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May 20, 2008

Demography is Destiny

That celebration lasted a little bit longer than I expected, but I'm back. So what's up with this?

*** It’s the demographics, stupid: Besides the public polls, how do we know that Clinton is poised for victory in Kentucky, while Obama is sitting pretty in Oregon? According to Democratic politico Mike Berman, Obama has dominated the states with the largest or smallest black populations, while Clinton fares MUCH better in the states in between. Berman writes in his Washington Political Watch that Obama “has won 12 of the 15 contests in which the African-American population is less than 4%, and 10 of the 11 contests in which the African-American population is greater than 16%. In those 18 states where the population ranges from 4%-16%, Obama won 8, while Clinton won 11.” The African-American population for Kentucky? 7.3% For Oregon? 1.6%. As one Republican politico told us, these aren't primaries anymore; they’re census surveys.

I get that large numbers of blacks are supporting Obama and that--so far as this contest goes--race has become a good predictor of voting behavior. For that reason, it's no big surprise that states with large black populations are choosing Obama.

I'm wondering what it is about the states with small black populations that make them favor Obama. Is it wealth? Education?


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:56 AM

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