obama in the south

John Kerry let me down in 2004, so I’m not too keen on quoting him here, but he made an observation today in an email to his former supporters that I thought should be noted. Here it is:

…This blew me away: in Barack’s victory in Virginia last night, he won 142,000 more votes than all of the Republicans combined, and his victory margin over Senator Clinton was larger than John McCain’s entire vote total. All of this, in what the Old Guard liked to pretend was “red state” Virginia…

I know it may not mean much, seeing as how a great many Republicans probably didn’t bother to vote, knowing that McCain already had the nomination sewn up, but still… I can’t believe that Obama’s margin of victory over Clinton was greater than McCain’s total vote count. That’s amazing. It doesn’t, of course, mean that Obama would beat McCain in a head-to-head contest in Virginia, but it’s still interesting to note. I’d like to think better of the South, where I was born, but I can’t help but worry that when push comes to shove a large percentage of white men won’t vote for a black man to be President. Hopefully it’s not the case, but I fear that even some who voted for Obama in the primary may not vote for him come election day. Let’s all hope I’m wrong.

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24 Comments

  1. Meta
    Posted February 14, 2008 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    No post about southern men would be complete without:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WqX_cVz-Tc

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Man

  2. BunkoBob
    Posted February 14, 2008 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I’m always hoping you’re wrong, Mark…even when you’re not talking.

  3. Ol' E Cross
    Posted February 14, 2008 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    In my experience, the difference in racists in the south/north is, in the south, they’re extroverted, in the north, they’re introverted. Behind the curtain, I’d expect Obama to do as well in one geography, as another. (It’s always Yankee pundits who act shocked when Obama does well in southern states.)

    But, as long as we’re playing to southern stereotypes, I’m not sure a woman fares much better than a black man or a fellow from Massachusetts, for that matter.

  4. Robert
    Posted July 14, 2008 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    At this point it looks like it will be pretty difficult for Obama to win any southern states in November. Virginia and Missouri are possibilities so I’m hoping he choses a running mate that can sure up one of those states, or bring some other southern state into play.

  5. Robert
    Posted September 9, 2008 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Good news on the Senate race front:

    In North Carolina, Democrat Kay Hagan appears to have pulled into a dead heat with incubant Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole. If Hagan can pull off this upset, it would likely be a sixth senate seat gain for the Democrats this year.

    Also, in Minnesota, Democrat Al Franken appears to be making steady ground against incumbant Bush-clone Norm Coleman. I think Franken has an excellent shot at winning this seat. He had, and still has, a lot to overcome with convincing folks he is really a serious and thoughtful individual. He is acceptionally so, and the more voters who see that, the more they’ll be dropping that drone Coleman like a bad habit.

  6. Allen
    Posted September 9, 2008 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    But how’s Obama polling in the south?

  7. Posted September 9, 2008 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I’ve talked to many people who will not vote for Obama because he’s black. Those people were right here in Michigan.

  8. Robert
    Posted September 9, 2008 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Obama is not looking strong anywhere in the South. But there are many problems getting polling samples which anyone can confidently say are good predictors of what will actually happen this election day. Many polls are probably based too heavily on previous elections. Determining likely voters in this year’s election is really some trick. Also, the impact of race on how people will be voting is difficult to gauge.

    My guess is that a win in VA is a possibility for Obama. Other than that, I’d say everything else in the South is a real long shot. There are a couple states where surprises might happen. For example, I believe massive, unprecedented turnout in Atlanta could give the Republicans a run for their money in GA by surprise. NC also shows some signs of being unpredictable in that way. FL might as well be a third world country when it comes to elections. I have absolutely no faith that any legitimate state-wide election can occur there anytime in the foreseeable future. Of course, I don’t know what it takes to pay off the criminals who run that place to sit on their dirty hands, but I hope that’s what ends up happening. The problem with all the possibilities in the South is that you can’t count on any of it happening.

    At the core of it, this election is going to come down to two somewhat unpredictable opposing factors in four industrial great lakes states, PA,OH,MI, and WI. It will be racism within the Democratic Party versus GOTV and the capacity of the Obama ticket to energize new voter activity. If big urban areas and college towns in each of these states have huge turn out, and Obama sweeps all four, I think he’ll have the election.

    Other wildcards are MO,CO,NM,NV & NH. Wins for Obama in any two or three of these put the GOP in an almost impossible position. They all look winnable currently.

    It’s kind of a sloppy rundown. I’ll try to say more that makes some sort of sense later.

  9. mark
    Posted September 9, 2008 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s conceivable that we don’t see dirty tricks this time like we did the last two times. I don’t think Rove and company are that thrilled by the idea of a McCain presidency. Sure, it could mean a Palin presidency, which I’m sure they’d be thrilled about. (What person in the military industrial complex wouldn’t want a ‘hockey mom’ fro President who felt as though global domination by the US of A was ‘God’s plan’?) But otherwise I can’t see them getting too excited about McCain. I think that maybe they’ll sit this one out, opting instead to let Obama take the wrap for all of Bush’s crimes and failures, and then run Jeb, Palin or Guilianni in four. Every card shark knows that you have to throw a game every now and then.

  10. Robert
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    You make excellent points in my opinion, Mark. And like I said, I don’t think war profiteers are going to sit around waiting for Palin to become president naturally. They’ll speed up the process, in a way similar to what they attempted in 1980 to speed the Senior Bush into the Oval Office. If it wasn’t the plan, they wouldn’t have pressured McCain into taking such a terrible running mate.

    The problem for them with allowing Obama to become president is that it takes their hands off a lot of things, even if only temporarily. I think corrupt power has an impossible time letting go of anything, even for reasons of serving a higher tactical purpose. If your cynicism turns out to be well placed though, I think it would mark a new level of evolution for organized crime and political manipulation. In my view it would essentially mean curtains for democracy anywhere in the world.

    In other words, if Obama wins, I’m going to try to comfort myself by looking for clues that his backers might have cut deals and used pre-emptive tactics to disrupt the other side’s attempted manipulations. Otherwise, I’ll be moving into a cave in Nevada.

  11. Robert
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    First, the good news. I think Obama will have a pretty easy time winning NH. WI and IA should also be exceedingly difficult for the GOP to have any shot at picking off this time. However, I’m a little concerned about them being able to pull their FL-style funny business in MN this year. We might see another shitty surprise up there similar to what we saw in OH in 2004. I’m also pretty worried about that happening in NV (again) this year.

    The states where existing big GOTV operations are going to make the most difference are PA,OH,MI and MO. These are battleground states where populations are heavily weighted within very big metropolitan areas.

    A huge turnout in St.Louis and subsequent win in MO would essentially do McCain in.

    On the other hand, a failure to produce huge turnouts in Washtenaw and Wayne counties in Michigan will cost Obama MI and almost certainly the election. This means you folks in Ypsilanti play an important role. You still have a couple weeks to register as many EMU students and other Ypsi Dems as possible. An especially strong effort in Ypsi would compound what also has to be happening in and around U of M, and might be the factor that holds the state for Obama.

    A win in OH is not as much a necessity for Obama, but it might as well be considered one because piecing together wins in a combination of other smaller and even less favorable states in order to make up for the loss of its 20 electoral votes would be a tough trick. This means Cleveland and the OSU area of Columbus have to have huge turnout. The good news there is that we shouldn’t be seeing the massive GOP fraud and voter suppression we saw there and in PA four years ago.

  12. Posted September 12, 2008 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    There will never be another Democratic president in this country. It’s time to face it. The Presidency is largely based on character rather than issues and as long as the Republicans have the market cornered on “Family Values”, we will never see the American people choose a Democrat.

  13. Robert
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Dude, the American people have chosen Democrats in every presidential election since 1988. The US Supreme Court chose the preseident in 2000, and a bunch of criminals in Ohio chose the president in 2004. This may be the first year in almost 20 that the Democrats lose on their own. That doesn’t mean I think a few states won’t be fixed this year if need be. I’m pretty sure they will be.

    For such a cynic, it’s strange to see you say presidential elections are largely based on character. Please, Dubya’s a convicted felon. If anyone actually gave a shit about character they would have never run him.

    Presidential elections are almost entirely based on manipulation. Even you and I are manipulated to some degree. It’s just that there are masses of REALLY stupid people that can be flipped on and off like light switches. They’re the ones that make the most difference. And popular opinion only has to be manipulated to the point where it’s close enough to an even split that methods of massive election rigging in targeted states make up the difference.

    In 2000, as best as I have researched it, at least three states experienced manipulation to a degree sufficient to redirect their electoral votes; Florida, Missouri, and New Hampshire.

    In 2004, there were more. Florida again, Ohio, Missouri again, Iowa, New Mexico and Nevada.

    If things are close this year, the favorites to fix are Florida again, Missouri again, Minnesota and Nevada again.

  14. Robert
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Dude, the American people have chosen Democrats in every presidential election since 1988. The US Supreme Court chose the president in 2000, and a bunch of criminals in Ohio chose the president in 2004. This may be the first year in almost 20 that the Democrats lose on their own. That doesn’t mean I think a few states won’t be fixed this year if need be. I’m pretty sure they will be.

    For such a cynic, it’s strange to see you say presidential elections are largely based on character. Please, Dubya’s a convicted felon. If anyone actually gave a shit about character they would have never run him.

    Presidential elections are almost entirely based on manipulation. Even you and I are manipulated to some degree. It’s just that there are masses of REALLY stupid people that can be flipped on and off like light switches. They’re the ones that make the most difference. And popular opinion only has to be manipulated to the point where it’s close enough to an even split that methods of massive election rigging in targeted states make up the difference.

    In 2000, as best as I have researched it, at least three states experienced manipulation to a degree sufficient to redirect their electoral votes; Florida, Missouri, and New Hampshire.

    In 2004, there were more. Florida again, Ohio, Missouri again, Iowa, New Mexico and Nevada.

    If things are close this year, the favorites to fix are Florida again, Missouri again, Minnesota and Nevada again.

  15. Robert
    Posted September 18, 2008 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    You McCain supporters might wanna brace yourselves. You have some bad news coming in the next few days.

  16. Robert
    Posted September 26, 2008 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    See, I told you McCain supporters you might wanna brace yourselves. I know you all like to think politics is like the weather (the Democrats are even worse in that respect) but it appears that the con-jobs pulling the strings on the McCain/Palin campaign have some very formidable enemies out there. I think they’re really intent on kicking your asshole heroes the fuck out of there. Looks like oil companies and other war profiteers are the only friends you have left anymore.

    Oh, and sorry about posting the election fraud jibber-jabber twice above. I guess it might have been a subconscious attempt on my part to drum some of the real world facts into those thick skulls out there though.

  17. Robert
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    There are some signs that I may be eating my earlier words on Obama’s chances in the South. Obama is coming on strong in Virginia, and gaining momentum. McCain looks to be in trouble in neighboring North Carolina and West Virginia too. It will be nice to see that trend hold. The battle in Florida is crazier than ever, and though polls are showing Obama with a growing lead. I have no doubt that the polls are right. However, the real battle will be new voter turnout versus GOP voter suppression. I’ll be amazed if the Obama campaign there can overwhelm with shear numbers the Republicans and their dirty tricks. It will be a great day for democracy in America if that can actually be pulled off.

  18. Robert
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    The 150 million dollars the Obama campaign raised in September is the last nail in the McCain/Palin coffin. Bye bye, assholes.

    I now predict Obama will win Florida, as well as Virginia and possibly North Carolina. West Virginia and Kentucky are actually now coming into range too, but I won’t predict wins there…yet.

    On election night, we’ll all know if Obama has won by watching these states:

    Indiana – split time zone / polls close at 6pm and 7pm EST.
    If it is not called immediately for McCain, Obama has won the whole enchilada and is our next president. Enough of the state’s results come in at 6pm to know, but the press may not do any more than hint at what the exit polls show them. They’ve agreed not to reveal results until polls in the Central Time Zone have closed. Watch the faces of certain partisan reporters and you should know if Obama’s won it. If the assholes on Fox start talking about what bad shape the country is in, Obama has won.

    Kentucky – split time zone / polls close at 6pm and 7pm EST.
    Also if not called immediately for McCain, Obama has won the presidency. Similar story to Indiana.

    Virginia – all polls close at 7pm EST.
    This will be close regardless. If it is called for Obama, he has won the presidency. However, this state may be too close to call for a while and one of the other early indicator states may beat it to the punch in revealing the almost certain winner.

    Georgia – all polls close at 7pm EST.
    If this state isn’t immediately called for McCain, he’s lost the whole election. Even a close race here means Obama’s won overall.

    Florida – split time zone / polls close at 7pm and 8pm EST.
    This could be a mess again and even if it’s not called for McCain right away it doesn’t mean he’s lost. However, it might be called immediately for Obama, and in that case Obama has won the presidency.

    Vermont – all polls close at 7pm EST.
    It will be called right at 7pm. If Obama hasn’t won it by a landslide, he is likely in trouble. His margin of victory here should be well over 20 points.

    South Carolina – all polls close at 7pm EST.
    McCain should win this easily. If it’s not called for McCain right at 7pm, Obama has won by a huge landslide nationwide.

    Ohio – all polls close at 7:30pm EST.
    This is expected to be close and not to be called early. Therefore, if Ohio is called before 8pm EST for either candidate, that candidate has won the presidency.

    West Virginia – all poles close at 7:30pm EST.
    This is expected to go for McCain but is getting closer. If it is not called for McCain immediately, Obama has won the national election, regardless of who wins this state.

    If you want to know earlier – say by 2pm on election day – I’ll be visiting Mark’s blog to share what the noon exit poll totals are suggesting.

  19. Robert
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Turnout in early voting in and around Atlanta has been incredibly heavy and exit polls are suggesting a very strong showing for Obama. If this trend keeps up through election day, we are likely looking at a nationwide landslide.

  20. pat
    Posted October 26, 2008 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Robert much has changed since some of your predictions early on this year. The people who are coming out in masses as they were in 2004 are most certainly the same… + millions more in 2008. We were robbed in 2004.

    However the Republican Party could pull off the heist back then because the country was some what split. Yet, still in our favor even it were by 1 or 2 percentage points. That can add up to quite a bit of votes.

    But, it was close enough to pull off the heist. This time not so easy. Not to say they can’t still pull a fast one. The GOP has thrown enough wedge issues such as….taxes, inexperience, color, terrorism, you name it out there should they steal the election once again that would convince the people that those were the reason’s why.

    This party is so freaking scared of losing the presidency because they fear the investigation’s that will go on in Congress are extrodinary. Someone has to pay for what has happened to this country.

    That’s why I feel sick to my stomach that there isn’t anything that they will not do to recapture the White House.

    Hopefully the difference here is Obama, unlike Kerry who chose not to fight back, will fight back.
    He will and should contest every vote no matter how long it takes. And, we the people should stand by him.

  21. Robert
    Posted October 26, 2008 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Pat, I’m not sure if you’re disagreeing with me on something, but just to make myself clear, I still think this thing is too close for comfort. I think this because I have some doubt that the trends being seen in the early voting will be maintained right up through the next nine days. I’m hoping I’m wrong about that too though. I’m guessing that Democrats are just voting heavily in early voting because they are worried about getting ripped off again, as you mentioned. However, in due respect for the Obama campaign and what they have been able to accomplish up to this point, these early numbers may very well be reasonably representative depictions of what we will see play out right through election day.

    Sure, a few of my predictions about the Obama campaign have been off considerably. For one thing, I know I dramatically underestimated the fundraising capacity of the Obama campaign. They will have raised three quarters of a billion dollars by the end of this. That’s astonishing. With that kind of money it would be hard for any reasonably competent campaign NOT to win, and this Obama team is proving themselves to be more than reasonably competent.

    Still, the Obama campaign is not rolling through the South the way a Southern candidate would have (which is one reason why I wanted a Southern candidate). Even with Obama’s very strong lead nationally, he is still at this point only looking likely to pick up two or three Southern states, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida (and early exit polls out of Florida suggest a dead heat, meaning the GOP can easily rig the difference). Remember, if Obama wins this election, he will be the first non-Southern Democrat to do that since Kennedy 48 years ago. All other things being equal, I think a Southerner would be ahead in Kentucky, West Virginia and Arkansas as well right now (not that Obama still can’t pull off wins in a couple of those states yet).

    Early on I was equating the Obama campaign to that of Howard Dean, which also conducted impressive Internet fundraising early on, and had similar strategies and campaign structure. But since Iowa, I’ve admitted there was something more going on with the Obama campaign. They have been moving and growing like a wildfire.

    As far as any potential upcoming investigations go, I’m convinced that there will be little of that carried out by an Obama administration if they get in. It looks to me that that deal has been made. Much of the most aggressive and capable elements behind the GOP coup appear to be sitting back. At this point, only the oil and war-profiteering industries seem to be sticking their neck out in attempts to keep the GOP in power. Forgive and forget is sort of the mantra of the Obama campaign anyway, isn’t it? Because we all have to come together to work on the problems that face the country, I guess will be the claim. No time for anything that might be seen as squabbling, which is what legitimate investigations could easily be painted as.

    If the Obama campaign’s lead in this race for electoral votes falls back to relying on a set of less than six states, we may be within’ the range which of vulnerability to another fix by the GOP. I would be very nervous relying on Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. I absolutely don’t want to count on Florida, Nevada, Colorado or New Mexico to be the states that make the difference. The very guarded confidence I DO have at this point is all on account of states that are outside the early swing-state set. States like Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, and others are the ones that can take this race out of range of being fixed.

  22. Mark H.
    Posted October 26, 2008 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    The Real Clear Politics web site’s electoral map, in its “no toss up” version, projects Obmaa getting 375 electoral votes. That would put him in the same league as Clinton’s two elections — very respectable.

    Of course no projection 10 days out is something you can bank on for sure, but there’s still massive significance in the states that are in play that Obama is projected to win: Ohio, NCarolina, Missouri, Indiana, Florida, and Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada — all states Bush won in 04. For McCain to win, he has to carry nearly all of these states — a far harder burden that Obama, who would win with just a couple of them. Even if McCain won all the current toss up states, he’d lose by about 40 electoral votes. The poor guy — he must feel miserable!

    Of course, nothing is certain and either massive and effective election rigging or some new turn of events could flip the election. But the odds are increasingly in Obama’s favor. He has run a masterful campaign.

    The new Rolling Stone magazine has a nice profile of Obama, for those readers of MM.com who, like me, mainly read stuff on paper rather than on screen.

  23. Robert
    Posted October 26, 2008 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Mark H, even North Dakota and Montana are now being placed on some politico’s lists of toss up states.

  24. Robert
    Posted October 27, 2008 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Also, a third of the votes will have already been cast by the time Election Day arrives. Early voting has changed the landscape considerably.

    Exit polls of early voting in Nevada place Obama ahead by 40,000 votes as of this morning. 53% of those voting identified themselves as Democrats. 32% identified themselves as Republican.

    In Virginia, more than 400,000 new voters registered by the deadline. As of this morning 900,000 people there have participated in early voting. 56% identified themselves as Democrats, while 27% identified themselves as Republican.

    Nationwide, Obama is currently receiving 44% of the so-called ‘white’ vote. This is the highest percentage any Democratic presidential candidate has pulled since Carter in 1976. That suggests the “Bradley Effect” does not seem to be playing out.

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