Sunday, February 3, 2008

Black and Brown Voters

The first presidential primaries were in "white Bread country" -- Iowa and New Hampshire. It was followed by caucuses in Nevada where the "brown" or Hispanic vote was significant in giving Hillary Clinton a popular victory, though a draw in the delegate count. The black majority of Democrats in South Carolina went overwhelming for Barack Obama, while whites split between Hillary and John Edwards. It is assumed both groups of voters are expected to vote Democrat.

Now that "super-Tuesday" is upon us, the media has begun to speculate how the black and brown votes will fall. In many of the states -- and those that are richest in delegates -- there are significant numbers of the those voters. Both groups have been enamored in the past to the Clintons, but blacks have drifted off understandably into the Obama camp. The question arises whether Obama can attract significant numbers of those "brown" votes. He seems to be succeeding with younger Latinos as he is with most younger voters. But for most part he doesn't seem to be with older voters.

The question that really is of concern, though it has not been asked too loudly in public, is would brown voters support a black candidate in the general election. Some friction over the last few years in Los Angeles and the charge that black and brown challenge each other for jobs is the basis for the speculation. Articles in the Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post seem to indicate it's more a case of brown voters not knowing Obama -- except for Illinois -- but they Know Hillary and Bill well..

No comments: