Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why Can't Obama Close?

Hmmm. Good question.

We have two historic candidates without much to really draw distinctions between them on most issues. I'm actually not surprised either candidate has pulled enough delegates to clinch this yet. I would love to have a black president. I'd also love to have a president younger than me for the first time ever. I would love to have a woman president. I would love to have a woman president and a black vice-president together. Or a black president and a woman vice-president. Gee, I'd even love to have a black woman president -- but that's not in the cards this election cycle.

So I am not alone apparently. Lots of voters I'm sure are drawn to one candidate or the other for breaking an historic barrier this year. And we continue to have a close race. Voters in the final primary states will actually have an impact this year!

But getting back to the question: Why can't Obama close? Well, it's not time yet. And in an AP story, there are some suggestions why he hasn't closed. And yes, I know this is 2008, but racism just might be one issue.
About one in five Pennsylvania voters said the race of the candidates was among the top factors in deciding how to vote, according to exit polls, and white voters who cited race supported Clinton over Obama by a 3-to-1 margin.

Results from all the primaries suggest that whites who said race was important in picking their candidate have been about twice as likely to back Clinton as Obama.

An AP-Yahoo News poll found that about 8 percent of whites would be uncomfortable voting for a black president. The actual percentage is probably higher because voters are shy about admitting a racial prejudice to pollsters.

Sheesh. So if 8% admitted it, what are we dealing with in reality? 12%, 15%, higher? And we're talking about DEMOCRATS who will switch over and vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee. So what does that say about Republicans?
If Obama wins the nomination, he risks losing those voters to Republican John McCain. While 68 percent of Obama voters in Pennsylvania said they would vote for Clinton should she run against McCain, just 53 percent of Clinton voters said they would vote for Obama.

This does not bode well for our country, for civil rights, or for human rights, when so many voters allow their racism to guide them in the voting booth. It means all the other issues take 2nd place to skin color. And it means we as a society still have a long way to go.

Hey, I have an idea. If race is that important to you, why not stay the fuck at home in November. Don't vote. Just don't spoil the outcome for the majority of us who actually would like a few years ahead of in which positive things happen for a change.

Just an idea.

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