If Obama loses Nomination, will Blacks Stay Home?

Rick Moran
Certainly one of the primary considerations for Superdelegates as they ponder the choice between Hillary and Obama has to be the mood and attitude of Black voters and how their decision might affect that vital voting bloc in November.

It is conventional wisdom that if Clinton outmanuevers Obama and ends up with the nomination while winning fewer pledged delegates, that African Americans will be so disgusted with the party that they will stay home in droves on election day.

How true is the CW? David Lightman and William Douglas of McClatchy explain:


If Obama isn't the nominee, "there would be a significant number of African-Americans who would stay home. They're not voting for (presumptive Republican nominee) John McCain," predicted David Bositis, a senior analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which researches black voting trends.

Todd Shaw, a University of South Carolina political science professor, agreed, citing a groundswell of African-American disenchantment with both Bill and Hillary Clinton. They're particularly annoyed by Bill Clinton's performance during the South Carolina primary and by Clinton supporter James Carville's description of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Latino, as "Judas" for endorsing Obama over Hillary Clinton.

"The comment plays very badly with African-Americans and Latinos," Shaw said. "They remind them of 'Look what we've done for you; you should stay in line.' That doesn't sit well with voters of color. They view it as Northern machine politics or Old South boss politics."

Hunter Bacot, an associate professor of political science at Elon University in North Carolina, saw another piece of political history haunting black Obama backers.

"There's a sentiment among blacks that they've been taken for granted by the Democratic Party," Bacot said. "If Obama loses, it's as though their candidate's victory was overturned."

The party has pandered to African Americans for so many years - alternately bribing them with federal goodies and scaring them into voting against evil Republican racists - that it shouldn't surprise the Democrats that the first time a viable, serious African American candidate emerges that they then dumped through the "back room" machinations of superdelegates wouldn't cost them dearly.

It's why Hillary is in an uphill fight. She will likely not overtake Obama in pledged delegates before the end of the primaries in June. And regardless of whether she wins the popular vote or not, African Americans see Obama's lead in pledged delegates as more important. Plus, Obama has been picking off undeclared Superdelagates two ro three at a time the last few weeks and has almost caught Clinton in that category. In effect, she will almost certainly need supers to switch sides in order to carry off the upset because she would have to win more than 2/3 of the remaining undecideds.

All of this is good news for McCain who is in a win-win situation. If the Dems, as expected, nominate Obama, McCain will have the luxury of running against a damaged candidate. If the Dems nominate Hillary, McCain faces a divided, disgruntled party in November.

And it can only get better for him the longer it goes on.

Certainly one of the primary considerations for Superdelegates as they ponder the choice between Hillary and Obama has to be the mood and attitude of Black voters and how their decision might affect that vital voting bloc in November.

It is conventional wisdom that if Clinton outmanuevers Obama and ends up with the nomination while winning fewer pledged delegates, that African Americans will be so disgusted with the party that they will stay home in droves on election day.

How true is the CW? David Lightman and William Douglas of McClatchy explain:


If Obama isn't the nominee, "there would be a significant number of African-Americans who would stay home. They're not voting for (presumptive Republican nominee) John McCain," predicted David Bositis, a senior analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which researches black voting trends.

Todd Shaw, a University of South Carolina political science professor, agreed, citing a groundswell of African-American disenchantment with both Bill and Hillary Clinton. They're particularly annoyed by Bill Clinton's performance during the South Carolina primary and by Clinton supporter James Carville's description of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Latino, as "Judas" for endorsing Obama over Hillary Clinton.

"The comment plays very badly with African-Americans and Latinos," Shaw said. "They remind them of 'Look what we've done for you; you should stay in line.' That doesn't sit well with voters of color. They view it as Northern machine politics or Old South boss politics."

Hunter Bacot, an associate professor of political science at Elon University in North Carolina, saw another piece of political history haunting black Obama backers.

"There's a sentiment among blacks that they've been taken for granted by the Democratic Party," Bacot said. "If Obama loses, it's as though their candidate's victory was overturned."

The party has pandered to African Americans for so many years - alternately bribing them with federal goodies and scaring them into voting against evil Republican racists - that it shouldn't surprise the Democrats that the first time a viable, serious African American candidate emerges that they then dumped through the "back room" machinations of superdelegates wouldn't cost them dearly.

It's why Hillary is in an uphill fight. She will likely not overtake Obama in pledged delegates before the end of the primaries in June. And regardless of whether she wins the popular vote or not, African Americans see Obama's lead in pledged delegates as more important. Plus, Obama has been picking off undeclared Superdelagates two ro three at a time the last few weeks and has almost caught Clinton in that category. In effect, she will almost certainly need supers to switch sides in order to carry off the upset because she would have to win more than 2/3 of the remaining undecideds.

All of this is good news for McCain who is in a win-win situation. If the Dems, as expected, nominate Obama, McCain will have the luxury of running against a damaged candidate. If the Dems nominate Hillary, McCain faces a divided, disgruntled party in November.

And it can only get better for him the longer it goes on.