Forget Hillary's television commercials and her electoral support among women voters. Heidi Przybyla from Bloomberg provides (I think) the most common-sense explanation for the problems facing Barack Obama in an analysis of his relationship with the'Archie Bunker' Democratic Voters.
Barack Obama has an Archie Bunker problem.
The white, blue-collar voters personified by the 1970s fictional television character cost Obama yesterday. His Democratic presidential rival, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, beat him 54 percent to 44 percent in industrial Ohio, and 58 percent to 40 percent in heavily Catholic Rhode Island.
In Ohio's 10th district of Cuyahoga County, a suburban enclave on Cleveland's west side that includes a large population of Polish-Americans, Clinton trounced Obama 61 percent to 37 percent, according to exit polls. In the state's Belmont County, an economically depressed Appalachian border area that is predominantly white, she had a 50-point lead over Obama, the first black candidate to have a shot at the White House.
``Race played a significant factor in Ohio,'' said Cuyahoga County Commissioner Timothy Hagan, who supported Obama. ``These people are not necessarily bigots, but the image they see every day of black America is drugs, crime, guns and violence.''
Chicago's 41st Ward is a classic white working-class neighborhood of bungalows, modest two-flats and Dutch colonials that shuts down on Pulaski Day, the March holiday celebrating Casimir Pulaski, a Pole who fought in the Revolutionary War.
An informal survey of employees at a local bank, gym, library, and neighborhood restaurant turned up no Obama supporters. Some residents said they were concerned that he might not take into account the concerns of whites.
``If Obama gets in, it's going to be a black thing and it's going to be all blacks for blacks,'' said Victoria Mikulski, a 63-year-old clerk in Edison Park. ``Everything's got to be equal.''
Sounds to me that there are many whites -- and Hispanics -- who are never going to vote for a black man for president. Period. Without going into all the statistical evidence, it's clear to me that Obama is doing well among black voters and among two categories of white voters, described as the Starbuck Set -- upper-middle class/educated professionals and young-hip types. And that's about it. This is basically his electoral base and he hasn't been able to expand beyond it. White men or women or Hispanics who do vote for Obama are either educated (B.A.+) and/or are doing well economically. And the younger they are, the more they tend to gravitate to Obama. (And vice-versa when it comes to Hillary). That is a reality that will make it very difficult for Obama to win the Democratic nomination (although that could happen as a result of the complex primary system that the Democrats have)and will probably make it impossible for him to win large states like Ohio in the general election.