Chuck Todd from MSNBC made the most telling remark last evening about the 2008 primary season. Todd, really a numbers guru, made the comment that all the histrionics aside, all you really need to do to assess which states have been going to Clinton and Which to Obama is to look at a census report and apply freshman level statistics.
Basically the claim, as David Sirota has written, is that Obama wins states with under 6% African-Americans and states with over about 18% African-Americans. Clinton wins states that have an African American population of between 6-18%.
My question for this post is: Is it likely that this model will apply this NOvember?
This thesis explains Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, and pretty much all the states Obama lost. I say Obama lost, rather than states that Clinton won because Obama is going to be the nominee.
Question: Are there sufficinet states fitting the Sirota thesis to give Obama an electoral college lock?
If they do, then Obama is likely to win the election in November. If they don’t, then something pretty substantial will need to change for Obama to win in NOvember.
I recognize that there is little to no correlation between states that a candidate wins in a primary and the subsequent voting in the general election. But, there might well be some legitimate connection between voters that won’t vote for Obama because he is black in the primary and those same voters voting in the general election.
The thesis behind Todd’s comments, and Sirota’s model is that states that have between 6-18% african american populations, have had the collective experience of racial tension since the 1960s. As racial tensions harden over the decades since the 60s and 70s,and are hardnede still by economically troubled times like we are in now, they can approximate voting patterns regarding the racial makeup of the candidate. very sad, but apparently true.
Todd and Sirota suggest that neither Obama nor Clinton needs to have raised and spent hundreds of millions of dollars this primary seasons. In a sense, the conclusion was foretold by this one demographic statistic.
some serious analsyis is needs posulating how this thesis applies to the general election this fall.