Personally, I don't care about Barack Obama's race at all. Professionally, as a blogger interested in U.S. politics, the U.S. voter demographic percentage breakdowns do matter because that's my job, to analyze and write about politics and election potential in the U.S.elections.
Obama operatives -- those Obama enthusiasts I refer to as 'Obamatrons' in deference to their animatronic, push-button responses to hot button issues -- are all over the internet these days chanting "Race Doesn't Matter!," and I agree that his race doesn't matter to me personally nor to a majority of Americans as well. Let's pause and celebrate that fact for a moment...
Or should I start calling him Barry Obama instead of Barack? I've seen signs that a viral campaign was launched over the last few days to rebrand Barack as "Barry Obama." Obama called himself "Barry" back in high school. I would guess, based on my memory of the late '70's, that he did so because Barry sounded less ethnic than "Barack."
But race doesn't matter...Until it Matters. And that's why looking at the racial breakdown of the South Carolina tally is valid and relevant... to see if "it matters".
Barack received 80% of the black vote, and blacks comprised about 53% of the electorate in South Carolina. So the African-Americans who voted for Obama total 42.4% of the total population (80% of 53% = 42.4%)
Barack received a grand total final tally of 55% so, in addition to the black South Carolinian Obama voters who made up 42.4% of the electorate on Saturday, an additional 24% of white voters in the state voted for Barack as well.
White voters comprised 45% of the voting electorate, and Barack received 24% of the white vote, which equals 10.8% of the total population. The exit polls showed no support from the small South Carolina Hispanic and other non-white, non-black demographic groups, which would lower the 24% further, but let's go forward and analyze what we've learned leaving Obama's non-black percentage at a generous 24%.
If you apply this performance to other states in order to analyze
Barack's Barry's chances in the remaining primary states, it's bad news for Obamatrons everywhere. Barack's Barry's performance is not that great -- in fact its pretty dismal if you figure that Barack Barry will go on to get 80% of the black vote but less than 24% of the non-black vote in states like California, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas... he'll lose big time.
If he maintains the same low performance among hispanics it will be devastating for Obama in the Southwest and Pacific region.
Obama supporters will be quick to suggest that his support among non-blacks in South Carolina is atypical, ie. lower than Iowa , but to suggest that is to suggest the South Carolina white voters skewed against Obama, and that puts a mean crimp in the electability of Senator Obama - the notion that white voters may skew against him in the South.
Like I said, Race doesn't Matter Until it Matters.
Florida will provide some confirmation to this analysis, and we will also see less black support in Florida for Obama, much lower than 80% in my estimation.
While Iowa showed us that a few weeks ago non-white voters did get behind Obama in significant numbers, Saturdays results several weeks later show us that's no longer the case. There's been a shift, and Obama pulled a much smaller percentage of the non-black votes this weekend than he did in the previous three states.
Figuring out why? and how to fix it is the million-dollar question for the Obamatrons, but don't expect them, or Barack, to offer any answers. I'm sure we're in for more bumper-sticker sized platitudes and falling-star wishes and hopes instead of honest and direct answers, and that may be the biggest obstacle for Obama to overcome.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!