Huge black margin of support powered Hillary’s South Carolina primary win
This is stunning: Hillary Clinton won a greater share of black votes in the South Carolina primary yesterday than Barack Obama did in 2008, running against Clinton. Nobody else in the media wants to examine the reason why. Hillary demonstrated the power of racial bloc voting in the South Carolina primary yesterday, approaching a three to one margin over Bernie Sanders with 73.48% of the vote to his 25.97%. Clinton did better among blacks, with 86% support, than Obama did in the 2008 South Carolina primary against Clinton. ABC News offers this comparison chart:
Clinton won the white Democratic primary vote in South Carolina as well, but only by 8 points. Her white support was heavier among older and less liberal voters.
Sixty-five percent of white voters identified themselves as liberals, vs. 46 percent of black voters. Clinton won white moderates and “somewhat” liberals by double digits, while she and Sanders split “very” liberal whites. (Earlier exit poll data indicated better results for Sanders among whites; this subsided in later results.)
But Clinton demonstrated weakness among independents who chose to vote in the Democratic primary:
In addition to liberals, turnout among whites included a substantial number of political independents – more than a quarter of whites in this Democratic primary – and Sanders won them by nearly 2-1, 64 to 36 percent.
This defines Clinton as overwhelmingly the choice of black Democrat voters, with the left wing of the party much less inclined to vote for her, and with significant weakness among independents that see the Democrats as a viable alterative. It is also important to keep in mind that overall turnout for the Democratic primary was light – about half as many South Carolinians voted in the election as voted in the GOP primary. A likely source of Clinton’s heavy support was absentee ballots:
So far, 54,000 absentee ballots have been returned which is up from 35,000 returned in 2008.
An organized effort to generate absentee votes by political machines in the African American community would have heavily favored Hillary.
So what accounts for levels of support among blacks greater than that achieved by Obama? I have to believe that there was a level of aversion to Sanders that factored in. Against Obama, Hillary was not as unacceptable to black voters as Sanders was running against her.
The factor almost nobody in the media wants to look at is the level of anti-Semitism among African Americans. The notion that bigotry could fuel the campaign of any Democrat, much less a Clinton, is anathema to the media establishment. But I am interested in how they would explain Clinton beating Obama's margin without factoring in black antisemitism.
ADL surveys show that “approximately 12 percent of Americans hold deeply entrenched anti-Semitic views.” However, over 30% of African Americans and Latinos hold such views. Given that they are almost 30% of the population, this suggests that of the 12% of Americans who hold deeply entrenched anti-Semitic views, 9% or so [i.e., three quarters of the anti-Semite – T.L.] are African Americans or Latinos.
In addition, the Sanders campaign is at best clumsy in its approach the blacks. Consider this vignette on a Sanders campaign phone back buried deep within a long Yahoo Politics article (hat tip: BFH of iOTW Report) on the Democratic primary in South Carolina:
Like many South Carolinians, Scott has received calls at home from phone bankers. She said one of these entreaties from the Sanders campaign led her to go off on a 10-minute tirade and demand an apology.
“One of my experiences that I think I won’t forget for a long time is a call that I got from the Sanders campaign. This person that called asked me was I voting for Sen. Sanders. I said no. I was voting for Secretary Clinton. The phone went silent for a little bit,” Scott recounted. “You could hear this person struggling to come up with what they’re going to say next. … They call that a real pregnant pause, nine months’ worth of pregnant pause. And he finally came back and he says to me, ‘You know, Senator Sanders is for welfare.’”
This did not provoke a positive reaction from Scott.
“I lost it. So you’re going to assume either from my voice or from my selection that the most important thing that Sen. Sanders is going to be working on that would interest me is more welfare?” Scott said. “I went on to read him the riot act. Listen, I’m not only a college graduate; I’ve got a masters. My daughter is a college graduate. I have never had one ounce of welfare before. I ain’t never lived in public housing. None of those things.”
According to Scott, the Sanders supporter who called her “didn’t know what to say.”
“By the time he hung up, it was ten minutes later,” she said. “I got one of the managers to call me back and apologize.”
Going forward, this leaves Clinton well positioned to pick up massive support from states with large black voting bloc in Democrat primaries. Joel Kotkin writes:
In Texas, Alabama, Georgia and, to a lesser extent, Virginia, minority voters could well propel the former secretary of state closer to the nomination. But such heavily Caucasian states as Massachusetts (80 percent white), Wyoming, North Dakota, Minnesota (85 percent white) and Sanders’ home state of Vermont (95 percent white) seem most likely to end up “feeling the Bern.”
But if, as seems likely, Clinton wins the nomination, the general election may be a different story if Trump continues his surge and achieves the GOP nod:
One key factor may be African Americans, whose self-interests were submerged in service to President Obama. Trump could appeal to them with his tough stand on immigration. Nearly 70 percent of African Americans, according to a Zogby poll, think overall immigration levels are too high. If Clinton tacks too closely to the open-borders stance embraced by both the Democratic and Republican establishments, Trump may be able to slice off some of this most-solid segment of the blue electorate.