Monday, January 28, 2008
But that may not be an umnambiguous boon to Obama: his overwhelming lead among black voters while running third among whites does raise questions about a candidacy which promises to transcend race.
Perhaps Bill Clinton's much criticised attacks on Obama may have had the intended strategic effect, even if they cost Hillary votes in this primary. I felt Obama held his own in the most personalised candidates' debate yet - particularly by arguing that he was notsure which Clinton he was running against - but Obama's own campaign strategists may with hindsight they made more of Hillary Clinton's ill judged remarks about Martin Luther King than was wise.
Jay Cost offers his latest excellent analysis at RealClearPolitics. One interesting hypothesis is that Obama is polling more strongly among white voters in generally white areas, but less well among white voters in racially mixed areas.
However, there should be caution against jumping to conclusions. This has been a consistently fluid contest: the different state results haven't simply been about the different demographic groups. There havebeen several examples of similar demographic groups breaking differently in particular states. For example, the lack of a gender gap in Iowa and a strong gender difference between Clinton and Obama in New Hampshire; or Obama having a broader appeal to low income voters in Iowa and a more affluent liberal-left support in losing New Hampshire.
And while John Edwards now looks very much like the third candidate in a two-horse race, his relatively strong appeal having been born in South Carolina, and represented the state next door, offers another complicating factor in trying to extrapolate from the South Carolina result.
As the Washington clocks strike twelve on 20th January 2009, listen carefully and you might just hear a swooshing sigh of relief travel around the world. The Bush Presidency will not leave the legacy its architects intended. But a critique of what should have been done differently since 2001 is not enough. This blog is about the new ideas which can create a 'new multilateralism' to tackle the global challenges we face.