White Voters Carry Hillary Clinton to a Kentucky Win

May 20 2008 Published by under Featured News

In a bit of ho-hum breaking news, Hillary Clinton has won the Kentucky Democratic primary. Clinton was powered to victory by the same two demographics that have carried her to victory in similar states. White voters and voters who did not graduate from college went strongly for Hillary Clinton. Seven out of every ten white voters supported Clinton, and 75% of voters who did not complete college also voted for Clinton.

In a statistic that is sure to be an omen for the fall, 40% of working class white Democrats said that they would vote for Obama in the fall. Another 40% said that they would support McCain, and 20% said that they would not vote. Twenty percent of whites in the state said that race played a role in their decision about who to support. Ninety percent of these voters supported Clinton.

Only 30% of self identified Clinton voters said that they would support Obama, and 40% said they would support McCain. The remaining 30% said that they would stay home and not vote. Some people will use these numbers to suggest that Clinton belongs on the ticket, but to me these numbers suggest that Obama gets blown out in states he ignores.

This has been a consistent pattern throughout this campaign. When Obama actually spends time in a state, win or lose, he does fairly well, but his problem comes when he blows off pockets of white blue collar voters. I argue that if he would make a serious effort in these states, he would do much better. The problem for him is that he may have squandered his opportunity to campaign in these states.

A general election campaign isn’t very long. He will have to concentrate most of his efforts in swing states. There won’t be much time left in the fall for get to know me tours in these states that Clinton is winning. I don’t believe that this will cost Obama in the fall, but it does open up the door for McCain to court a group of voters who should find Obama’s message appealing.

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