Where is Obama's White Voter Problem?

Remember all of the talk about how Barack Obama had a unique difficulty attracting white voters to his camp? NBC News' First Read doesn't buy it. Combining the last two NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls to create one big sample (and thus larger subsamples with smaller margins of error), the folks at First Read note the following:

What's more on this front, we combined our last two NBC/WSJ surveys to get a larger sample of white voters broken down by age in the Obama-McCain match-up, and while Obama -- at this stage in the race -- outperforms Kerry and Gore among all white voters, the age group where Obama underperforms both Kerry and Gore is among white voters 65+. Obama trails McCain 54%-32%, which is nearly twice the deficit Kerry had at this point with Bush among this group (53%-40%). Obama, of course, does better among white voters under 35, which makes up for the older voter issue. [emphasis added]

Obama performs better than either of the last two Democratic nominees, one of whom one the popular vote, among white voters, but he is professed to have a problem with white voters? I think someone is going to have to explain this one to me...

Tags: Barack Obama, White House 2008, white voters (all tags)

Comments

21 Comments

Re: Where is Obama's White Voter Problem?

That meme started because HRC outperformed Obama with white voters. What the pundits failed to take into account was that while white voters preferred Clinton, they didn't hate Obama. They just liked Clinton more. Of course, that didn't mean that they would prefer McCain. The only people who seem to prefer McCain are his own demographic, elderly white voters.

by antiHyde 2008-07-10 05:02AM | 0 recs
unfortunately...

it long precedes hillary's campaign.  i'm really shocked at the stupidity of your assumption...

by bored now 2008-07-10 05:07AM | 0 recs
where I live..

Not many Democrats are that excited about Obama.. at all..  And this is a heavily blue area..

by architek 2008-07-10 05:33AM | 0 recs
who cares what people who live in blue areas...

think?  the primaries are over.  i want to win the white house.  i strongly suspect that this is a profound difference between our views...

by bored now 2008-07-10 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: where I live..

And of course your unbiased opinion and the likelihood of you reporting those feelings objectively are to be taken quite seriously.

by JDF 2008-07-10 07:39AM | 0 recs
Bored Now

Since you want to be offensive, Kiss My Ass

by antiHyde 2008-07-10 09:00AM | 0 recs
i will grant you that...

it's probably the most intelligent think you could say.  unless i overestimated you...

by bored now 2008-07-10 09:30AM | 0 recs
Yet another failure in traditional media

Is it a failure to research the facts?

Or worse, is it a blatant deception?

Or just gross incompetence?

To me it seems like the traditional corporate media has a LOT of explaining to do. There is no scenario with these regular, repeated misrepresentations and falsehoods that can be written off as a simple mistake.

There is a pattern of statements/headlines that paint a false picture.

by Jon Niola 2008-07-10 05:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Yet another failure in traditional media

Journalism schools have replaced the course Fact Checking 101 with Scribery 101.

by Beren 2008-07-10 08:23AM | 0 recs
it's not that surprising...

the myth of black candidates attracting white voters persists despite evidence provided by the success of black candidates in majority white electoral districts (like the state of georgia).

parroting this myth is pure ignorance, generally trumpeted out of pure self-interest.

those who voice fear of black candidates winning in majority white districts either don't understand how campaigns are waged and elections won or have trouble understanding how voters behave.  there seems to be an assumption that being african american is a unique hurdle, as if white candidates don't face electoral hurdles of their own.  if nothing else, hillary clinton's campaign -- starting from an extraordinary position of strength with the best brand in american politics -- is evidence that this isn't true.

in the end, elections are about choices, and the choices that are on the ballots, not those that are in people's heads.  democrats will never win the racist vote, no matter the ethnicity of the candidate.  black candidates succeed when they are matched up well against their opponents, whether white or black (or something altogether different).  barack's discipline, political intuitiveness, analysis of the political climate and strength of his campaign plan and implementation allowed him to defeat a much better known opponent in the primary.  there's no reason to think that he won't have the same success against mccain.  mccain has his own problems...

by bored now 2008-07-10 05:05AM | 0 recs
I don't think race has anything to do with it

Its that Obama is not as progressive as he tried to present himself.

He's been deceptive, and that just doesn't energize people.

I think he stands a good chance of losing in November and we can't afford that.

by architek 2008-07-10 08:59AM | 0 recs
sure...

there should be no doubt that barack does not fit the various strawman versions that you created.  there's also no question that not only was he more progressive (and liberal) than hillary, that hillary was much closer to lieberman (and mccain) than she was to barack.  since your preference was the polarizing, centrist, dlc candidate it is really difficult to see you as a good judge of who is and who is not a progressive candidate.

i see no evidence than barack has been deceptive and merely note that you didn't even attempt to provide some.  but, yeah, i understand losing sucks.  and you are not the first person who's taken it so personally...

by bored now 2008-07-10 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Where is Obama's White Voter Problem?

Wait 'til the oldsters find out what McCain wants to do with their Social Security and Medicare checks.

by Bush Bites 2008-07-10 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Where is Obama's White Voter Problem?

It's like his "Hispanic voter problem" it only exists in the heads of TV pundits. While Obama absolutely crushes McCain in polls of Hispanic voters the talking heads continue to repeat the same  talking points about McCains great cred with Hispanics and Obama's problem.

by hankg 2008-07-10 05:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Where is Obama's White Voter Problem?

The problem here is the premise; no one's ever actually said that Obama couldn't attract "white voters"; to the extent that he had a problem in the primaries, it was among working class voters, largely white, though he also did less well among working class Hispanics. That the "problem" with his working class appeal isn't there anymore speaks more to McCain's failure to be appealing than to the sense that Obama's gotten better at attracting working class votes: that's the PUMA problem, and the Hillary donor problem, and as someone notes above, a certain dawning lack of enthusiasm among the Democratic base.  But most of these people have nowhere else to go, and few good choices. It wouldn't surprise that Obama - right now - is polling better than previous Democrats; that's how bad McCain is, and how well Obama's selling the "change" message.  By creating an argument that never existed, Jonathan "proves" it's false. That's nice... but not really all that illuminating.

by nycweboy1 2008-07-10 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Where is Obama's White Voter Problem?

I wonder how the latest Jesse Jackson flap will help Obama among white voters...

I think it probably helps him.

by Steve24 2008-07-10 06:30AM | 0 recs
Help quite a bit

This is not the first time I have said it, but I strongly believe that Jackson wants Obama to lose.  He makes his money on the victim card and Obama as President makes that much harder to play.

When suburban white voters see that Obama is not a lacky of Jackson, a lot of the (unfounded) fears will start to go away.  I am not trying to argue it will move everyone, but there are a lot of people who don't like Jesse Jackson and don't trust politicians who support him.

by monkeyga 2008-07-10 09:22AM | 0 recs
I don't buy it

Jackson's criticisms of Obama were based on Obama not covering the issues he wanted covered. And he apologised promptly. That's not the sign of a man who wants Obama to lose, it's the sign of a man who wants Obama to be much more to the economic left.

by Englishlefty 2008-07-10 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Where is Obama's White Voter Problem?

Who would Jesus vote for? We had to ask the question, right? Everyone claims to know. Just not sure about this one. I mean really. Can they Guy even vote? He's not American. And I doubt whether he would be allowed into the US in any case. Think about it. Long beard, wears a dress and a Middle Eastern passport. But what if He could vote? Who would He vote for? Does He even care who you vote for? Let's speculate. It's all we can do. We have no direct line and He doesn't have a Facebook Group Page or radio show. Sorry Hagee, Pat and gang - neither do you have him on your "5 friends" list on your phone. I gave it a shot - but not sure I got an answer. http://angryafrican.net/2008/07/09/who-w ould-jesus-vote-for/

by Angry African 2008-07-10 07:10AM | 0 recs
Obama's problem is with...

stupid white voters like the lady in red...

by Beren 2008-07-10 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Where is Obama's White Voter Problem?
A while back I posed a satirical theory in a response to something or other.  I suggested that there were huge swaths of the [poor-white-male] population who were willing to do whatever was necessary to prove that they weren't racist--even vote for [Obama].  I'm not sure that should be a joke...
More likely, natural processes are at work here.  The electorate, even the white electorate, is younger than it was last cycle, the voters who most support McCain and the Republicans are dying, and voters who were still in  grade school when Bush took office are now on the rolls and pissed off.
by Endymion 2008-07-10 10:38AM | 0 recs

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