January 18th, 2008
02:14 PM ET

Winning the black vote?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/18/art.southcarolina.gi.jpg caption=" Barack Obama greets supporters at a political rally in Charleston, South Carolina."]

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/18/art.clinton.baptist.ap.jpg caption=" Hillary Clinton, speaks at the Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Compton, California.."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue to fight it out for support from African-American voters.

And there's a very good reason why: They are expected to make up as much as 50% of voters in the South Carolina Democratic primary January 26th, and in four other Southern states that vote on February 5th: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee.

Here's the problem: Bill Clinton and by extension his wife, Hillary, have a long, close relationship with the African -American community. Bill Clinton was nicknamed "America's first black president”. But for the first time in our history, an African-American has a real chance to become president of the United States.

In some cases, the decision is splitting families and longtime allies in the civil rights movement. There seems to be a generational divide as well, with younger blacks moving toward Obama. It's even splitting members of the Congressional Black Caucus, with more than a third of them supporting Clinton or John Edwards.

Polls suggest that Obama has been increasing his support in the black community and now leads Clinton among this group. In fact, Obama has now surged ahead of Hillary Clinton when it comes to support from Africa -American Democrats. But we're a long way from Super Tuesday and any kind of a finish line.

And, if there is on thing history suggests it's when it comes to politics, don't ever count out the Clintons.

Here’s my question to you: What will ultimately decide whether Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton gets the most African-American votes?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Charlotte from Clovis, California writes:

The fact that older Americans (both black and white) tend to be more likely to vote, I'd say Hillary will win.

Gerald writes:
What will ultimately decide whether Clinton gets the black vote will be the revelation that the Clinton support for black Americans has been mainly show and very little in the way of substance. Besides playing his sax and profiling in black churches, apologizing for slavery, more profiling, awarding some posthumous medals, more profiling, and moving his office to 125th street in Harlem, there ain't much there.

Quentin writes:
Still holding on to what was hardly a news story two weeks ago. Stop forcing race down the throats of American voters; you are not doing our country any favors with reporting like this. Why don't you use your position to help voters decide who is the best candidate as opposed to trying to make them choose a side of an issue that you think is historical?

Amy writes:
I think it will all boil down to who connects the strongest with the voters, and who has the most positive campaign. Obama needs to remember that he took Iowa and nearly took New Hampshire by staying as positive as he could, and needs to remain that way. Let Hillary seem all nasty tempered, and let her sling her mud, but Obama needs to at least appear to be above the fray.

George from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina writes:
The deciding factor of the black vote will be the age breakdown of the voters. Young people think of "today" and don't want to think of "yesterday". So to them, the Clinton years are insignificant. The breath of fresh air Obama brings will motivate them.

Christopher from Bridgeport, Connecticut writes:
As a Democrat, I think this election between Hillary and Obama is going to seriously split the African-American vote. An ideal solution would be for them to join their efforts and run together after the primaries. Can you say, "Take the White House by storm"? No current Republican front-runner will have a chance.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Patricia

    Faith in Hillary or faith in Barack. Personaly I have more faith in John Edwards.

    January 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  2. W B in Las Vegas

    I think that IF black voters THINK that Obama Can actually WIN the Democratic nomination AND the general election in November, they will vote for him. otherwise they will go with Clinton.

    it's too bad because they SHOULD be voting for John Edwards because he is the ONLY one of the three candidates still in the race that would TRUELY fight for legislation and government policies that would HELP working Americans and the poor.

    January 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  3. B. D. Schiers

    Ultimately, the decision will come down to looking at who has done what. The Clintons have a long track record of taking on challenges that face the black community. Obama, not so much.

    BD, New York

    January 18, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  4. David of Natchez

    The age of the voters and the message they want to send to politicians. If all they want to vote for is race then Obama wins if they want someone with a few more connections and less confusion should they win, the vote goes to Hillary.

    January 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  5. J P


    January 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  6. Scott

    the number of votes Jack, dah!
    scott missouri

    January 18, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  7. Rich , McKinney Texas

    Umm..... How about one more black vote then the other one gets? That sounds so racist Jack. Is a black vote any more or less important then a white vote or a Hispanic vote? Now we are separating out the voters by race sex and religious preference. Come on it is only an election. You make it sound so important. Each of these candidates are talking about the environment and healthcare and the economy and these promises of what they are going to do if they get elected. Why all of a sudden are they going to do these things? How come when they have held offices as high as Senators for years they never did any of this stuff then? They are not going to do anything more as president but get elected.

    P.S. Why now all of a sudden a, I getting all this Junk mail. This all started when I had to give you my email address to post here. You guys selling my information to other people Jack?

    January 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  8. Ted Portland

    Hillary, or more likely Bill will probably stick their foot in their mouth, and the decision to give most of the black vote to Obama will be made for them. The deeper we get into this nomination process, the more I see the dark side of Hillary and a truly seamy side of Bill nfew people have seen before. In the meantime, It would appear that the more pressure there is, the better Barack reacts. I don't think the Clintons llke that too much, because they have no resources between them to counteract that. Obama has a people synchronus MOJO. Bill has lost his, and Hillary says, .."whats a mojo?

    January 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  9. Ralph

    Jack, the decision will come from the number of blacks who vote, and how many are older vs younger. We have seen that young blacks prefer Obama and that older black are looking toward the clinton camp. If more votes are cast by young blacks, Obama will receive the bulk of the black vote; if more votes come from older blacks, Clinton will benefit.

    January 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  10. Michael C

    What will ultimately decide whether Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton gets the most African-American votes?

    I would say that it is "self-explanatory." Hillary Clinton does identify with the African-American voters and vise-versa.

    January 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  11. Jeff in Connecticut

    Now see Jack, that question by itself helps to perpetuate division of race. Not to pick on you since all members of the news media have this inane need to sensationalize issues. The sooner EVERYONE, white, black, red & yellow accept that we are ALL the same & have the same ancestors, the better off we'll be. Just because your & my forebears were dumb enough to set down roots on a glacier where there was 1/4 the sunshine of our ancestral home, thereby losing our pigmentation by necessity else perish from vitamin D deficienty, doen't mean we're essentially different. I will vote for, and want everyone else, no matter what hue their skin to vote for the person whoever will be the best leader for all Americans.

    January 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  12. Richard Sternagel

    Jack,the perception of truth especially among the young and African-American women will decide who gets African-American votes! Go Obama!

    January 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  13. Bill PA

    The Clintons never had a problem with getting the black vote. President Clinton as we all know was called the first black president. I think the only thing that has changed is Hillary is running against a black candidate causing the black vote to go that way. I feel that way because it is being proven out in the primaries.

    January 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  14. Hannah

    African Americans won't base their votes on the color of candidates skin any more than you will, Jack. I'm tired of people assuming that the foremost issue on the minds of blacks is what shade of brown someone is. The issues will decide this race.

    January 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  15. Brian Nancoo - Trinidad

    Jack,Jack,Jack...I don't expect this kind of naivety from you, of all people.That has already been decided.The black candidate will get most of the black vote.And the white candidate will get most of the white vote.The only unknown is what the turnout will be.Historically,a large black voter turnout that votes overwhelmingly for one candidate can influence the outcome,circa Jimmy Carter.But only if the white voter turnout remains constant,as it has in the past.A black candidate will motivate a higher white voter turnout,especially if polls keep pointing out that blacks will vote for the black candidate.We're not sick of being divided along race lines yet.

    January 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  16. john

    Observant blacks will vote for a republican. They are tired of the free fish offers, they want the fishing pole. They recognize democrats have no incentive to help them rise. History suggests a black that rises up is a lost vote for democrats because they only care about blacks when they’re poor, destitute and need a piece of fish.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  17. Norm

    Whoever will promise them the most money and jobs.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  18. joe m

    for black voters the choice will be deciding if they want to support the first actual black candidate who can win the white house or a 'token' black man – bill clinton. iowa opened the door to obama's electability, and as that door continues to open wider clinton will have the real problem of telling everyone that she is the only one who can win for the democrats.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  19. nitwit

    I think the people are tired of the "Racist" card, by obama, and gender card by hillary. Race and gender should be the last things on the presedent elects minds.
    The wil of the american people and the sad shape of this country should be top priorities for them. Sadly it is not... But then again my opinions do not count...This country elects another clinton into office then we deserve what we get , communism because 20years of the bush-clinton clan is enough. Me I like Edwards- Obama for '08, then Obama in '12... Then again I am just one of america's nitnwits, what do I know?!!!

    January 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  20. Rocky

    GUTTS; Whoever can lead our nation on a new direction.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  21. Michael, New Jersey

    I believe that it is Barack Obama and only Barack Obama that will ultimately get the majority of African-American votes. He is part African-American, which certainly helps his campaign. Being in such position. he knows their plight and how they have been harassed by Bush and his Halliburton crony Cheney. A perfect example is in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when he delayed in sending federal troops to New Orleans. Even Kanye West said "Bush doesn't care about black people" Now when Obama is getting closer and closer to being the Democratic front runner, the African-American community is starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I am 99.9% sure that the majority of African-American voters will choose Obama as the next President of the United States/

    January 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  22. earl illingsworth

    Jack, it amazes me that a country in the 21st century celebrated for all it's human rights accomplishments would have to choose between colors. Of all the different nationallities in our great country the black people have assimilated almost unnoticed. If we were to look at demographics and immigration this is a no brainer. Their vote is very important to them, and to all americans living in a color blind society. These political stategist who on both sides of the isle have polorized and divided this country should be ashamed for trying to stall our country's evolution.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  23. Larry from MO.


    This is a question that no politician or pollster can answer. When that black voter goes into the voting booth and the curtain is drawn and realizes that this is the first chance a black politician can become President, there is no question Obama will become "America's Second Black President". Blood is thicker than water, not even the Clinton's with their nine lives can stop this one.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  24. Jeff in MD

    Jack, the possibility of a black person with a legitimate chance to become President is such a foreign concept for us black folks. Very difficult to get our minds and arms around. Yes, there have been other blacks who were nationally known figures and some characters, but Barrack was virtually unknown to blacks outside of Illinois. His candidacy is an awakening for both blacks and whites.

    Hillary is someone we know. Barrack isn't, but is quickly warming-up to most of us.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  25. G.A. Johnson

    The ultimate decision maker for who will win the election is the black vote. Quiet as it is kept no one really wants a black president. But as Beethoven would say THE TIME IS NOW. Even if we don't have a black president we at least need a change from republican to democratic. Lord help us we need a change.


    January 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  26. Rosemary

    I think Bob Johnson and Charles Rangle's vitriol tone of their comments towards Senator Obama and the Media, will do more than anything, I hope, to give Obama the Black Vote. I hope Africans Americans feel offended by these comments. The 2 of them has mischaracterized one of their own, whom they should be holding up as a role model as to what education and hard work can accomplish to a younger generation. He should be the epitome of MLK Dream and the Civil Rights Movement. A vote for Hillary, I don't think so.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  27. Jim

    My prayer is that blacks will vote for who they feel will do the best job. However, politics being what it is in the states, thats a wish that doesn't work with black or white. They need to ask the tough questions, does it bother you she's a woman, former first lady; does it bother you he used the Koran to get sworn in and doesn't say the pledge of allegience?? They shouldn't vote for him because he's black anymore than women should vote for clinton because she's female. One note, why are so many republicans interested in having Obama be the choice? Don't think you can defeat her????

    January 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  28. CB

    What about the white vote? Do the candidates care what whites have to say or what the white middle/lower class need? Why is a Black or Hispanic vote more important then a White vote? The media like to cover candidates like Clinton visiting homes of Hispanic and Black families but I rarely see them show candidates visiting the homes of a white family. Of course, I'll be labeled as a racist for saying this but I'm not and it's the truth.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  29. Ron Pitcock

    It depends on weather or not the African Americans use their brain matter as to who was there for them for the past 20 years. It's been Bill & Hillary Clinton not 2 year Senator Obama who has not made his bones in the political process of this country. Mr. Obama has grabbed the spotlight as a fresh face and great personality but can he deliver? I think not. We've heard empty promises before and this is all color coating by the short term Senator.
    Ron Pitcock
    Keep em honest Jack

    January 18, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  30. Dennis

    People label themselves and then develope their charecteristics based on that label. Instead we should search for and define our own individual charecteristics and personalities. People that vote for or against Obama becuase of the color of his skin are the nimrods that keep racism alive.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  31. Bobby

    Jack, I am an 18 year old college student and if I have learned anything in my government classes in high school and college it would be that America likes to repeat itself. There will be an African American president before there is a women president just like African Americans gained the right to vote before women gained the right to vote. Im not saying there won't ever be a women president, but America just isn't ready for one yet. Our differences will always divide us, but in the long haul, we shall overcome. Barack will take it by a landslide.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  32. Steve

    JACK, It's all about what they can offer people in general this election. Yes, Bill Clinton was the first president to pad the White House with women and people of color 15 years ago. George W. followed along with the same concept and now it's mainstream. Hillary claims she's just as black as Barack Obama and she probably is. The African-American community is not stupid nor colorblind, but the good thing for them is that in this election they will be able to vote primarily on the issues related to all people, including them.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  33. Tina

    The problem is they like Bill not Hillary and I am one of those folks but I am not of color. I do not trust Hillary Clinton cause she is sharing the sheets of experience with G. W Bush and I want a change in D. C. Get out the extra large elephant brush and lets all sweep this lot out of town.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  34. edwin b

    I'm not real sure, I believe that John Edwards is the real canidate for change........

    January 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  35. Dr. George

    Dearest Jack: I enjoy both Obama and The Clintons. There was a time when democrats suggested a possible Hillary Clinton for president with Barack Obama as her running mate, for vice-president. That may prove to be the best ticket into the White House. Then shouldn't the latter be renamed "The Black and White House". Hey,we're getting too racial here!!! I suggest Putney Swope for President! Dr.George in Torino,Italy

    January 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  36. Paul

    Race is a factor. Sad? Yes. But it is the way our society works. Clinton has not a chance to get the majority of black voters, right now all African-Americans will endorse Barack, they do not even care about his positions, but his skin colour. Am I racist to say that? Maybe. But when black celebrities endorse a black guy it seems suspicious to me. Are they sincere or no? I am going with a no, but on the other hand you cannot question black racism, only whites are subjects to the racism.

    Paul, Stupid Canadian.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  37. bnthdntht

    African-American democrats are not Ralph Nader types that's why Nixon,Reagon,and Bush received under 10% of the African American vote. That's a pretty good voting record with Reagon the only one that is still held in high regard by the majority of Americans and he left office with sky high deficits,a growing Bin Laden,and a middle-east that was a like a stick of dynamite. So the African-American vote will go to the candidate that will be the best for the country

    January 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  38. Max, Rochester MN

    The black vote will be decided based on turnout. Can Barack energize enough young Americans to actually show up? That will be a monumental challenge.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  39. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Open up the Clinton library now, not after the elections and maybe that would help black Americans like myself make a informed decision. I'm surprised that we show no concern to be priviledged to this information before making a choice between Hillary or Obama. What's in the Clinton library is part of the "long relationship" the Clintons' have had with the African American people.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  40. Vinnie Vino

    The moment Oprah Winfrey endorsed Barack Obama his support in the African-American community has greatly increased. This was like a susceptible message to the blacks it's ok to vote for Sen. Obama, She'll be back...

    January 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  41. Joy

    Hopefully the black voter will be able to determine who they want as President of the United States. Why are blacks any different than anyone else? They face the same problems as the rest of middle America, bad economy, illegal immigration, inflation. Who will change America for the better should be the question, not who's black or who's female. We want a leader, this is the dream we all want to live better, we all want peace, we all want to educate our children, we all want health insurance, we all want secure jobs, who is best suited to fullfill our dreams, whether you're balck, brown or white!!!!!!

    January 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  42. D Moore

    Hopefully the “OJ” factor will not interfere in the election and black or white, each voter will grow up and vote for the one they think will be the most capable president. Can you talking head clowns, for once, leave race out of it. This one’s important, we have to get rid of bushiness – our future is in the balance.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  43. Dennis in Gwinn, MI

    When Blacks realize that politicians like the Clintons have done nothing for them but made them dependent on government hand outs and phony rhetoric. It is time for a color-blind America and Obama is the best chance to attain that goal.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  44. Noah

    Who cares? Isn't it the total number of votes that matters most?

    Oh that's right that doesn't matter either.... Just ask Al Gore.

    January 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  45. Jane from Philly

    The Clintons have a long record of PRETENDING to be concerned about issues within the African American community in order to get their votes. Where was President Clinton and Senator Clinton now that HIV/AIDS infections is spreading like wild fire through the heterosexual African American community?! No Where! Sure, they'll visit the large Baptist churches, Hillary will give her best impression of a southern black woman and yes, some of the electorate will actually believe it and vote for her.

    Frankly, I'm more interested in people, like Senator Barak Obama and former Senator John Edwards who have the capacity and genuine willingness to understand the human condition and yes, issues that directly impact the African American community.

    For me, I'm supporting Senator Obama all the way and if not him, then Senator Edwards. I will NEVER vote for Senator Clinton, even if Mitt Romney is, ultimately, the Republican candidate for President.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  46. jim kelly

    not being of african-american decent myself, i can not say for certain, but if one were to make this decision based only on the content of the character of these two candidates, i could see the choice being quite difficult as i feel we have three almost equally excellent choices. what amazes me is that anyone in this day and age can claim to be an independent – wink wink – the core issues and leanings of the two parties could not be more clear. at least any independent should feel free to say which party they tend to lean toward.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  47. Alex Smith

    I believe that the way Obama speaks draws alot of attention, he has a preacher like voice such as a Dr. King, and I believe just that packaging draws the black crowds and vote. But when that blood and guts gets to it, his stance is thin on experience which I believe will over come, such as Hillary or Edwards even.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  48. Ron K.

    Hi Jack:

    You know as well as I do the winner is going to be who ever spends the most money and has the biggest mouth. Guess who that is? This presidiential election will go down as: "The Battle of BLAB."

    Ron K. San Diego

    January 18, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  49. Frank

    The color of the candidates skin of course. People want someone they can relate to.. and Obama relates to African Americans better than Hillary.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  50. Ken KS

    Obama is the black candidate that African-Americans want to identify with. He is sharp, chrismatic and he talks common sense, unlike the radicals Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, when they showed their true colors. However, all he and Hillary have said to the voters is nothing more than fluff. Like the Republicans, they are all talk, "We are about change!" They don't say how they're going to get their promises to reality. When are we going to get answers and quit the personal attacks? These U. S. senators have done very little, we put them in to bring home the troops and they all have given Bush the money he demands to keep the war going.

    My question? When are we going to have a candidate who will make things better for the middle class and poor and stop catering to Corporate America? I'm sick of these slick talking politicians thinking how stupid we are that we actually by off on their empty promises.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  51. Perry Callas


    January 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  52. Jackson

    It's already been decided. Obama gets the most votes. The only question left to be decided is how many more votes Obama gets. When charades like the Nevada lawsuit and the MLK comments, the contest will develop even more of an "us v. them" mentality, and African-Americans will be driven even more towards Obama. I

    January 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  53. Daniel From Tempe AZ

    Who will ultimately get the black vote is the candidate that can deceive them the best, just like that candidate will deceive the rest of us and eventually get the parties nod.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  54. Susan McFarland

    It will be a matter of whether or not the young black voters show up to vote.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  55. Pat Haight

    People are going to vote against the bureaucracy..Hllary says she is one who can "run and manage it! Well, Barama has the edge here because Hillary should know that no one runs or manages a bureaucracy...IT RUNS AND MANAGES YOU!

    January 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  56. Pete N., Fla.

    The black vote won't go to anyone. It will go to EVERYONE. It's 2008 people, can't we all just have the "same" vote?

    January 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  57. Jenny from New York

    I think the more Black people see Obama's accepted by White people, they'll decide to vote for him. Bill Clinton was described as "the first Black president," but I wonder how often he's been stopped for "driving while Black"!

    January 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  58. RB, Seattle, WA

    That's easy. Whoever Rev. Al Sharpton decides not to endorse.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  59. Qwick - East Point, GA

    I would never vote for a white person who is associated with the thought that a Black in the White House is a fairy tale! It is already decided for me!

    January 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  60. Jerry Speer

    The winner of the black vote will ultimately be decided by the media, of course.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  61. Lisa in MS

    It will depend whether the older Africian-American Voters who voted for Clinton can convince the younger Africian-American to vote for Hillary to repay what the Clintons have done for the Africian-American community. If they older generation can convince the younger generation, then Hilllary will win the election. If they can't convince them, then Obama will win the election.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  62. Kiersty

    I think the ultimate decision for African-American voters will come down to living in the past versus future thinking. Sure, the Clintons have a great relationship with the African-Americans because they DID some work for civil rights. They helped pave the way to the day where it could actually be possible that a black man could be elected. So black voters will have to ask themselves if they want to support the white people from the past who helped them overcome some obstacles, or support Obama, the man who represents the future and can actually achieve the Dream.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  63. Kevin ,FL

    Jack, Hillary Clinton will get the blacks votes.. because shes a Clinton and the country was in good shape and it was a good time back in the 90s black voters want the good time back, so they will say one thing ( ie they will vote for Obama) and do another! Support Hillary Clinton.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  64. Maria Garcia

    As more and more African-Americans really tune in to Obama's message of inclusiveness and chang, AND they really believe he will win, they will vote for him I think they fear that the Clintons would be vindictiuve if they turn away from her.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  65. Jean

    Dice...a roll of dice. Frankly I don't think it matters, who ever becomes President will have to work with Congress and vice versa. How's that been working for the country? Congress is too busy naming Post Offices to do the serious work of the country.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  66. Caryn Frettoloso

    Well I believe the one candidate that speaks for the African-Americans. Not really in the means of speak and do, but the one that get into the minds of the voters and take the words out of the voter's mouths. The younger African Americans look for fresh and new, enter: Obama. But the older African Americans would like to see someone with experience, enter: Hillary and her 35 years. We'll just have to see who speaks for the voters the best.

    Irving, Texas

    January 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  67. Jafo in Tallahassee

    Obama will never win the Presidency. Republican AND Democrat Conservatives around the country will not vote for him. Willie campaigning for Hillary will eventually
    bring blacks around to her when they realize that Obama cannot defeat any of the top three Republicans.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  68. Jim Blevins

    Black voters may have some bias toward someone who is black, but mostly they will make their decision on who they think will meet their objectives best. I suspect that that will closely mirror the vote of northern whites. The real problem is southern whites - there is lots of data to say that a great many southern whites won't vote for a black.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  69. Wendel

    Give people credit. They will vote for the best candidate on the issues and not their skin tissues.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  70. Alan

    A panel of politically appointed judges?

    January 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  71. Quentin

    Still holding on to what was hardly a news story two weeks ago. Stop forcing race down the throats of American voters, you are not doing our country any favors with reporting like this. Why don't you use your position to help voters decide who is the best candidate as oppose to try make them choose a side of an issue that you think is historical.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  72. larry

    oh my god enough is enough jack 50% of south carolina voters are black well what about the other 50% dont they matter everyone is so concerned about the black vote in the democrat party there gona loose the white vote to the republicansi know what jack cafferty/dobbs should run as independants you would win the white and black vote

    January 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  73. Jean Burns

    If voters will actually THINK and vote for the one who has already had a lot of experience, they will vote for Hillary.
    Its easy to say what people want to hear. But will OBama be able to "get it done"?

    January 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  74. Bruce Marshall

    Jack I'm a white man and I can't speak for how Black's feel. But I think if Obama keeps getting the white vote or a large part of it Black 's will see he is for real and it may push them to support him. One question tho who is running this time Bill or Hillary? can't she hold her own? She wants to be President.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  75. Lou

    As a Black American, all I am hoping & praying for is that we select for the good of the Country, the Candidate most capable of doing the job that we do desperately need in these troubled times.

    For me to support a Man simply because he looks like me would then make me not only a very shallow person but someone who doesn't truly understand what Dr. King was hoping for, in that you rise not based on the color of your skin but the quality of your character.

    I personally feel Hillary Clinton will provide the security I need to feel for myself & my family at this moment.

    New Haven, CT

    January 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  76. Barbara

    We are hearing about the younger votes for Obama. One will never know until tha day. I will never forget the days of the Clinton's. I loke Obama, however I feel that he has a hard row to plow. By the way, I'm a black female.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  77. William Mize


    Come on! Winning the African American Vote? Obama by a land slide. What is so upsetting is the Clinton's have taken a lot of hits because they stood up for African Americans and now that there is an African American Candidate, both have been dropped like a hot potatoes. What does that say to anyone else who Champions their cause? It is a disappointing snap shot of the way things actually are in America. Racism is alive and well on both sides of the fence.

    Nashville, TN

    January 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  78. Dionisio


    race will be the determining factor, blacks will vote for Obama because they feel that he can relate with them because he is black and therefore he can do more for blacks. If race was not an issue then Clinton would have overwhelming support from the black community based on track record of what the Clintons have done for the black community in the past.



    January 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  79. Filipino monkey

    Obama loves Reagan and lost African American support.

    Clinton wins.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  80. Gerald

    What will ultimately decide whether Clinton gets the Black vote will be the revelation that the Clinton support for Black Americans has been mainly show and very little in the way of substance. Besides playing his sax and profiling in Black Churches, apologizing for slavery, more profiling, awarding some posthumous medals, more profiling, and moving his office to 125th street in Harlem, there ain't much there.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  81. Steve

    Why is the national media constantly framing the Democratic primary as a two person race between Clinton and Obama. Edwards is still a credible contender and is the only one who is making a direct attack on the big money interests that have hijacked this country. Perhaps that's why corporate media is marginlaizing Edwards.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  82. Amy Pike

    I think it will all boil down to who connects the strongest with the voters, and who has the most positive campaign. Obama needs to remember that he took Iowa and nearly took New Hampshire by staying as positive as he could, and needs to remain that way. Let Hillary seem all nasty tempered, and let her sling her mud, but Obama needs to at least appear to be above the fray.

    Also, whichever candidate is able to speak openly with and reach the largest number of potential voters, will be the one to win the largest group of voters, no matter what their color.

    And me? I'm voting for Obama when my primaries come around.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  83. Juanita /Mobile, Alabama

    Hillary clinton should get all the black votes, Because they have done so much for the black communities. Hillary has the experience, and she is capable of being President. Obama has no experience and he shouldn't be voted for ,because of his race. African American's should show some smartness and not be taken in.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  84. Andrew F., Ontario CA

    Barack Obama won't win the African American vote because African Americans are so ashamed of themselves they cannot stand to vote for one that is like them ... they just don't believe in themselves. The fact that people like Rangel and BET's Johnson would openly and personally criticize Obama in favour of the Clintons, who fare worse than G W Bush in high level appointments of African Americans shows that the stereotype of "Uncle Tom" is alive and well and fed by the Clintons. I might also note that despite impressions given by media reports, Obama is as much white as he is black ... I wish this fact were mentioned more.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  85. Pat Haight

    Barama will have the edge because people are going to vote against the
    bureaucracy. Hillary is proud of the fact and even stated yesterday that
    she could "run and manage it!" What Hillary doesn't seem to realize is
    that no one runs or manages a bureaucracy...It runs and manages YOU !
    And this is what the people are going to vote against. when they vote for

    January 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  86. Patrick, Winchester, Vav


    The only acceptable answer is "good common sense".

    January 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  87. Eileen

    Black people will revert to voting for black candidates, and white people will revert to voting for white candidates, because of their inherent racism.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  88. Lynda

    With all due respect to very biased "best political team" on television, Hillary Clinton will become the Democratic nominee and your next President. when & if the reporting bias against her stops.
    since I have always believed that good journalism is non-biased, you all are on my Prayer list.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  89. Bonnie

    This whole thing about White vs. Black is something that simply should not even be a topic of consideration. When people apply for jobs it is illegal to consider race or ethnic origin. Why is this even being discussed. This is a job and the employer is the American people. Are we going to break the law and choose our next president based upon race? Wake up American! The only information we should be looking at on either side of the political spectrum is who makes the best CEO...read the resume...this is not high school and a popularity contest.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  90. Mxp2001

    I think that every person will vote for who they believe will bring changes that actually help people, because people are the backbone of this country. Without the people, who will build the highways, who will patrol the streets. That's why it's about who has the best interests of the people.
    Black Man for Obama, supported Clinton at first though.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  91. Carol Cook


    It is refreshing to see the interest in the black vote and especially young people recognizing we need new leadership who do not carry the baggage of the older guard. Obama appeals to the younger people because he represents a generation that recognizes that in order to bring the country together it is about both parties working together. But let's don't forget that there are plenty of Caucasian voters out there who will be voting–they have a voice too!

    January 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  92. Dale Hill

    Jack, the Clintons have a problem hanging onto the black vote. The USA knows that the greatest barbecue in the world is produced by blacks. Shoot, they invented it. Clinton is addicted to barbecued meat. Bill had a heart attack and can no longer eat red meat like he used to. A heart patient needs to stay clear of barbeque cook-offs, tail-gating parties, and barbecue businesses.

    Anadarko. OK 73005

    January 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  93. Elena

    Those who lived through the civil rights movement should vote for the person who's always had their back, who's fought along side them; not because of race, because Hillary Clinton has earned the vote through all the actions of her life. Hillary is a strong advocate for those who are most in need of an advocate. Obama offers "hope", but reality is live in hope, die in despair, action speaks louder than words. Hopefully those of African descent will reward Hillary, she deserves their vote. I think it is sickening that this question still is asked, Americans are smarter than to listen to a slogan or a TV talk show host.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  94. Shane

    This is not about the color of the candidate. Its about who is the best candidate to improve our lives in this rough time with the economy and the war. I think that all people, regardless of race will be true to themselves about how they vote. The most knowlegeable and understanding candidate is Hillary Clinton. She is the workaholic we need right now....

    Shreveport, Louisiana

    January 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  95. michele hopkins

    I think Barack will win by getting the most Black,Latino,White and Asian vote, in other words, he'll get all of America's vote, we're tired of the same old same from Washingon D.C. and he'll bring change and hope to all 50 states and to all Americans not just the few and the rich. He'll get the delegates and he'll get the nomination for President, in spite of the Clinton's. The power of the American people is stronger then money. You can't buy your way into office anymore.


    January 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  96. Nathaniel

    The African American vote in the primaries will likely come down to one thing, color. Many African Americans will cast their ballot for Barack, simply because he is a black man, without looking at the issues. That's not to say this will be the case with EVERY vote cast for Barack, but it will certainly be a huge factor.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  97. Claudia

    If this primary was conducted on equal footing then the vote for either candidate could be taken seriously. As it stands now, with the recent Neveda court ruling, catering to a specific group of peoples, this is a cowardly way of swaying the vote totals for your benefit. The cowardly way is not the way we should elect a president of our great country. One person - one vote! Accept your totals and move on.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  98. Dan Crawford

    Older african american women could make the difference here.Lets hope these elections do not divide the american people on racial lines. People should vote on the issues or else it could get ugliy out there in a general elections. Dan

    January 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  99. Cindy

    I believe the question should be WHO will decide the African American vote.

    I believe it will be each individual African American.

    It will not be the spin masters. Nor those who seek to exploit our differences. Not the ubber rich, either, who will pour their fortunes into the coffers of Clinton to preserve their privilaged position. Not the pseudo intellectuals who pontificate ad nauseum and whose verbal diarreha means absolutely nothing.

    Each American will decide for themselves. We the people are on to this corrupt political system. We will not be manipulated by these fools anymore.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  100. Sharon in Minneapolis

    Barack Obama will win the nomination when ALL Americans believe that it is possible, not just African Americans. Everyone has to figure out how they feel, and we as Americans are beginning to believe. One thing is for sure, The Clintons have been thrown a loop and they are not quite sure how to handle it. The fact is, Barack could win, and now.. black voters, white voters, all voters have been thrown a loop. It was supposed to be a slam dunk for Hillary...Barack's candidacy, forces us all to think about this moment and this time. I think that African Americans have started to really asked themselves, am I any better off today than I was when Bill Clinton was president? And, oh yeah.. Bill can't be president again... so I'm supporting Barack.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  101. Ron Loggins

    Instead of making such a big deal about the White vote, the Black vote, the Latino vote, the Womans Vote, Mens Vote, the owner of Cats votes, the Liberal Vote, the Religous Right Vote ,etc. etc. Why doesn't CNN do it parts to help America be less divided by QUITTING the constant need to report us in such a divisive way. We are one people and we should be presented that way. Whether it is intentional or not these polls are really counterproductive and some ways insulting.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  102. Christopher Blackman

    It would seem as though no one really does any research any further than what is heard rather than what is know. I have research H. Clinton's earlier political history to find that for as much as she supposedly supported Civil Rights, why was she a supporter of Barry Goldwater during the presidential election between he and L. Johnson. It would seem as though she is riding the coat tail of her husband Bill Clinton's Civil Rights history rather than her own. Besides, Obama is senior to Hillary by one term. Her experience should definitely be in question.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  103. Vivian Fauntleroy

    I am an African-American, 70 year- old woman. I marched and prayed (did not sit -in) during the CIvil Rights Movement. I support Obama. When HRC attempted to speak in the old Negro dialect of the Civil War/Jim Crow South, I found in condensending and insulting in the extreme. Also, the last thing this country needs right now is a dual Clinton presidency. Remember, when he was President, HRC did not have a high security clearance. Presumably, as an ex-President of the USA, Bill Clinton does. So whose "experience" is really being touted here? Also, White and Black women benefitted tremedously from the Civil Righs/Women's Rights Movement. Black men so much less so in that I 've witnessed on jobs where the Black womae were hired, and were advanced time and time again over the equally qualified Black man. This particular Black man with his diverse ethnicity and greater familiarity with different cultures, could bring this kaleiscope of a country together. And just think what it could do for the multitude of young, black men growing up, and languishing in jail, without a visible idea of what is possible if you dare to do differently from your peers. It is still the sermon that is seen and not the one that is preached that turns lives around.

    January 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  104. Brian

    Why not call in Maurie Povich, I'll bet he could find the right answer.

    January 19, 2008 at 8:29 am |
  105. Kellie M

    Give me a break!

    What has Hillary done for the black community? When MLK and others in Civil Rights were marching, getting dog and hoses sicked on them, Hillary was a staunch "GOLDWATER GIRL". In the past few weeks, I am beginning to see she still holds those segregationist values.

    I am a Black woman who will never vote for her, I dont care who her busband is. For so long, blacks have supported every joe blow the Dems have put up for the nomination, and my question is.....when is it our time? If they decide to give her the nomination, I will change to Independent.. the Dems will never take blacks for granted again!

    January 19, 2008 at 11:19 am |
  106. Raymond Ito

    I want to draw attention to the so-called 35 years experience that Hillary Clinton trumpets as a weapon to use against Barack Obama.
    If after 35 years you still did not have the foresight to see through deception and manipulation to support a wrong war, then her assertion about being a seasoned leader is laughable. As a matter of fact, she has no right to criticize George Bush about the disastrious war and the economy which is a result of the money that is being drained to prosecute the war.

    Obama on the other hand with a "limited" experience, was able to see through the veil and stood against the war. He had foresight to see that the war was, and is wrong. That is the mark of a true leader.
    As for Hillary, with a 35 years of experience, she's definitely "ready" to lead astray from day one. Where there's no foresight the people will perish. Her 35 years "experience" is a BIG ridicule. America watch out.

    Raymond Ito – New York.

    January 19, 2008 at 11:41 am |
  107. Raymond Ito

    It's a good thing for husbands to support their wives in building up their careers. So far Bill Clinton – a former president of the United States has been an inevitable presence in the campaign trail. This is because he wants to remind people that Bill Clinton is back.
    The truth of the matter is, this is a testimony that Hillary Clinton does not have the political personality of her own so she has to cash in on her husband's. But choosing an American president cannot be based on emotional consideration.

    In contrast, when George Bush successfully ran twice, he did not recruit the active presence of his father who was once a president. He wanted to be judged and elected by his personal merits. Bill Clinton needs to be told that he should exit the stage and let his wife be elected based on her personal merits as a leader because it seems that he's doing this for very personal reasons for his family – husband and wife being presidents of the United States.
    But the American people are smarter than that.

    January 19, 2008 at 11:44 am |
  108. CC

    Jack - I was a fan of yours until you began making it apparent by your distracting groans and moans as well as facial contortions and statements exactly which candidates you favor and which ones you can't stand. Please spare us the annoying theatrics, stick to your endearing and "crusty" presentation of the facts, let us decide who should be nominated.

    January 19, 2008 at 12:30 pm |
  109. robert

    Hillary Clinton gave, in December of 2007, her list of favorite presidents – Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Truman, George H.W. Bush and Reagan; now she feels it's OK to trash Obama because he said Reagan brought a change in direction for the country.

    January 19, 2008 at 1:02 pm |
  110. Kalli

    I am amazed that not all African-Americans are insulted when Bill Clinton is referred to as the "first Black President"....The reference implies that African-Americans are not able to acheive that highest of offices on their own...that it took a white man to acheive it for them.

    January 19, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  111. John

    What is Obamas stand on the Fair Tax issue?

    January 19, 2008 at 3:27 pm |