outlandish even if it's wrong.

    I think it's a real problem for the Obama campaign and I think it explains his message of inclusion. If he can get enough indies and mod. gopers on his side it can offset this problem.


    Golly (1.00 / 0) (#53)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 03:14:18 PM EST
    So it seems that this analysis is not insulting or outlandish even if it's wrong.

    So if I called you a nasty word, and it wasn't true, you wouldn't be insulted??


    to believe their group is less racist than that other group over there.

    Not sure what you mean (none / 0) (#20)
    by JayR70 on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:27:40 PM EST
    can you explain a bit?

    Iowa Less Racist? (none / 0) (#24)
    by BDB on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:36:20 PM EST
    I can't speak for the other pollster, but I find it difficult to believe that NH residents are inherently more racist than Iowans.  To the extent there are racists who won't vote for Obama, I don't know why they should be more heavily concentrated in Manchester than Des Moines.

    I'd say the same thing about sexists.  I ran into a number of male voters who were clearly never going to vote for a woman (not the majority, I should stress, most non-Clinton people did not strike me as sexist).  However, I don't think there is necessarily more sexism in Iowa than there is in New Hampshire.  

    But then it's generally my view that God doesn't play favorites and spreads the idiots around.


    Iowa and New Hampshire (none / 0) (#30)
    by HeadScratcher on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:49:23 PM EST
    The difference is that the cauceses in Iowa are public so you must declare publicly who you support and that counts. In New Hampshire you can say you're for Obama all you want but then vote for Clinton and no one is the wiser. It's called the Dinkins and/or Bradley effect.

    Reverse (1.00 / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 03:17:02 PM EST
    The difference is that the cauceses in Iowa are public so you must declare publicly who you support and that counts

    So your take is that some voters felt they must vote for Obama or be considered racist.



    More likely they would stay home (none / 0) (#69)
    by oldpro on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 05:54:41 PM EST
    from a caucus than from a primary election is the way I read that.  At a caucus your choice may be challenged.  Most people do not seek out a public situation which will set them up to have to defend their personal choices.  That's partly why turnout is so much lower than in primaries.

    On the other hand, caucuses draw people who like to challenge others...make public statements and argue their point/candidate...get attention for themselves or others...performers...would-be 'leaders,' friends of all of the above in addition to all the Dem Party people who populate most Dem meetings, fundraisers, GOTV volunteers, etc.


    Maybe, maybe not (1.00 / 0) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 09:18:09 AM EST
    Maybe they just think it is their right to go to the caucus and then get bulldozed by the local bully.

    Caucus vs. Primary (none / 0) (#31)
    by JayR70 on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:50:50 PM EST
    I think the dynamics would be a bit different there but I could be wrong.

    I think that lots of things went into the outcome not just this effect. But I don't see how this can be ruled out.

    As far as sexism goes, white women benefit the most from affirmative action. As far as I've seen, the explanation seems to be that white males are more comfortable with white woman (their mothers, wives, sisters) than minorities.

    Now a real sexist/racist who happens to be a Democrat should choose Edwards or some other white male but Edwards is talking poverty and that might not be a selling point to a guy like that.


    I don't know, just a rambling thought. (none / 0) (#46)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:37:06 PM EST
    J has taken offense to the suggestion that some of her "group," ie., some of her Dems, could be racist.

    exactly (none / 0) (#54)
    by HeadScratcher on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 03:16:21 PM EST
    It was late-breaking women voters. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Geekesque on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:27:07 PM EST
    Whether because of message or sympathy is another question whose answer likely depends on one's leanings.

    Does anybody seriously expect (none / 0) (#25)
    by Al on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:37:05 PM EST
    that Obama's skin color doesn't matter? What I don't buy is that voters are swayed by speeches, to the extent of affecting how they vote. Speeches may arouse more people to go and vote for their preferred candidate, but that preference is not determined by speeches, I believe.

    In any case, there is an empirical test for the validity of Mr. Knoupt's hypothesis. As a pollster, he will probably weight the various demographic groups differently following his hypothesis. It will be interesting to see whether this improves his polls' accuracy or not.

    Not swayed by speeches to vote for someone (none / 0) (#33)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:56:29 PM EST
    Okay, but they are swayed to go vote? But not for the person who motivated them to vote, if the speaker was one of the candidates?

    It's not all "Black & White" (none / 0) (#37)
    by commissar on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:04:36 PM EST
    Jeralyn's excerpts imply that Kohut was making a sweeping case to explain ALL the difference. Not so. He said it could be A factor.

    If lower income whites went for Hillary, tend to refuse surveys (something I'd never heard/thought of before), and are less likely to vote for blacks, he may have a point.

    No need to get anyone's back up. The effect here would apply to a few percent of the electorate.

    A difference of ten points between final polls and actual votes is, in my recollection, very unusual. Kohut, if you read his piece, suggests a number of factors.

    Reading his whole article (none / 0) (#40)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:16:24 PM EST
    Maybe Judith had a point about me being pre-emptive in my assumptions...

    The whole article provides factoids that seem to bash the argument that the Clinton win was due to a late Clinton surge leaving in my mind the race/class  as a determining factor argument, or the argument the "Not so fast" sentiments. Now I'm torn, so I am not sure exactly which to believe.

    How does Pew organization (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:36:09 PM EST
    figure out the education and income of people who don't participate?

    Hocus pocus? (none / 0) (#48)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:40:59 PM EST
    They wave a wand and say "Flippity flobbity flubberity flats! For all the unpollled, tell me their stats!" I dunno.

    The census and voting records. n/t (none / 0) (#70)
    by oldpro on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 06:11:16 PM EST
    It Is a Factor, Denials Are Pointless. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Aaron on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:35:45 PM EST
    Bush supporters used it eight years ago to destroy John McCain by circulating the rumor, along with pictures of his dark skinned adopted Bangladeshi daughter, and push polling tactics, to undermine his support in the South, which in all likelihood directly cost him South Carolina.  The claim was that he had fathered an illegitimate child with a Black woman, miscegenation is still one of the cardinal sins in the Old South and in America today.  

    The anatomy of a smear campaign

    The media could have chosen to head off this smear, instead they let it go virtually unchallenged until it was too late.

    You won't see McCain campaigning this time around with his adopted daughter on his arm, because he and his advisers know that just the site of his arm around a dark skinned person who is a family member, will cost him votes.

    The fact is, Barack Obama is the product of miscegenation, that's a fact, and it will have an impact on his campaign.  So if Hillary wants to try and head off any controversy and any possible taint to her wins, she should come out and condemn such racism and embrace the interracial people of America.

    I wonder if she has the strength of character to do this, because it will cost her votes in white America, that's just the way it is.

    Sorry, Aaron, but I think that is kinda silly... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by oldpro on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 06:21:39 PM EST
    it isn't news to anyone in America (or shouldn't be) that the Clintons are the anti-racists...ummm, any recollection of why Bill Clinton has been called 'the first black president?'  They employ blacks, appoint blacks, work and play with blacks...as well as (mind if I add?) asians and hispanics.  There are no minorities with whom either Clinton is uncomfortable.  For all I know, they sleep with them...don't care if they do.

    So your suggestion that Hillary's win might be 'tainted' if she doesn't 'head off controversy' by coming out and embracing her opponent's race in the middle of a campaign and that this is your test of her character is just ... well...dumb.  Sorry...wish I could think of another word because I really don't want to pick a fight or hurt your feelings...sigh...oh, well...politics...


    What's cowardly... (none / 0) (#79)
    by Aaron on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 07:48:50 PM EST
    ...is for our leaders to continue denying that America still has serious deep-rooted problems with race, ethnicity and gender.  The question of race specifically continues to be an enormous overriding problem here in the 21st-century, and we need leaders who are willing to address prejudice and racism head-on, instead of sweeping it under the rug and pretending like it doesn't exist, as we've been doing for how many generations now?  America has always taken one step back for every two steps forward on this issue.

    And your rather flippant viewpoint that having sex with someone means you're not prejudice is telling.  It is itself a part of the mindset that lets people tell themselves, I've freed myself of prejudice because I acknowledge that race has little or no bearing on who people choose to screw, at least when no one is looking, it's a ridiculous assertion.  Try making the same argument for committed relationships, that's another thing altogether now isn't it?

    Race and racial issues taint everything in America, all you have to do is look at the blogs and the comments people make to realize how entrenched racism still lives in  in people's minds and hearts .  it's one of those core issues that needs to be addressed in the context of the political campaign, because that's what democracy is all about facing who and what you and your candidates really your underneath the veneer.  If Obama gets the nomination what you think the Republicans will do, you think they won't use race against him, you think they won't use Hillary Clinton's sex against her?   Of course many Democrats will support Clinton specifically because they fear the race question far more than the gender question, and in the back of their minds believe that Obama is not electable because many white folks just won't be able to bring themselves to vote for a Black man.  These are the issues that need to be addressed and talked about during this campaign.

      I'm sure that many who read this blog have had such concerns about Obama's race. They would be foolish not to have these thoughts, and do not to take the issue of race into consideration.  For it remains an undeniable reality of the human condition that only fools and those who live in denial would attempt to refute.

    The question remains, will America elect a person with dark skin, and I believe when it comes down to that basic choice between a White woman and a Black man, many White Hispanic and even Black people will adopt for a white woman, setting aside almost every other consideration.  I don't like it but there is

    Hillary should come out and address at least the possibility that racism is having an impact, and Obama should come out and similarly address the possible impact of sexism on the race.  That's how you deal with these issues, it's very simple.  We need to start asking more of those who compete to become our representatives.  Genuine progressives don't need to run their elections with a basis in fear and misunderstanding.  You get these things out in the open, and you take away the power they have over us.


    It is a fact, but Obama is not (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:38:11 PM EST
    discussing it, to my knowledge.  I heard his wife on C-Span over the weekend talking to a campaign rally and she did.  

    Totally wrong assumption (none / 0) (#49)
    by koshembos on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 02:55:52 PM EST
    It might help to realize that almost everyone, including this post, assume that the voter breakdown that reality is that of Iowa or the polls and pundits have presented before the New Hampshire vote took place. With these assumption, Kouot and other are trying to explain why the "reality" became distorted, namely the New Hampshire vote.

    It is possible that Iowa is the aberration? Actually, no one knows and never will because the future results will reflect a dynamic reality that is changing.

    So my suggestion is to follow one of leading the Middle Ages interpreters of the old testament who said "at this time the intelligence should keep quiet." Furthermore, claiming that hidden racism is the domain of the poorer among us, is extremely bigoted. On the contrary, I believe that the educated vote for Obama stems from their bigotry towards the Clintons.

    Enough with the garbage!

    say what you want (none / 0) (#52)
    by Jgarza on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 03:13:27 PM EST
    But clearly the Clinton Campaign thinks there is benefit to delving into racial stereo types.  and spare me the opps I did it again.
    Per Jane
    Now Andrew Cuomo, scumbag machine politician par excellence, refers to Obama's "shuck and jive" performance at a press conference.

    Maybe he'll respond that Cuomo can't jump? (none / 0) (#57)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 03:22:51 PM EST
    (We've been getting calls from the Cuomo people on this who want to point out, correctly, that the AG was not referring to Barack Obama when he used the phrase "shuck and jive," but to what politicians in general do with the media. Cuomo's point was when candidates meet a substantial proportion of primary voters or caucus goers in person, such as in NH or Iowa, there is a certain genuineness that can be avoided in a big-state media-heavy campaign)  

    More: (none / 0) (#58)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 03:26:30 PM EST
    Update: Cuomo's office contends that the quote is being taken out of context -- it applied to both leading candidates and both Iowa and New Hampshire, and was offered as an explanation of the health of the early primary process, rather than an explanation of Hillary's NH win.

    They played the interview for us, and the tape supports their interpretation. Although earlier in the interview Cuomo calls Obama a "beautiful symbol" but asserts that Hillary is more knowledgable, repeating Clinton talking points, the "shuck and jive" reference applies to the inability of any candidate to avoid direct voter contact in states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

    as the excuses (none / 0) (#60)
    by Jgarza on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 03:33:57 PM EST
    come lets keep in mind.  This is what "shuck and jive" means

    From your link: (none / 0) (#61)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 03:40:49 PM EST
    Today, the expression has expanded somewhat from earlier usage, and is now sometimes used to mean "talking pure baloney," "goofing off," or "goofing around." The original meaning of deceit often remains, however.

    Mr Cuomo (none / 0) (#62)
    by Jgarza on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:02:05 PM EST
    is from a state with either the first or second largest African American population.  He deals with African American politicians, and constituents all the time, he should know better.

    At this point this kind of stuff has become a pattern.


    "he should know better" (none / 0) (#64)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:13:53 PM EST
    we are in full agreement there.

    I can think of any (none / 0) (#63)
    by Jgarza on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:05:51 PM EST
    number of highly offensive words (maybe all of the offensive words in the English language)and phrases that have "expanded somewhat from earlier usage" it is still inappropriate to use them.

    It's a minefield...I had to explain to someone (none / 0) (#75)
    by oldpro on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 06:31:29 PM EST
    just yesterday why it wasn't appropriate (any more) to suggest that somebody had been 'gypped.'  They had no clue.  Most people don't.  I, myself, have to work at it to keep from blurting out that somebody speaking out of bounds is, in fact, 'off the reservation.'

    Hard work.  Gotta keep at it tho...


    Cuomo is not the Clinton Campaign (none / 0) (#78)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 07:34:20 PM EST
    That he supports Hillary doesn't make him a campaign advisor. His words are his own.

    You know their stance is weak (none / 0) (#65)
    by Nowonmai on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 04:44:06 PM EST
    If they feel the need to play "RACE" as reason for defeat.

    I am old enough to remember when Shirley Chisholm ran for president. A black woman. In New Hampshire, she wasn't put down/insulted/derided for being black, but for being a woman daring to enter a 'man's world'.

    I am pretty sure the people of New Hampshire would be rather irked at this armchair politico saying they were a bunch of ignorant racists.

    Excuses, excuses, excuses (none / 0) (#66)
    by RalphB on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 05:27:49 PM EST
    Racism exists in America and will for a very long time, but responsible for a primary loss?  Give me a break.  It's just a way for the pollsters, gas bags, and lots of bloggers to blame the voters for their mistakes.

    Politicians aren't running campaigns in an ideal USA, they're running in the real USA, and should get used to it and get over it.  Win or lose on their own merits or get out of the business.

    Not so "clear" (none / 0) (#67)
    by chemoelectric on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 05:29:50 PM EST
    BTD said it was "clear" that people voted for Clinton out of spite towards the SCLM for their disgraceful behavior. Given the above, I would say that's less than "clear".

    Seriously, it's generally a bad idea to use words like "clear" when there are at least a few other plausible explanations. For one thing, last minute decisions, I would think, will bias the outcome towards the best known candidate, because that's how I might make my choice if I decided at the last minute. Also I think and thought it was reasonable to suppose that patriotic sniffling would help rather than hurt a candidate, even if she were a woman.

    Interesting Brain Studies (none / 0) (#71)
    by BDB on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 06:15:51 PM EST
    I got this from Time and found it interesting and not just because it supports my theory that the debate was what changed the race.  Heh.

    For their debates Saturday night ABC brought in a cutting-edge market research company called Lucid Systems to do brain research on a group of undecided New Hampshire voters.* They placed a cap with electrodes on each voter to measure their brain activity as they watched the debate. One of the most interesting findings was that all of the voters' brains responded positively as they watched Hillary get angry. Also, they responded extremely negatively when Obama delivered his mild barb, "Hillary, you're nice enough."

    The undecideds - or their brains - also liked it when Hillary joked, "Well, that hurts my feelings."

    Sometimes voters, even in focus groups, say they feel one way and their brain activity indicates otherwise. This brain research is designed to find out how people really feel, regardless of what they say -- what the Lucid people call "the unspoken truth." In the New Hampshire group, no one verbalized their unhappiness with Obama's barb, but their negative brain activity went wild. The voters didn't know how much they didn't like it.

    There's no question race and gender will play roles in this race, but what this brings home for me is how complicated people's reactions are to other people.  

    I hate the CW that Hillary won because she cried, how demeaning is that to women?  And, she didn't cry!  I hated the conservative commentators statements about how Obama proves blacks don't have to be angry (WTF?).  

    It's true that we all see people through lenses that include race and gender, but we are also processing more info than that.  It's insulting to Obama to suggest he can only win if whites have to caucus (and why would caucusing for someone else besides Obama mean you're doing so for racial reasons, I'm not sure the idea that caucuses are purer is true).  It's insulting not only because it suggests he can't win (which I don't think is true), but also because it implies the only reason whites voted for him in Iowa is because they didn't want to look like racists.  I just do not believe that more than 200,000 people showed up just to prove they aren't racists.

    Similarly, I don't believe women swarmed to Hillary because they didn't want to vote for a black man.  That implies that the only reason these women got themselves up and out to vote was to stick it to Obama, that there was no other reason for them to vote for Hillary (like, say, her strong support for women's rights and children's issues).  Again, demeaning.

    And just look at the media narrative we're creating - whites won't vote for blacks, women base their votes on crying (even though it wasn't crying, damn it).  I guess we just have no choice but to vote for a white man, it's the only rational choice not driven by racial prejudice or silly female emotions.

    The other thing about this discussion is that it seems to imply that a person is either a racist or a sexist.  In my experience, these two lovely qualities often, though certainly not always, go hand in hand.  I'm not at all convinced that voters turned off by Obama's race voted for the woman in droves (and why were only women turned off by Obama's race?).  In fact, FWIW, in both Iowa and New Hampshire the most conservative Democratic voters voted for John Edwards.

    Talk about voter ID. Your brain scan (none / 0) (#72)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 06:18:05 PM EST
    casts your vote for you.  Great idea. Wilder effect, my foot.

    Just Plain Old Polling Error (none / 0) (#77)
    by BDB on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 07:15:55 PM EST
    Perhaps everyone is more shocked by the polling errors than we ought to be.  It looks like there's a long history of NH primary polls being quite a ways off.

    You don't suppose those nice pollsters are trying to distract us all from their inability to do a NH primary poll that's reliable, do you?  If the clients paying for such polls found out that they can't be relied upon, would they pay as much for them?  Probably, because without polls the MSM would have to talk about policy and we all know how "boring" that is.

    99.9% of the country hasn't cast a ballot (none / 0) (#80)
    by Dadler on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 08:09:38 PM EST
    And we're acting as if something genuinely meaningful has occurred.  Sound and fury signifying, while certainly more than nothing, certainly much less than is being touted.  Doesn't it seem to make infinitely more sense to have the earliest primaries in the MOST diverse states, as opposed to the least?  So we get a genuine read on the candidates appeal across the wide spectrum of Americans?  Our current system enables whatever racism exists to play as major a role it can in the primaries.  Giving so much weight to such homogeneity of demographics is a glaring institutional bias.  Wake me when we invite everyone to opening day.

    small correction (none / 0) (#82)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 08:44:41 PM EST
    so we need to = so we can

    Racists used Diebold machines (none / 0) (#86)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 09:12:59 PM EST
    The problem with the theory that race accounted for the difference is that it only showed itself in communities that used Diebold machines, not in towns that hand-counted ballots.

    We are not talking about polls either. We are talking about 20% of the votes, hand-counted, that showed Obama won. The votes on Diebold machines skewed over 40% for Hillary; with hand-counts she got less than 35%. All of her Democratic opponents did better with hand-counts than Diebolds. It's a remarkable statistical difference.

    What's the explanation? Are feminists and/or racists living in communities that have Diebold machines? Unlikely.

    Let me add here that I doubt that Clinton would risk her integrity with so little to gain. But maybe someone else would.

    Kucinich asks for a New Hampshire recount (none / 0) (#87)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 11:48:15 PM EST
    Meanwhile, in Ohio:

    Three criminal prosecutions in Ohio's biggest county have opened with strong indications that the cover-up of the theft of the 2004 presidential election is starting to unravel. Prosecutors say these cases involve "rigging" the recount in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), where tens of thousands of votes were shifted from John Kerry to George W. Bush, or else never counted. Meanwhile, corroborating evidence continues to surface throughout Ohio illuminating the GOP's theft of the presidency.


    yup. (none / 0) (#91)
    by coigue on Mon Jan 14, 2008 at 09:38:45 PM EST
    word parsing.

    That's all this is.