Opinion: Barack Obama isn’t Tiger Woods (at least not yet)


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Mort Kondracke, writing for the Capitol Hill-centric publication Roll Call, today goes where most other commentators have shied away from -- the role of race in Barack Obama’s Tuesday losses, especially in Ohio.

Kondracke makes a persuasive case that Obama’s effort to, as he aptly puts it, run as a ‘ ‘post-racial’ --candidate -- the political equivalent of Tiger Woods,’ has had only limited success.

Actually, Kondracke fleshes out his argument by relying on Jay Cost -- whom he characterizes as a ‘brilliant elections analyst’ (we concur).

Cost, Kondracke notes, ‘has developed a convincing theory about the Democratic racial factor: Obama wins in states with majority-black Democratic turnout, like South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana, and in states with few blacks, like Wisconsin, Washington and Vermont.


‘He also has won in states with mixed populations where white family income is high, such as Maryland and Virginia.

‘But [Hillary] Clinton, Cost contends, wins in states where blacks constitute a major minority, but where average white income is lower, such as New Jersey, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Ohio.

‘So, in largely white Wisconsin, Obama carried white males by a margin of 63% to 34%. But in Ohio, Clinton won, 58% to 39%.’

This does not bode well for Obama in Pennsylvania, which is much more like Ohio than Wisconsin.

You can read the rest of Kondracke’s piece here.

-- Don Frederick