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Monday, May 12, 2008

Hillary Clinton Holds Massive Leads In West Virginia and Kentucky

Hillary Clinton does not have the delegate lead, Barack Obama does. Clinton's goal at this point is to convince superdelegates that Obama cannot win in November's general election against John McCain. WV and Kentucky will give her argument validity.
Recently Hillary Clinton was accused of playing the "race card" and perhaps she did, but she was quoting Associated press polling report that said that, "Barack Obama's problem winning votes from working-class whites is showing no sign of going away, and their impression of him is getting worse."

Those were not Hillary's words, those were Associate Press' words that she repeated.

Right or wrong, those were the figures and when Clinton's only hope of winning the nomination is to convince superdelegates that Obama cannot win the general election without the "white" vote, then is she supposed to ignore that data, reported by a media organization the size of Associated Press, simply because mentioning it is politically incorrect?

Today we see further evidence of her assertion, from polls done in West Virginia showing Clinton has a 36 percentage point lead in west Virginia, among likely Democratic voters.

West Virginia Democratic voters' party loyalty also is fragile. Asked what they would do if their first choice for the Democratic nomination lost, 40 percent of respondents said they would still vote for the Democratic nominee; 23 percent said they would jump parties and vote for Republican John McCain; 6 percent would vote for independent candidate Ralph Nader; 30 percent were undecided; while 2 percent refused a response.

It also bears mentioning that no Democrat has been elected to the White House without carrying West Virginia since 1916.

She leads the Illinois senator 58 percent to 31 percent, with 11 percent uncommitted, according to a Herald-Leader/WKYT Kentucky Poll of 500 probable Democratic voters.

But either Democratic candidate would trail the expected Republican nominee, John McCain, in the state by double digits if the November general election were held today, reveals a companion survey of 600 likely voters from all parties.

Other polling done in Kentucky show the, to a lesser extent, another massive lead by Clinton over Obama by 27 percentage points.

Also, the numbers put into doubt whether Kentucky will be a battleground state in the fall. McCain leads Obama by 25 percentage points and Clinton by 12. This could bode well for McCain, since the state has backed the winning presidential candidate in every race since 1964.

At the risk of being politically incorrect by stating certain facts that support Clinton's argument, we see that in North Carolina, where Obama won a landslide victory, Clinton won whites 61-37.

In Pennsylvania, Clinton won whites 63-37.

In Ohio, Clinton won whites 64-34.

In Massachusetts Clinton won whites 58-40.

In Maryland, Clinton won whites 52-42.

In Missouri, Clinton won whites 57-39.

And the same type of results were found in TN, AR, NJ, GA, MS, AL, FL and so on.


Outside of the West (Obama won whites in CA, WA, ID, UT, CO, KS, etc) Obama has not fared well with white voters.

Admittedly, the reasons vary and some of the individual voters might very well be voting the way they are because of racial issues, others perhaps because of experience, or simply because they prefer Clinton or other reasons such as associations.

Those questions would have to be asked of each individual voter but whatever their answer, the result is still the same and their answers do not change the fact that certain people will not vote for Obama.

The reasoning given by West Virginia voters who have been interviewed, is considered ridiculous by some, but even so, it is who they will or will not vote for in the general election that counts.

Most people questioned said they mistrusted Mr Obama because of doubts about his patriotism and “values”, stemming from his cosmopolitan background, his exotic name and the controversy surrounding “anti-American” sermons by Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor. Several people said they believed he was a Muslim – an unfounded rumour that has circulated on the internet for months – despite the contradiction with his 20-year membership of Mr Wright’s church in Chicago. Others mentioned his refusal to wear a Stars and Stripes badge and controversial remarks by his wife, Mich­elle, who des­cribed America as “mean” and implied that she had never been proud of the US until her husband ran for president.

Clinton has vowed to stay in the race until at least June, despite the fact that she trails badly in delegate counts and no longer holds much of a superdelegate lead and her reasoning is based on electability and her assertion that for whatever the reason, white Americans will not vote for Barack Obama.

That argument could very well be considered "playing the race card", but to expect a politician fighting for the nomination of presidency, when she is trailing as badly as Clinton is, to not mention the polling done that supports her argument, simply because it is politically incorrect, would be even worse political suicide.

How does a politician point out that race is a factor for some voters without sounding racist?

How does a politician highlight polling data that confirms her assertions, when the polling data shows that racial issues and racist attitudes are playing a large part in how people are voting and plan to vote in November, without the risk of sounding racist?

According to Del Ali, president of the firm Research 2000, which conducted the Kentucky surveys, “White, rural voters are not going to vote for an African-American in Kentucky over a white, male conservative."

That could be considered a very racist statement showing very racists attitudes on the part of the people of Kentucky, which mimics some of the reasoning showed from voters in West Virginia, and as ugly as it is, it is political reality and whether Clinton opponents like it or not, Hillary Clinton seems to be about the only politician willing to acknowledge that ugly reality.