Monday, February 26, 2007

2008 Update: Obama Trailing in African-American Vote

(Originally published on the Rebirth of Freedom Foundation blog)

As a partaker to the irony of politics, public darling Barack Obama still hasn't garnered a majority of support from black voters. Political analyst and former Clinton advisor Dick Morris reports:

Obama needs to carry the African-American vote overwhelmingly, while Hillary just has to hold her own to blunt the edge of Obama's challenge. As one New York black political leader put it, "Obama needs 85 percent of the black vote. But Hillary only needs 35 percent."

Early primary state South Carolina, where blacks cast more than a third of the vote, looms large. If Obama can't produce big African-American majorities there, his overall ability to win the black vote will be in doubt - leaving him without any obvious base, and in free fall.

Of the democrat's big three (Clinton, Obama, Edwards), Clinton still holds a double-digit lead with likely voters according to the latest Fox News Opinion/Dynamics poll. The similar situation in the GOP with Giuliani creates an intriguing match-up for minority voters. The Clinton years are favorably remembered, and Giuliani is one of the rare pro-affirmative action republicans. In the historically strong-democratic constituency of likely minority voters, this could offset the otherwise possible shift towards even heavier democratic support for Clinton.

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