By Al Giordano
I turn on the TV, read the political columnists (and a significant number of analytically-challenged bloggers, too) and all I hear is a bunch of white folk prattling on about their favorite narrative: “Obama’s losing white voters!”
They’ve swallowed the Clinton racially-obsessed spin, hook, line and sinker. Some, because they are gullible, haven’t an original idea in their little pea brains, and follow the pack of what everybody else is talking about. Others, because they like to toss around knowing falsehoods. Nary a superdelegate can go on Fox News without being berated by an anchorperson screeching (this is pretty close to an exact quote): “But your duty as a superdelegate is to select the most electable and that’s Hillary Clinton!” That these anchorpersons are Republican partisans openly cheering for Senator Clinton is our first clue of the game afoot. One of the major successes of Rush Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos is that it has got all the right-wing pundits and reporters marching lockstep behind the effort to give Clinton enough oxygen to keep slashing away at Senator Obama, who remains the prohibitive likely Democratic nominee.
And when Clinton wins state primaries that, because of demographics, she was always going to win - last week, Pennsylvania and next week, Indiana - they then wave that event up like a blood-soaked flag as proof of their narrative: See? See? We told you so! White people won’t vote for Obama!
So imagine my pleasant surprise this morning to see a New York Times columnist, Charles Blow, who did what none of these chattering lunkheads have done. He looked at the hard data of how voters, white and black, view the two Democratic candidates - favorably or negatively? - and how those views have progressed over time. The data is based on multiple CBS-New York Times polls (among the most respected survey outfits among competing pollsters) over two years and more. Check it out:
Nobody - not blogger, nor superdelegate, nor cable news anchor - should open their mouths with another word about this contest until they’ve studied those graphs and the numbers upon which they are based. Blow explains:
Since January, the Clintons have pummeled Barack Obama with racially tinged comments and questions about his character…
The question is this: Have white Democrats soured on Obama? Apparently not. Although his unfavorable rating from the group is up five percentage points since last summer in polls conducted by The New York Times and CBS News, his favorable rating is up just as much.
Wait. The numbers show that the cynical effort to turn the 2008 campaign into a race riot has hurt the popularity of one candidate among an important demographic, and it’s not Barack Obama:
On the other hand, black Democrats’ opinion of Hillary Clinton has deteriorated substantially (her favorable rating among them is down 36 percentage points over the same period).
So, to sum up: Look at the damn graphs. You can see that Clinton is in a staggering free-fall among African-American voters, her favorability is down 36 points while 17 percent view her more negatively than before, while Obama’s favorable and negative ratings among whites have paired at five point increases. You can even see the small dip - about two percentage points - in his popularity among whites that can be attributed to the news cycles about his ex-pastor, and see that it has leveled out and is now on a straight horizontal line (meanwhile, Clinton’s numbers among blacks continue on an extreme downward precipice). The greater context is that even including Obama’s slight dip, he’s more popular today among white voters than he ever was prior to February.
Not since Ronald Reagan has an American presidential candidate withstood such an assault in the media and seen his popularity not hurt by it, but, rather, galvanized by it. That’s what is meant, in politics, by the term “Teflon.”
Those facts won’t stop many media (and Internet) talking heads from continuing - whether out of gullibility or intentional dishonesty - to prop up the “white voters” narrative, but it ought to inoculate you, kind reader, from believing it.
Don’t let yourself get upset when some idiot repeats the false media narrative. Don’t plead with them to tell the truth (they won’t; remember, they’re either stupid or dishonest). Mock them. Ridicule them. Expose them as the lightweights they are showing themselves to be, with all the confidence that understanding the hard data ought to provide you.
Let Operation Anti-Chaos begin!