The Expectations Game

If the last dozen states have taught us anything it’s that Obama will get over 90% of the African American vote in North Carolina. Personally, that doesn’t bother me. If there were a similarly viable Hispanic candidate, I’d be pretty darn excited about her or his candidacy. (In fact, there was such a candidate, Bill Richardson, and I did get excited about his candidacy and even donated to his campaign. Of course, he was for the most part ignored. Given his abysmal and embarrassing debate performances, I can’t say he doesn’t share some responsibility for that.)

With that out of the way (doesn’t it suck to have to “prove” you’re not a “racist” even when you’ve worked on programs to increase diversity in higher education for years?), North Carolina is expected to have around 40% African-American turnout. Though I’m a Hillary supporter, I would be happy if the community came out in bigger numbers. It’s about time they have more political muscle, IMO. I’ll go out on a limb and predict a 44% turnout. That means Obama starts out with about 40% of the vote, a space that appears for the time being to be inaccessible to Hillary Clinton. That means Obama would need only 18% of the “white and other” vote to get over 50%. If he gets 30% of the “white and other” vote he’ll have about 57% (a little less if you want to piddle with decimal points like Obama supporters were quick to do in PA). If he splits the “other” vote, he gets 68%.

If Obama has broad cross-over appeal like he and his supporters claim I’d say that Obama’s bar should be 70%. Given his “media darling” status (to use Big Tent Democrat’s phrase), his seemingly unlimited financial resources and his supposed “front runner”/”inevitable” status it’s more than reasonable to expect him to meet this bar easily.

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One Response to The Expectations Game

  1. J. Diamond says:

    there is something very uncomfortable about the african american support for obama in this race. the “pressure” to vote for obama if you are black is well-documented. look at what happened to the african american superdelegates who supported hillary. it’s gone so far as threats… apparently, jesse jackson, jr. asked some what they would do if their vote was the one that denied obama the nomination and doomed the candidacy of the first black president. if all this support was happening out of pure excitement for obama without having whipped up the racist fervor against the clintons and without the pressure to vote for the black candidate, then i’d be much happier. in fact, i posted a couple days ago about what i’m calling a “reverse bradley effect”

    http://thedemocraticdaily.com/2008/04/22/hillary-clinton-wins-pa-and-accomplishes-three-important-goals/#comments

    things have gotten so bad that african americans who support hillary do not always feel free to express that opinion. tell me that there’s not something wrong with that…

    on a different note, i’m sorry about richardson… i am glad that you found something to admire in him, but he was his own worst enemy. his humor was charming at times, but there was a desperate element to him and his candidacy. his debate appearances had a “look at me! look at me!” quality to them. he spent too long discussing his own qualifications and accomplishments and not enough time discussing what he would do and how he would make a difference in people’s lives and improving gov’t. i think you’ll get a much better hispanic candidate sometime in the next couple of cycles. richardson should run for senator and stop running for president (or more likely, vice president, which is probably why he endorsed obama when he did. of course, obama will not pick richardson for v.p. richardson was most likely “played” by the obama campaign…)