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Democrats, race and Maryland
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Susan Estrich made a bit of a splash when she addressed the topic of race and Democrats, ala the primaries. She noted that while polling, such as that in New Hampshire, predicted an Obama win, it didn't happen. And then there was California:
But, the fact is that there is a long pattern of what we in California call the "Bradley problem" in polling, after the former Los Angeles mayor who was elected governor in every poll, including the exits, except that he lost at the ballot box. Did I mention that he was African-American?

That was, according to the pollsters, the problem: about 10 percent of the electorate claimed that they were going to vote for him, and in many cases even told pollsters that they did, but they lied.

Shocking. Racism in America. Who'd a thunk it?

Doug Wilder, who wasn't elected to the Senate from Virginia, faced the same problem. We who are Democrats would like to believe that race is not a factor in the polling of our party members, but maybe we're wrong.

No one doubts, or at least no one who is honest does, that both racism and sexism come into play as people decide between Clinton and Obama, but could it be that people are more willing to admit that they won't vote for the woman than that they won't vote for the black?

If this is happening even among us good Democrats, what does that say about Obama's strength in a general election? Not pretty questions. Not a fair world.

But for Democrats who want to win, these are questions that must be addressed.
The point to understand here is not that Doug Wilder didn't win in VA or Bradley in LA because of Republicans. They didn't win because, for some reason, Democrats didn't support them. And, per Estrich, that problem has again surfaced in the Democratic primaries. She wonders whether "people are more willing to admit that they won't vote for the woman than that they won't vote for the black?"

Er, one slight edit - She wonders whether "Democrats are more willing to admit that they won't vote for the woman than that they won't vote for the black?"

Let's be straight about this. We're not wondering about people in general or Republicans. We're specifically talking about Democratic voters. And that has got to burn a little, doesn't it?

You've probably been wondering why Maryland is in the title. Well, solidly blue MD, in which Democratic primary voting is taking place today, has a bit of a hidden, and if not hidden, at least not very well known, past:
Maryland Democrats in 1966 nominated segregationist George P. Mahoney for governor (he lost to Republican Spiro Agnew, then an obscure county official). And segregationist George Wallace won significant electoral support in Maryland in his 1968 independent bid and his 1972 pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination.

Fast-forward to 2006. Ben Cardin, a white Democratic U.S. representative, defeated Kweisi Mfume, former NAACP president and congressman, in the Democratic Senate primary. He went on to defeat a black Republican, then-Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, in the general election.

Maryland has a large black population, which would seem to favor Obama. The black vote could be even larger than normal because of a contested congressional primary in Prince George’s County and a sliver of neighboring Montgomery County. In the 4th District, community activist Donna Edwards is challenging Rep. Albert Wynn from the left; both candidates are black, and the primary will be held the same day as the presidential voting.

However, for a variety of reasons, the dynamics of the Maryland presidential primary may boost Clinton’s support. White voters on the Eastern Shore and in the western part of the state are very conservative and may be reluctant to vote for a black candidate.
So watch MD's returns tonight with interest (RCP presently shows Obama leading with an RCP average of 22 points (55% to 33%)). Let's see if Estrich's concerns have validity. I think they may. And, if so, it will certainly be difficult for Democrats to play the race card convincingly in the general even if Obama manages to pull off the nomination.
 
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McQ:
Let’s be straight about this. We’re not wondering about people in general or Republicans. We’re specifically talking about Democratic voters. And that has got to burn a little, doesn’t it.
As far as racism goes?

The Democratic Party was the party of racism and segregation. It never threw that off; it just began to pretend that Republicans were the segregationists.

Ever hear of the "Russell Senate Office Building?" Named by a Democratic majority after one of its most beloved Senate leaders, the segregationist Richard Russell.

Robert Byrd, former segregationist, became the Democratic leader in the Senate for 12 years, from ’77 to ’89.

William J. Fullbright, ardent segregationist, and mentor to the young Bill Clinton.

Sam Irvin, "hero" of Senate Watergate hearings, and ardent segregationist.

Remember what happened when Trent Lott told a hundred-year-old man on his birthday he should have been president?

Well, I don’t believe there were any repercussions when the Democrats made a former Ku Klux Klansman their Senate leader for over a decade.

The great achievement in all this by the Democrats has been to cultivate a whole new era of identity and racialist politics, while accusing Republicans of being racists. The Democrats are the party of race, racial division, and "unity," of course.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
That was, according to the pollsters, the problem: about 10 percent of the electorate claimed that they were going to vote for him, and in many cases even told pollsters that they did, but they lied.

Shocking. Racism in America. Who’d a thunk it?
Except that lying to an idiot pollster isn’t racism. I lie to any pollster who calls me on general principles. And not voting for an African-American doesn’t constitute racism (though if Obama is the nominee, you’ll see that one change)

Dems getting bit in the butt by the very identity politics they exploit? Such a shock!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
What’s this ? Bigots in the Democratic Party ?

Shirley, you jest.

OK .. I’ll stop calling you Shirley.

But .. but .. Bigots in the Democratic Party .. and Hiliary loves each and everyone of them.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Are we seeing an end to the "Southern Strategy" ?

Watch for those "code words" from the Democrats.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Shocking. Racism in America. Who’d a thunk it?
But that cuts two ways. Does anyone seriously want to argue that Obama would be where he is now if he were not black?

You have to go back to Warren Harding and William Jennings Bryan to find candidates as poorly qualified as Obama.

Other than that he is simply a junior senator with no particular prior experience or accomplishments, and a straight liberal voting record. He performs a rousing good speech when he has a teleprompter, and fumbles when he doesn’t.

Let’s give that man the presidency!

 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
There may be other factors. People may prefer Hillary, but know that voting for Obama is the PC right thing to do, thus answer that in the poll for Obama, as its a sort of free way to show support for the idea of his candidacy.

Sort of like if we had a group of beautiful women and included a handicapped woman in the line up. In a poll of who you would want to sleep with, she might get more votes from people who think that in the abstract, we shouldn’t discriminate, but if men actually got to sleep with one of them, they would not choose her.

Or in a poll wanting to buy American, but ending up with a Toyota.

Am I making any sense? My point is that the poll is seen as theoretical by some people, so they choose an idealistic position that in real life they would be more pragmatic about, without being racist.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
There may be other factors.
Right now, sure. But in 2007 and before, no way. Obama is Obama because he is half-black, so he appeals to blacks obviously and to whites who are proving that they are not racist.

Obama knows this calculation inside and out. That’s why he chose a peculiar black identity church, instead of hundreds of other regular Christian churches, to set up himself as a black politician.

Obama was raised by his white mother and white grandparents as a tan middle-class kid called "Barry." That’s the upbringing that got him into Harvard. But that’s not how he is running for president.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Looks like the total vote was better for Obama than the polls predicted. I think another myth — that people support Obama to pollsters because they don’t want to be seen as racist — has been shot out of the water. I’ve always thought that was a rather silly claim anyway, primary polls are always in flux.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
It wasn’t a "myth," it was the "Bradley Effect" — a theory attempting to explain why in some elections black candidates perform better in polls than ballots. It may or may not be true and it may or may not apply in Obama’s case, but it’s more than a myth.

This is such an unusual, wild, fluid primary that I don’t think anyone’s crystal ball is working right. However, for the moment at least, it appears that Obama is going to blow past Hillary to the nomination and perhaps the presidency.

For Hillary or McCain to stop Obama, they will have to put him into more positions where he has to speak extemporaneously and specifically. I haven’t seen evidence that Obama knows much or can think on his feet beyond the usual anti-Republican diatribes or liberal pie-in-the-sky. Obama is magnificent when he reads a prepared speech off the teleprompter, but without that, not.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
"Hurrah, Hurrah, for Southern Rights, Hurrah!
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag, that bears a single star!"

That fine old Civil War Confederate song was about which state?

What is Maryland, Alex, for $1000?


That past goes a LONG way further back than 1966... about 105 years further back.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://

 
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