.
January 28th, 2008
05:50 PM ET

How can Obama attract more white support?

Senator Barack Obama., greets the crowd at a rally in Columbia, South Carolina, Friday.  Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.<br />

Senator Barack Obama., greets the crowd at a rally in Columbia, South Carolina, Friday. Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama crushed Hillary Clinton in Saturday's South Carolina primary, 55% to 27%.

His overwhelming victory was propelled by landslide margins among blacks, winning 78% of their votes. But when it came to the white vote, Obama received 24%, trailing both John Edwards and Clinton.

So far in this campaign, Obama's highest support among white voters came in New Hampshire where he got 36%. In Iowa, he got a third of the white vote.

Results from South Carolina also suggest that racial attitudes play a part in how effective voters think the candidates would be once elected. Whites were far likelier to name Clinton than Obama as being the most qualified to be commander-in-chief, likeliest to unite the country and most likely to win the general election. As for blacks, they named Obama over Clinton by even stronger margins in all three areas.

So despite his overwhelming victory this weekend, it seems like Obama is going to need to find a way to capture more of the white vote. Clinton continues to maintain a big lead in national polls. And, when it comes to the major Super Tuesday states like New York, New Jersey, California and others, she has wide, in some case double-digit, leads in the polls over Obama.

Here’s my question to you: What does Barack Obama have to do to attract more white support?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Robert from Connecticut writes:
As a white male living in Connecticut and from Texas (whose entire Democratic family and circle of friends has successively been turned off by the Clintons' divisive and untrue assertions recently), I think Obama does not have to do much. I think that all he needs is let the Clintons keep immolating themselves by reminding our party how divisive they are. Obama seems like he could unite not only our party, but possibly the country as a whole.

Beth writes:
What's being lost in this discussion of racial polarization is that 50% of the under-30 white vote is going to Obama. If it’s saying something about our country's view of race, it's saying something positive… that the upcoming generation (my generation), for all its flaws, is not as held up by race as our elders.

Carol from San Jose, California writes:
I am a white female and for Obama to get my vote, he would have to show me or tell me what he has actually done. I know he is an inspirational speaker, but how is he going to accomplish what he speaks. Details, please!

Jackie from Texas writes:
Barack Obama stands a good chance of getting more of the "white vote" by doing exactly what he's doing: campaigning with a message that crosses lines.

Kevin writes:
Nothing. I believe that in the more progressive states Obama will find more white votes of both sexes, especially if Bill keeps yapping.

Kurt from Denver writes:
Everyone needs to wake up and realize that this election is not about black or white, it’s about something bigger: the United States of America. As long as we keep viewing things as black, white, or brown, this country will never reach its full potential. Obama should keep himself true and honest to the people not just for white support but for the support from everyone.


Filed under: Barack Obama
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. J. D.

    It's unfortunate the Clintons are making race an issue by saying Senator Obama can only win black votes. Funny, when Bill got more than 80% of the black vote in the 1992 and 1996 South Carolina primaries, it was a good thing. Now that there is a chance for a bona fide "first black president," it's a bad thing. Count me in as one white voter for Obama.

    January 28, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  2. Julie VanDusky

    How about denouncing Jesse Jackson Jr.'s comparison of this election to the O.J. Simpson case (the day after Obama won Iowa), implying that voters will punish Obama for attacking a white woman? How about denouncing the Spanish language ad in Nevada that said Hillary was not for our people? How about the media holding Obama to the same standard they hold everyone else to in the election when it comes to throwing the race card around? No one should be using race as a tactic to get votes in this election, not even Obama.

    January 28, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  3. Doug Pierson

    The presidential race should not be about race and/or gender. So how is it that the primary race appears to be headed that way? The media is a key issue. They appear to need a story and report in such a way that their views become reality. I think that Obama is being held to the same standard or maybe higher than Mrs. Clinton. In reading between the lines and words I getting the feeling that mainstream media is supporting Mrs. Clinton. Why? Is it because of the same owners that supported Bush not matter what early on? I am getting older and cynical but there is more than one odor in the kingdom of Denmark.

    January 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  4. Beverley

    Jack,

    This may come to be a class vote not a race vote. Obama needs to work on getting the lower income, lower education vote of all races! For decades these people have been pitted against each other. Obama needs them to buy into his vision of all Americans working together to better the country. I sure hope he can do it!

    January 28, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  5. Dave Brooklyn, NY

    He needs to stay on the high road and plug along as he has. Let the Clintons sling mud. If the country isn’t ready for real change, we never will be and we will deserve whatever the result is.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  6. Michael Lorton Virginia

    What does Barack Obama have to do to attract more white support?

    Barack Obama needs to a "man of his word." He needs to convey his vision of America and that he will do everything in his power to achieve what is best for America and the American people. His good intentions must be replaced with "actions". He must also remember, that it is not the "destination to become president that is crucial, but rather the journey." Be true to himself and the American people....for only good comes out of good.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  7. Snap crackle and pop, Texas

    I don't know that he has to do anything else but wait for Hillary and Bill to Lie and say more false things about him. No one of any race likes a liar. The Clinton's will push white people Obama's way with their antics. All Obama has to do is play toll booth operator and promise change. Even if he can't do it, who cares? If the choices you have are someone with little or no corrupt history like Obama and the Clinton's who have a long, long history of corruption and scandal and lies all Obama has to do is stand tall and look good and the masses will flock to him. At least the ones that want to vote Democrat.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  8. Mary Steele Yorktown VA

    Get serious about enforcing immigration laws and National Security.

    We are a nation of laws and must enforce them, if we are going to have any respect, here and around the world.

    How can blacks support him when he and the rest of the Dems are doing more for illegals and not their own people?

    January 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  9. W B in Las Vegas

    the problem for Obama in the Southwestern states and California isn't white voters as much as the economic and racial tensions between our growing Hispanic American population and the Black American community. in the Nevada Caucus, which my wife and I attended for John Edwards, very few Hispanics supported Obama even though a major union, dominated by Hispanic workers here in Las Vegas, indorsed him. IF Obama is defeated in the Southwestern states and California, it will be because Hispanic voters didn't vote for him, NOT because of whites.

    remember, Obama was projected to get only 10% of the white vote in South Carolina. instead he got 25%.

    so much for so called "pollsters"

    January 28, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  10. Will K

    Oprah...

    If there is one surefire way to appeal to white women across the country Oprah is it. It worked in Iowa and it would work across the rest of the US as well.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  11. Matt

    I find it insulting when Bill Clinton suggested that Senator Obama won South Carolina because he is black just as Jesse Jackson won SC primaries in 1984 and 1988. These kinds of comments are highly inappropriate and nasty. These are the type of tactics Karl Rove would use. Hillary’s injection of racial politics and prejudice in California is divisive, despicable and highly offensive. Her campaign’s odious assertion that Latinos will not vote for a black man is an insult to Latinos. Latinos have voted for black candidates in Illinois, New York and California. Hillary and her husband who has lost his stature as a statesman are using the race card again to inject division and hatred in California. Her strategy to divide and conquer is getting tired and will not do the Democrats any good in November. My early suspicions are getting proven of her consistent lack of her character. I personally would not vote for a candidate like the Clintons who will say or do anything to get elected even using the race card to their advantage. As a Democrat I will vote for a candidate who inspires, who looks to the future and who brings hope to all Americans irrespective of race and color. Hillary has lost my vote and the votes of my circle of friends and relatives. I cannot support a candidate who lies, distorts and misrepresents facts. Her consistent lack of character is something that matters most to me as a voter because this election is about inspiration, trust and character.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  12. Scott

    Just keeping his current message on topic and he will be fine

    January 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  13. Terry

    Jack
    Dont pay attention to Billary, address the issues and take a stronger stance on securing our borders will keep him in the drivers seat.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  14. Rex in Portland

    80% of the votes a a group! That is incredible – I mean that literally. If you ran either Bill or Hillary against a bowling ball they wouldn't get 80% support. The black voters in South Carolina finally had an opportunity to vote for a qualified black candidate and they exhibited their gratitude by voting for him. It had nothing to do with "who is best for the job", as Bill pointed out.

    If this bit of practical truth bites – I mean if it shows that prejudice still exists in America – then we must accept this fact.

    Still in all, Obama is by far the best candidate for the Democrats to nominate. Hillary is far too divisive and Edwards far too bland. When all is told, Obama will get at least half of the "white" vote across the country even though he deserves a far higher percentage. Then in November this country can demonstrate its solidarity with Obama's message of hope and elect him with an overwhelming majority of both black and white votes.

    Long live Obamarama! Long live Obamamama, too. For that matter, long live you and me, Jack. And even O'Reilly.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  15. Noel

    Senator Obama , won popular white vote leading clinton with 8 percent in iowa, who said he cant win white votes.the pools are always wrong. In SC they said he got 10% white vote how many he got finally. the clintons are frustrated thats why they tripping and trying to bring race into the issues . Am a white college student and all my friends are for obama, all young whites are for obama. go obama go obama. YES WE CAN

    January 28, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  16. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    People are going to vote the way they want to vote, black, white, hispanic or asian. The important issue is for voters to listen to Obama's messages which is about all Americans taking back our government. There is no message of fear or divide, it's all about empowering all us to take back our government.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  17. Filipino monkey

    Be Clinton's VP.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  18. David Manuel

    Jack, all Barak has to do is be himself with the same message he has used from the very beginning and that is HOPE and CHANGE! America sure needs both of these, But most of all Barak is not lowering himself to the dirty games that Bill Clinton is playing. Jack you were right all along , It is getting ugly out there!

    January 28, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  19. Richard Sternagel

    Senator Obama need only to stay on message of hope and unity for all.It would also help if he could expand his beliefs about the economy and immigration etc. In short let America get to know him and his family! Then I think America will rally behind him! Go Obama!

    January 28, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  20. Jonathan

    Add substance to his speeches. Wait, that might cause him to lose support when people actually find out what his policies would be.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  21. anthony

    Here in New Hampshire the votes for Obama and Clinton were almost equal in number, and everything in this White State is White with snow.....The ground, trees, streets, & houses .

    Barack Obama's canidacy does not need to be segregated by the media. When it comes to support for Obama there is no color as to Black, white, pink or green .
    Those that support Obama are but one America. The United States of America.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  22. Stephen D., Denver, CO.

    Barack Obama needs to focus on the real issues that are of concern to the voters in November, and not his differences with the Clinon's.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  23. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Obama needs to stop pandering for the Black vote. He says he wants to be all inclusive,then he better start acting like it. He has to remember that half his heritage is white,and by ignoring his heritage he is dishonoring his mother and grandparents.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  24. earl illingsworth

    I think it should be very easy for the White voters in America to realize we need change? Those on Wall Street,or Wealthy Republican's would only want the status quo in this country now! The people are starting to realize were all(black,white, yellow,brown,whatever?)in this together, and we must start putting aside our prejudices, and think about the country as a whole. Seriously folks it's time to think about our children's future, and become selfless as our FOUNDERS! "God Bless America" !!! Memory check: ask not what your country can do for you?,but, for what you can do for your country!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  25. Gail, San Diego, California

    This is how race is brought into politics.

    Barack Obama is also a white Irish American. Do not forget this.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  26. Annie

    If things keep going as they have, all he has to do is sit back and watch Bill Clinton get him elected.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  27. Jeremy B

    I personally think it's the media that's making race an issue.... I support Hillary for her experience and personality.. I do not support Obama because he is too young... He came to PA to support Bob Casey Jr. and during his speech he said he had no intention on running for President this term... So, when there was a clear front runner in Hillary, he entered the race, dividing the party... Democrats need to look at electability at the general election.. OBAMA is not going to beat a republican... His words are great, but his actions are few... no, it's not race, it's experience...

    January 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  28. Katy Hill Prescott, Az.

    Get the media to continually point out that a black woman , Rice, is already pretty much running this country.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  29. joe m

    the results of SC may just be this, the result in SC. the dynamics are very different in places like NY, CA, and many other super tuesday states. as such, obama's support with white voters may not be as difficult as it may seem. remember that he won by a healthy margin in Iowa, and this was a state that is predominantly white. His showing in NH and NV were also quite strong with white voters.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  30. mark, CA

    what obama needs to do? what about what the media needs to do. every single time you even say the word "race" you are turning it into a racial election. its the same as saying "what does hillary need to do to get the 'educated vote'" . it's simply one of many many demographic or other factors attributed to a voter. when you review the exit polls you'll see that not only did obama get a small percentage of the white vote, but hillary got a small percentage of the college educated vote. why are there no stories being written on that, or any other demographic. once and for all, drop the race card and move on! i am personally so tired of hearing and seeing "race" arguments. the media is actually hurting the problem by continually bringing it up. what a terrible article. so disappointed in hearing the same thing every single day. we are all americans. some have black hair, some have blonde. some are tall and some are short. some are black and some are white.....get over it.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  31. Greg from PA

    Let's see. The white vote divided by three major candidates equals 33%. Could it be that a greater portion of white South Carolinian democrats are a bit more bigoted than in other states? While America has made great strides toward Martin Luther King's vision of racial harmony there are still some pockets of prejudice to be found.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  32. Jeremy B

    I just hope this race thing doesn't hurt the democrats... Three elections in a row where Americans would say "What the **** were we thinking voting for a republican?"

    January 28, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  33. Independent in California

    Say something that doesn't put me to sleep. Honestly, I don't get the hype.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  34. Randy Ross

    Obama's theme of the past vs. the future is critical, bringing together both young people (like my daughters in their 20's) and those like me, who grew to political maturity in the 60's. To inspire people of my generation is to re-kindle the hopes we held as young people in the civil rights and anti-war movements. To inspire young people of today means providing an antidote to their deep cynicism about the possibility of transformative leadership. Seeing two generations of Kennedy's inspired to support Obama has the potential (but not the certainty) to bring together several generations, across races, ethnicities, genders.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  35. Alex

    I think that he has to ask the people about how they feel on the issues. I think that whites, though they may fear a black presidency because of a perception of reverse prejudice, would be more willing to accept Obama if he could assure them that he will not put the needs of strictly the black community above the needs of the entire country, regardless of skin color. It is as Martin Luther King stated that "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

    January 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  36. Sherrie

    Jack,
    What could he possibly change to make him more favorable with the white voters? Should he change his message? Should he give a better speech? Should he get more endorsements? WAKE UP! He does not have the message or the vision to win. Just because the media has anointed this guy doesn't mean we have to vote for him. My question is how do we get the media to go back to reporting the news and stop with the commentating. I miss the old days Jack with network news (like Live at Five), when if anchors slid their opinions in they usually got fired!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  37. Margi

    Bring Oprah back.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  38. Pam Marecek

    I think Senator Kennedy and his family have turned their backs on the best candidate [Hillary] that the Democrats have offered in over forty years.

    I've defended Ted Kennedy against my Republican friends' bashings for the last time.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  39. tom

    Obama doesn't need to do anything to attract more white support, the former President is doing it for him. Bill Clinton's remarks have turned everyone off to another Clinton in the White House.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  40. John Lane

    Jack, I am disgusted that CNN kept playing upon race as an issue in this election. Mr Obama has gone to great lengths not to make race and issue. Mr Obama will NEVER pander to the white vote. Mr Obama is banking on the concept that the best qualified person will be elected. Mr Obama will not win or lose based upon race, if it is then we deserve what we get in return. As long as venues such as CNN keep race on the front burner, the real issues will take a back seat. Frankly I am sick of listening to all the breakdowns by race, gender and age. This assumes that a candidate will pander to a specific group to win, much like Guiilani is doing in Florida and he will fail. Mr Obama is trying to break the pattern and unfortunately CNN is complicite in seeing he is not successful. Shame on you Jack, I thought you were above all of this.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  41. dnc

    Obama needs to stick to his message, and he needs to hope that Bill Clinton will continue to shoot his mouth off. I started drifting toward supporting Hillary Clinton at New Hampshire, when it appeared that we would be allowed to see a real person behind the carefully structured facade.

    But I have been so revolted by Bill's trash talk that I am back to being a firm Obama supporter. Whether it's with her support or not, it's disgusting behavior. (This is from a 50+ white woman in Tennessee.)

    January 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  42. Anne-Marie Armstrong

    Barack Obama just needs to keep doing what he is doing to attract white votes. He is offering the best policies and he is for changing the way the government has been run and for letting social justice issues have more impact. Being a Senior Citizen and white, I am backing Obama because he is the best leader and politician in the field. He will continue to get my vote as long as he sticks to the issues and offers some alternatives to the mess that his country has been digging for itself in the last twelve years.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  43. Matt

    I don't think Obama is the best choice right now. With the bad econmic and bad situation in Iraq, I don't want to take risk to vote for him. His exprience is not enough to get US go through these bad. Clinton is not good also. But this choice is the safe side for US.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  44. Patil

    The white vote toughest to crack, is the 'older white person', both male and female: these people are more most likely to vote for a white candidate (irrespective of how qualified the black candidate is). This impression is based on years of conditioned response. Young white voters are amenable to change and have done so.
    I think endorsements by senior and respected white leaders will make an impact. I see an insidious bias by news person and intellectuals towards Obama and I believe thats natural. Senior Democrats and even Republicans should come out to support him. I think he is a true visionary.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  45. Dan Putnam

    Have any candidates Democrat or Republican received 36% of the white vote in any primary or caucus? or 36% of the vote in any primary or caucus?

    January 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  46. Kalpana Seshasai

    One more Big Endorsement from Al Gore.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  47. Jerry in Ohio

    I am a 47 yo white, male, lifelong liberal Democrat from Ohio, and my reason for NOT supporting Obama to date is that he just isn't a very strong candidate. He talks a good game, but from my analysis, he's more sizzle than steak, as we say out here in the heartland. He doesn't have enough experience to be President, and he doesn't really have any new ideas that haven't already been proposed or tried by other candidates. I've lived through other candidates like him who like to talk "inspiration and change" but haven't invested enough "perspiration" to be experience or qualified enough to get the job done. While he seems very intelligent, he needs to hold the rhetoric and put in a few more years of hard work before he is experienced enough for the Presidency.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  48. ilnjscb

    The media needs to stop making this into "a fight, a fight, a black and a white!". Obama was getting white votes until he got such rapturous coverage from the media. Anything the media loves so unobjectively can't be good. The media want's a black president just because it would be "neat". We have to live with the results.

    If a black candidate with more than three years experience, whose only serious opponent didn't drop out of the race, comes along, we will all vote for him or her.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  49. California Dreamin'

    He's not worried about the white vote yet. Right now, he's pandering to hispanics in California by offering drivers licenses.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  50. Fran

    I'll vote for the candidate who will stop the outsourcing of our jobs in the name of 'free' trade and who will see our nation as more than just a facade to be used by multinational corporations. A candidate who will address the security, cultural and economic issues caused by the influx of millions of illegal aliens. A candidate who has a plan to get out of Iraq immediately. Neither Clinton nor Obama have addressed these core issues.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  51. MJ

    I'm from Atlanta and I can tell you from a black women's perspective that Obama is playing the race card to get votes. Unfortuanately, he is not playing fair and he has no experience. It's okay for him to be critical with others, but mention being black or not having experience, then he yells I'm being destriminated against simply because I'm black. Many people are afraid here in Atlanta to speak their minds, because if your black, you're suppose to vote for Obama . It's time to put racial issues to the side and realize that we're voting for someone who will impact our families ten years down the line

    January 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  52. Deborah - Iowa

    Unfortunately John,

    Obama will have to actually talk from his heart and not some pre-written speech that his speech writer writes for him,

    two he will need to actually get into detail about the issues and how he would
    handle them as president.

    whites are interested in the first black president and the first woman as well
    but we are more interested in details on issues.

    we cant afford another bushwack on this country

    And now with the kennedy's endorsements we all can see that Obama represents Status quo and is their intended puppet

    January 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  53. E.W.Hendricks

    Jack

    It is true that not since JFK have I felt enthused by an election. I believe Obama speaks to the heart of who we truly are as Americans. He reminds us that we are better and can be better than what we have been. I am a registered Republican who happens to be black and believe me no one has gotten my attention like Obama has.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  54. Brad Osborne

    I believe Sen. Obama can gain a larger portion of the white vote by doing his best to remain "above the fray" and continue to purport and refine his "vision" of a united America. If he continues to respond to questions of race, he will only play into the hands of his opponents...the less he says about what can often be a divisive issue, the better. Just ask those who are throwing this issue at him. With all due respect, former President Clinton didn't earn the nickname "Teflon Bill" by engaging in contentious issues, but by weathering the storm and saying as little as possible when questioned by Congress, the press, attorneys and others.

    Brad Osborne
    Westborough, MA

    January 28, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  55. Obama is Dull

    I'm sorry... I was napping again. What was the question?

    January 28, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  56. Joyce

    The last time a Presidential election inspired me was the year that JFK ran against Nixon. That same excitement is here this year for me, and it's due to Ted's speech today for Obama.

    Certainly the Clinton crowd will try to downplay that speech, that's to be expected, but nothing that Hillary can say, think or do between now and November will change my mind so much as a single inch.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  57. MATT MORSE

    White people under the age of 40 will have no problem voting for Senator Obama we just have to do a good job on our parents before the General Election.....Obama 2008.....

    January 28, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  58. Frank

    White, Black, Yellow, Brown or Red.....Obama's attraction has nothing to do with color....He attracts PEOPLE that can HEAR and THINK

    January 28, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  59. Lee

    Hi Jack,
    My opinion is to your question is perhaps, the "white" votes as you put it... should keep an open mind and tune in to listen to this man speak.
    LW

    January 28, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  60. Howard

    My biggest fear in this election is that it will be decided because of the race and gender issues. There is nothing Senator Obama can do to be more appealing than he already is as a bonafide Presidential candidate and stalwart human being. Likewise, Senator Clinton cannot change who she is and is a credit to her gender and to this nation. What a great day it would be for the young women of the world to have a female president and what a great day it would be for African-Americans to see the possibilities of this country's creed. Unfortunately, when alone in the voting booth, white males as a whole will not be able to get past those two issues.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  61. katrina

    This question speaks to the divisiveness that we all need to stay away from. Barack Obama is an American. The question is how can he appeal to Americans. Did the media ask JFK if he can appeal to non-Catholics when he ran for presidency? No. The media will be blamed for its racial overtures that plays on the minds of us all and will ultimately get us away from choosing the best candidate based on his/her position on important issues.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  62. Rose

    So far he has managed to inspire many. Winning endoresments like the Kennedys is a great start!

    Hope is something we all need regardless of our race or wealth, position or education, religion or history.
    The rishest and poorest of Americas can certainly relate to that and this will be the driving force that unites our divided country.

    I am only in my twenties but I can recognize that this is a great moment in history, that Obama has clearly brought into our lives. He has revived an energy we forgot we had or did not even know we had. He has done it... If he can get the country this far how much further will he bring us when we get behind him and give him the power of our votes, our voices.

    All along I thought that that the American people were not evolved enough to choose a black american as president no matter how able and I would have been happy to settle with Hilary as the history maker... but no... it is time, time for change, time for Barack Obama, time for a season of hope when it has been lost for so long. To think my son will not have to read about the history makers of Kennedy and King... Obama is this generation's history maker!!!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  63. IowaBob

    It's funny to me that these media types who are supposed to be tuned into what's going on in the country really have no clue. I'm a white middle aged male from Iowa whose white senior parents are Obama supporters. Iowa whites voted for Barack, as did a whole lot of people from all races in all the states so far. Senator Obama recieved a significant number of white votes in every state so far. The voters are speaking loud and clear, "We don't care about race!" And yet all the media wants to talk about is race....So sad.
    Bob from Des Moines

    January 28, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  64. Matt Kelly

    To attract more caucasian support, Obama needs to do nothing more than he is already doing. Rather, his caucasian supporters, myself included, need to be more visible and vocal as to our support for him and why, so that other white Americans can see that his appeal isn't limited to just one ethnic group, but does, in fact, cross over racial lines. This same scenario needs to be even stronger in the Latino population. So just one small way I do try to attain that visibility is to wear an Obama pin on my lapel wherever I go. It sparks conversation, which can hopefully spark someone else's hope, and more importantly, their vote come Feb. 5th.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  65. Rob K.

    I think white voters will come to support him. If you look at the stats you should ask why Edwards and Clinton were only getting 25-40% of the vote. He will continue to climb. The more you look at Obama, the more you like him. Sadly, the exact opposite is true for all the other candidates.

    Look at his stats for educated white people. Very impressive. It is the old guard, the elderly and the Southern whites that may be steadfastly against him at this point. He is doing well with people that are taking this election seriously and have real concern about the issues and this nation as opposed to the safety of name recognition and the color of the skin.

    The main problem will be the Latin vote. I don't think he is going to turn that tide because of racial discrimination and language barrier.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  66. John

    Jack,

    The question you posed was extremely unnecessary.

    Why didn't you just say "How is Obama going to win the nomination?"

    Questions like this only add fuel to the pointless and petty racial food fight in America that didn't have to happen. Both sides are acting like spoiled little children, pointing their fingers and saying "He started it!."

    Is this just plain media sensationalism? I think it just may be.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  67. Lisa

    When I listened to Obama's speech the first time, I was in awe. The second time I heard the speech, the message was basically same as the first time. The third time, I was frustrated that other than the chanting "Yes, we can...", I heard nothing about the action, or how we can get there. So, tell me, with economy going to the bottom like now, where is the beef? Stop chanting, and give me some substance.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  68. Mel in Missoula

    Jack – I think that it has more to do with what voters need to do...and that is LISTEN!

    Barack Obama brings a message of hope, change and inclusion to every American. He is helping to erase the political apathy of the last 20+ years with his message by bringing the young and disenfranchised back into the political process.

    I am a 47 year old white female in a decidedly white state...this is the first time in my life I have been moved to become involved in a political campaign.

    Any one who truly listens and compares the messages of the current field of candidates will come to the same conclusion.

    OBAMA '08
    YES, WE CAN!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  69. Nick in Las Vegas

    I'm mixed White\Latino and my decision to support Hillary Clinton has nothing to do with race. There is only one way I would support Barack Obama and that is if he got enough experience and had a strong record of leadership to stand on. In other words, come back and run in 8 years, then maybe I'll vote for you! I've listened to his speeches and heard his supporters cry for change but I do not feel that he has the strength or knowledge necessary to tackle Washington. If he runs into the White House the way his supporters are screaming now, "Change... Go GO!" then he will only be as effective as that rally. Barack's supporters say that this is not and should not be racial but when you look at the data of S.C. 80% of one race of people voted for him.... 17% to Clinton and 1% to Edwards... that sounds very racial to me. If that vote had been more split I would say "Congratulations Senator Obama" but as it came out I say, shame on S.C. they voted for him because of his race, period.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  70. Michael Gordon

    Barack is doing just fine. Picking up the Kennedy endoresements today was huge and should allow him to pick up additional momentum for Super Tuesday. He should continue to do what he does best; communicating to the public and acting Presidential by staying above the fray. In the meantime, we just have to hope that Bill Clinton continues to stick his foot in his mouth. Clinton's performance over the last few weeks has been an embarassment, and I for one have lost all respect for the Clinton campaign.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  71. Matt

    The whole premise of this misguided article is part of the problem. Totally disappointing and superficial "analysis." Look, Obama won Iowa with 38% of the total vote (which is OVERWHELMINGLY white), Clinton had a paltry 29%. Those were people who mostly knew what the candidates are all about. So he got more of what you analytically-challenged folks are calling the white vote, and it was an INFORMED vote. The problem is that the Clintons, in their slimy way, have tried to marginalize Obama based on his race. It ain't working either. All of the polls Cafferty cites are old news, before red-faced Bill became a national nightmare. In terms of polls, nothing has come out in the last 6 days.

    Here's the straight truth. Obama doesn't need more of the white vote. Only a moron would suggest that whites vote in one big monolithic block. Obama needs more of the just plain flat out vote.

    Hillary Clinton has been riding a slimy nepotistic wave of corporate-sponsored publicity since 1992. Obviously it's going to take Obama a few months to overcome it. Right now we are at the tipping point. People are fed up with this divisive garbage. Frankly, this article is an insult to the intelligence of the american voter.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  72. Linda

    Baraka Obama must continue to let the pepole know that we are one nation under
    God, and that we all share the same concerns about our families, careers, safety and the economy. All of us regardless of race struggle with high gas prices, mortgages, food, safety and the economy. Because when we travel outside the United States we are all Americans and hated in most places. As my generation prepares to pass the storch, what better leader to offer hope and prosperity for the generations to come. And by choosing Baraka Obama the nation can continue to strive to live out the true creed of what our founding fathers believed, that "We Are One Nation Under God".

    January 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  73. John

    J.D.: Unfortuantely, your conclusion does not follow from your logic (or lack thereof in this case). Bill Clinton's assertion is that Obama can ONLY get the black vote. That has no bearing on whether it is good for either Obama or Bill Clinton to have won a high percentage of the black vote – no logical connection whatsoever. It is rather a commentary that Obama has not yet shown an ability to get the white vote. Without the white vote, one cannot get elected! Plain and simple. This observation is made without any bias or preference between the candidates – I am still thinking.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  74. Patrick

    This is so absurd...and really getting out of hand. Hillary has done nothing wrong and has tons of support from all communities in this great land. Stupid, ridiculous media articles like this one, only make the matter worse.
    Let's get focused on the issues, like a failing economy, the war, terrorism.

    ENOUGH is enough!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  75. Matthew from Houston

    The best way for Barack, is to keep doing what he's doing. The man has captured my vote and I'd love to see him as president. I'm tired of voting for the candidate that will do the least amount of damage and want to hire the right person for the job.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  76. nancy

    The title of this article suggest racism. The media is doing what they do best start more and more contravorsary for ratings. I don't have my head burried in the sand I know there will always be talk about race but the media just won't let this die, example this articles title and what is a shame is we feed into it, let's be honest that is probably why half of us came to this message board.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  77. James V

    Barack Obama should try to be a good candidate. When he realizes that there's more to being a leader than standing in front of a huge sign reading "CHANGE" while chanting "Yes we can," he won't be taken seriously by anyone who actually cares to learn about the candidates. It's unfortunate, but the truth is that people DO vote on race, and Barack Obama will continue to get the black vote while losing the majority of the white vote because he has no other appeal. I'm sorry Obama, but making the lobbyists stand up while they eat isn't quite enough to remove corruption from Washington – nice try though.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  78. Robert Miller

    Jack:

    Statistics are a powerful tool but misleading when used improperly. Clinton received 37% of the vote in New Hampshire and 29% of the vote in Iowa, all presumably White. Does Hillary Clinton have a problem with White voters?

    January 28, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  79. Chris

    The reason that Barack Obama isn't winning white votes is that he isn't winning any votes without making the campaign about race. Bill Clinton finally called him on some of his lies and Obama's campaign successfully spun those attacks as being based on race, which led to the huge turnout and margin for Obama among black voters in South Carolina. Many white voters see this for what it is, Obama using the race card to shield himself from legitimate attacks.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  80. Akhil Desai

    It is interesting that there seems to be discrepancy on who people are voting for based on income and education levels. Those with higher incomes and education levels are more likely to vote for Obama than the lesser educated and lower income individuals. We know based on statistics that the vast majority of the peole in these groups are white. The data suggests that not only is racial division more prominent among less educated people (this is to be expected), but surprisingly among lower income levels. This is an interesting factor, and disputes the argument that those with more power are at the source of dividing people into groups based on race. It is actually not those in power who breed this separation, but those who dont have power who are breeding these divisions in their own communities.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  81. Matthew

    Jack,

    There is only one sure fire way to attract more whites: turn out the youth vote.

    You can't teach an old dog new tricks. Issues of gender, race, and also sexual orientation lessen with each generation, and this population is more open to voting for Obama.

    The real question for Obama is how to gets the kids off of their video game systems and iPods and into a voting booth. Not an easy task.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  82. stephanie h.

    It has been terribly embarrassing for me to see Bill Clinton slinging mud. Obama just needs to stay on message and rise above their shenanigans. The Clintons are really yesterday's news and do not offer a message which inspires. Just listen to Obama speak and you'll know why he is the voice of our future.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  83. Kal Chandani

    Jack my friend, the answer to this question is simple. Nothing. Senator Barack Obama should do nothing different to attract more white support. The great thing about Senator Obama is his ability to play on a higher level than the other candidates. He doesn't target segments of the population and pander to their wishes, he has a comprehensive vision for the country and one that will permeate every demographic, including the majority white population. As the race gets heated, people of all walks of life will inevitably hear his message, and they will vote for him simply because he is the right person, at the right time, with the right message.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  84. Elliot

    Elliot From Midland TX,

    Why is race such an issue for you? It's you the "media" that make is such a big deal. GET OVER IT!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  85. Rich C.

    read Matt's post (on January 28th, 3:36pm)... he couldn't have worded it better!

    ...Oh yea, and Obama's had my white vote, my wife's white vote, and all of our friends and families white votes ever since his book came out! We were more than extactic when we learned he was running for President. I suggest you read it...

    January 28, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  86. Matt

    The only reason race is becoming an issue in this election is due to the media and their need to create a story out of nothing. If the media spent half the time comparing the policies of the candidates as you do reporting opinion polls that are based on smoke and mirrors we the voters might get something out ot it!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  87. monica

    He should ask people to read his book! I don't know anyone who came away from The Audacity of Hope anything less than a full-fledged Obama supporter.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  88. Brian

    Obama needs to get back to his message of uniting all voters and focusing on all of the issues, not just race-based issues. The majority of voters in the United States are white, middle-class people who are tolerant of other races and religions and just want to work together toward a better future. For Obama, Romney, Huckabee or any other candidate to focus on fringe issues will always harm them. Obama needs to steer clear of demographic-based issues and keep his message of unity strong. This will guarantee him a strong showing of support from voters of all races nationwide, just as he received in Iowa. Remember, he got a third of the white vote in Iowa, but among three candidates, that's dead even.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  89. Michelle Liburd - Alanta Georgia

    Continue as he has been while allowing Billary to sling mud, lies and half truths. Billary will alienate white, black and hispanic voters alike with those tactics. I used to have a lot of respect for the Clintons... especially the former president. These last few weeks have opened my eyes however, to how devisive Billary can be.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  90. Patrick Schoettmer

    He needs to capitalize on the Kennedy endorsement. For many white Catholics like myself, an endorsement by the Kennedy clan is as good an endorsement as one could get short of being endorsed by the Pope himself. If Ted Kennedy tells us to give this guy a second look, we're going to do it. Obama just needs to take advantage of this opportunity given to him by Teddy, and hit a home run while our minds are open.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  91. Leon Spinner

    I think that having the Kennedy's support Obama is great, and I belive he now can win the democratic elections. I believe that president Kennedy was one, if not, the best president of the 20th century and having his families support means alot to the democratic party. I am really starting to believe that Obama has a real chance at winning. Many may put it past American voters to vote for a black president, but surely enough we are starting to see that America is ready for change. It is great to hear and read about his success, and I think that most white democratic and independent voters will vote for him because of this Kennedy's support.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  92. Jan

    Obama has a certain "righteousness" about him that does not sit well with many white Americans. Like a preacher/minister. Metaphors are great if you understand them; but very condemnatory when you don't. When Obama says we need change we need to get rid of the status quo, he forgets he is condeming my congressman. He depersonalizes status quo, and yet it is my congressman he is attacking! Why? To what end? At a different level: who gets to do what to whom at what cost with impunity?

    January 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  93. Brandon

    It is not so much a race factor as an age factor. When you look at the numbers in South Carolina Obama won 24% of the white vote (the other was almost split by Edwards and Hillary). However, when you look at the white vote for ages between 18-29 he won 52% of the vote. This suggests age may have a bigger factor then race. The only age group Hillary won in was 65+ and older. Like Obama says, "Its not about black vs. white, its about the past vs. the future".

    January 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  94. Joyce

    It is high time for Americans to stop judging people by the color of their skin. Besides, Obama is as much white as black. I sincerely hope voters can get beyond that and look at the person's accomplishments and goals for our country. There is way too much partisanship in our government, adding race or gender certainly isn't going to help matters.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  95. Gilbert

    Obama does not have to do much. He only has to stick to his positive message of unity. What would help more is for him to be more detailed (a la Ross Perot, using charts, graphs, ...) about his economic and health care policies without being too boring or too geeky. As much as he inspires, he needs to put on his professor's hat and lecture the public on how is he going to bring about change. This is something that he can easily do.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  96. Bernel

    I believe Obama will win more white votes if he use his ( White) maternal grandparents in an advertisement.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  97. Sanjay

    I guess Race is bitter pill in politics , even in civilized society you stay in. And by all means United States needs to Walk the Talk when it lectures outside world.
    But I am sure Obama knew it and have calcuated before entering this race. Not only in primaries but anyway he would have to deal with it in general elections -Republican's are not going to let off.
    Todays endorsement is part of that game plan and some big ones should follow to thwart any descrimination effort.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  98. Daniel

    All that is needed is white voters to change their mentality.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  99. Alex Smith

    Open your eyes, Barack Obama is a African American. He got 80% of the black vote. That is his strong hold. If you are a African American the chance of you voting for a fellow African Amercian are around 60% and why because he shares your views? I don't think that 80% of people in the black communtiy shared Obama's message, he has power speeches and they want to back a fellow Black candidate. That is the truth that no one wants to own up too.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  100. Barbara Hutchinson

    Race will play a role in this contest for president. As a person who has run for political office, you cannot hope that race won't affect the vote. What Obama can do is constantly emphasize his qualifications for the job, talk the issues, and urge voters not to let race get in the way of moving America forward. Constant repetition of the refrain may help Americans to get it right. Also, the candidate must factor in that any poll numbers should be discounted by a minus 10% to account for race considerations.

    It doen't mean that race won't matter, but it keeps your feet planted in reality.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  101. Roman, Philadelphia

    Obama has been down in just about every state before he began to campaign there. When people hear him speak, listen to his message and get exposed to his ideas, they seem to like him. Regardless of their race. As the campaign turns national, once he (and the Clintons) get ever more exposure, people of all races will gravitate to his campaign. He might not win ever state on Feb 5th, but it'll be much closer then the polls say. Then he can seal the deal picking of each following state, one by one.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  102. Otto / Iowa

    I was there in Iowa in the caucus and Barack is doing just fine with white voters, like myself. What he needs to do is to destroy this myth that Hillary is the candidate that the Democratic establishment wants to see in November. Now that Kennedy and Kerry have put their weight behind Obama it is clear that Hillary is no longer the candidate the establishment wants. It also wants change!!!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  103. anne cotton

    Senator Obama should acknowledge Senator Clinton's great intelligence and John Edwards' passionate desire to end poverty and establish productive schools and that while, of course, he shares their concerns for America, he feels strongly that he is the best leader, perhaps the only real leader, who will bring back America's respect for the White House where unlike Bush, he will listen to his country women and men, especially to those who have not had a voice and he will bring back the world's respect for this great country by providing leadership on the world's stage.

    Good to listen to you Jack, Anne,

    January 28, 2008 at 8:19 pm |
  104. Irene Hawaii

    I believe Barrack Obama has more of the “white” vote than you give him credit for. If you look at the 2006 Census Bureau statistics you will find the following:

    Nevada:
    Population is 81.7% white/ 7.9% black
    Clinton received 51% of the total vote/Obama received 45%
    Iowa:
    Population is 94.6% white/ 2.5% black
    Clinton received 29% of the total vote/Obama received 38%
    NH:
    Population is 95.8% white/ 1.1% black
    Clinton received 39% of the vote/Obama received 37%
    SC:
    Population is 68.5% white/ 29% black
    Clinton received 27% of the vote/Obama received 55%

    For Mr. Obama's % of votes to be as great as they are, it seems whites are voting for him.

    January 28, 2008 at 8:26 pm |
  105. David Huntley

    Obama says he doesn't play the race card – but his actions prove he does. If he wants the white vote, I'm afraid to say he has to come across as being less exclusively black. He says he's the neutral party, but his father who left him at two years of age, to grow up in a rich white Hawaiian home – well guess which item he brings up often. His dad's ancestors in Kenya. He never talks about how well his mother brought him up. He never talks about growing up in a quasi Polynesian society... His talk of okie-dokies in South Carolina plants him firmly in the I am black not white camp. It puts him in the I'm not neutral camp too. If Obama was honest, as he grew up with a bit of both, he should be good at riding the fence on this, he'd do far better. But when he wants black votes, he plays straight for them with the race card. Plus he's not really into much change, he doesn't even believe in social healthcare or gay marriage. It's the same-old, same-old, Clinton sores higher on those issues, so that shows you where real change is.

    January 28, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  106. Bobbie

    Jack:
    Obama needs to make certain that the youth vote continues in the same way it has been. Plus he needs to continue talking to the same people he has attracted so far–educated people. Education, especially coupled with idealism, combats all of the "isms." Several of the Super Tuesday states are states with younger, more educated and higher income people–all of which Obama appeals to. Plus, more than issues or this question of change vs. experience, he needs to stay true to himself. The more he does this, the more authentic he remains and it is this authenticity that has resonated (I'm beginning to dislike that word since it has been bandied about so much during this election) with so many viewers.

    January 28, 2008 at 8:47 pm |
  107. Arno, Munich - Germany

    As far as the candidacy of Barack Obama is concerned, I´m convinced Dr. Kings dream will not yet come true if Obama does not come up with a surprise act. Ironically enough, the overwhelming support of the black community will turn out to be his Waterloo putting race back on the agenda and causing a response among white voters. The minds already seem to be set, which leaves aiming for the hearts.

    January 28, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  108. chris from california

    I'm a white female and already voted for Barack on my absentee ballot. He just needs to be himself, let the Clintons perform and keep Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in the closet with duct tape on their mouths!

    January 28, 2008 at 8:49 pm |
  109. Kristy

    As a college student who came into this election excited about the possibility of a historic race, I cannot explain how disenchanted my generation is becoming with the whole election process. Why does it always seem that people play the race card or the gender card at every turn? I know these issues are bound to be important on some level, but people wonder why the number of voters under the age of 25 is never substantial, and I can tell you that it is because we are sick of hearing the constant emphasis on these two factors rather than the actual issues. People my age are wondering whether or not we will have social security when we are sixty, what sort of money healthcare will cost us, or if we will still have troops in Iraq in thirty years. Personally, I think it is time everyone tore themselves away from the superficial differences between the candidates and got down to the real issues facing us both now and in the future.

    January 28, 2008 at 8:54 pm |
  110. Grandma

    I can tell you how Obama would win a MAJORITY of the white vote very quickly:

    Change his position of support for comprehensive immigration reform to that of enforcing current immigration laws. ANY Democratic presidential candidate who supports enforcing current immigration laws would win the majority of ALL Democratic votes. Stressing NO Amnesty"

    January 28, 2008 at 8:57 pm |
  111. Marilyn in Ohio

    Just have Oprah hold another rally and more of the Kennedy clan endorse him and FOR SURE he won't get my vote! I was inspired by his first couple of speeches but it is now starting to sound like a broken record. As one person said "all sizzle and no steak." And, for sure, hooking on to the Kennedy Amnesty bill is a no no for me and my family!!!

    January 28, 2008 at 9:00 pm |
  112. Fournier, Michigan

    Barack Obama needs to control Al Sharpton from dragging race into his campaign, from Sharpton taking Joe Biden to task for calling Barack Obama "articulate" and "clean," to his more recent Clinton “fairytale “ comments they may very well be costing him votes. I can’t imagine listening to Al Sharpton dialogue going on like this for the next four years.

    January 28, 2008 at 9:23 pm |
  113. James Brown ( Independent )

    Jack ,

    Around here it seems that most everyone loves Obama. Even my 70 year old republican WHITE sister has jumped on the Obama train.

    This part of the Country are big Obama supporters. We just don't see race as an issue .

    OREGON LOVES OBAMA

    January 28, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  114. Dorothia

    To win the white support he needs to stop pandering to the groups that he thinks will win him votes and instead pledge to focus on the issues that concern most Americans. Tonight I heard he thinks just like Ted Kennedy on the immigration issue. I never see an American Flag lapel pin on him and my husband said he didn't place his hand over his heart during a pledge of allegiance. That tells me alot about a person and how they really feel about this country. Yes, we all want change in this country. We're sick and tired of the same old, same old. I think the blacks will vote for Barack because he's black and not decide for themselves if he's qualified based on the issues. As a white woman I was gung ho for Barack at the beginning but no longer feel he represents the issues that are important to me. Let's face it folks....the truth is that for years during each campaign the politicians promise us everything and deliver nothing. All these things the candidates are promising to do NOW if elected....why the heck didn't they do something these past years while in office. It's all a farce. Right now I'm not interested in any one of the candidates. I think they're all liars and they'll feed us a bone but in the end there will be very little change. If he sides in with Kennedy's thinking on the immigration issue, the poor blacks will suffer in the end. All those jobs they usually get will be snatched by the illegals that get amnesty.

    January 28, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  115. Susan Maloff

    Obama does not have the experience to become President in these difficult times. Hillary Clinton has 35 years of experience to qualify her for the job. She and Bill have been public servants their whole adult lives. She also has a complete set of plans to solve all the problems that Bush caused. I like Obama
    but he has not done the work to qualify him for the job. I don't think he would be able to bring about all that he is promising to get ellected. As for me, I will continue to work for Hillary Clinton's election.

    January 28, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  116. rationalpsychic

    I agree with those who see Obama as crossing lines. I think that his appeal is more broad-based than black vs. white. Clinton hammers away at experience when her own is rather thin. She and Bill have been working at the politics of division and it stinks.

    I see her as competent, but as another cynical politician. I've had enough of right vs. left competition, too. Push comes to shove, I'll take the left side of the spectrum, but I see that as a false choice considering the Republicans' current weakened state.

    Now is the time to solve problems and cement gains on the left in a different way–by offering that looks different, walks different, IS different.

    I don't think that Obama is the next Lincoln, but Lincoln had no more experience when he was elected and handled a tougher situation than (hopefully) Obama will ever have to face.

    January 28, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  117. Naz

    Obama is "a likable enough person" ... but I'm not interested in having a cheerleader for President. Our current President is leaving a fine mess for us & we need someone who can make things happen. Obama's "motivational Ra-Ra" & "warm fuzzies" will wear off .... and then what??

    If he wants my vote, he needs to start spending his time telling me his plans. Not his side-stepping, non-answers & high school cheerleader routines. And not just rattling off a laundry list of topics that sound good.

    What are his actual plans to make this a great country again – both for our Citizens and for our much-damaged relationships around the world.

    Hilary Clinton has my vote unless Obama "shows me the money"!!

    January 28, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  118. K. M. Randall

    My problem with Barrack Obama is not his race but his arrogance! Am I the only one who sees a more articulate George W. (circa 2000) promising to be a uniter and not a divider and to restore dignity to the White House? His substance is tired old ideas couched in community development rhetoric. I have never missed a vote, but if he gets the nomination I'll be sitting this one out!

    January 28, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  119. weedivine

    I think its great, for the first time in a presidential campaign, that white voters are being called such. Rather than being invisible racially, just qualified by their income, age or education, white voters are being recognized as having a race. Hooray for a country finally having to realize that white is a dfemongraphic too, with very real opinions. As for the white people who are pleading the "I am an individual" case- how do you think the communities of racial groups previously singled out have felt when asked this question in previous years? At frst I was taken aback by the question posed, now I'm thrilled, if only to see how white voters, perhaps for the first time ever, will be held accountable for the doings of their race.
    And here's the bigger thing- if Obama were to be the democratic candidate, can the white voters be counted on to get him into office? Or will those pesty swing voters, usually white, male and middle aged, stick to the familiar demographic? If it were Hilary then, can MALE voters, be counted on for the same thing? We're seeing a trend here... Can white people take responsibility for the role of their color in desicion making, rather than in the past as they were somehow always granted "nuetral" status voters when it came to race (since its white voting for white makes white invisible)? Or will men talk to each other about their gender and why it might keep a candidate from office? Will white people actually have to get out and talk to white people about their own race and what it means? Exciting...

    January 28, 2008 at 10:57 pm |
  120. Cheryl

    I am a Black woman but think that Barack Obama could garner more of the working and middle class White vote by accentuating his plan to lower taxes for the and middle class Americans with more details. Incentives to save should also be rewarded to these groups.

    January 28, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  121. leopard

    it's so sad that even in a super power and powerful country like the USA race will always take p residence over logic and pure judgment. its is evident in the last couple of weeks Obama has taken alot of verbal lashing from the Clinton campaign but he has again shown his maturity by thinking first before reacting (something that Bill and Hillary do not know about) that is class and maturity exercised in a way never before seen in politics. but even with all this still he has to do the impossible to get the white voters. it's always the same in America and sadly so that your color will always come before your brain.

    January 28, 2008 at 11:26 pm |
  122. davilaluis

    I think that he needs to continue to appeal to a broad base of supporters. His positive needs to remain postive and avoid the urge to become boxed as the "black candidate." I think that when interacting with voters he could also further talk about his family as a whole (both his white family and his Kenyan family).

    I think the Ted Kennedy endorsement will help me a lot in attracting white support as well.

    Luis Davila

    January 29, 2008 at 12:15 am |
  123. Bill from Bakersfield, CA

    To respond to your comments on Obama's poor showing with white voters in South Carolina, you must remember who you're talking about. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. That state and other southern states have a long history of segregation and discrimination. Older whites would be more inclined not to vote for Obama.

    Look at what happened in Iowa, and New Hampshire. He won in one and barley lost in the other. He probably won't do well among older whites in any southern states.

    January 29, 2008 at 12:23 am |
  124. ward

    I am a black American who is very much troubled with what I view as reverse discrimination occurring in our country today that is being given a pass and in fact being promoted by virtually every news media and idealist pundits on TV. To think that one candidate could get 81% of a particular racial group is astounding and had it been the other way around we would be looking under every rock and into every crevice for something sinister like racism/discrimination. It may look and sound like inclusion and may even fit someones dream but it still smells fowl and appears that our blaming Bill and Hillary of injecting race into the campaign was just an excuse we were glad to hide behind in order to vote our prejudice as blacks. Revenge is sweet but still not right and the American people will wake up and reject the idealogical double standards being fed to them by some politician and the media loud mouths. I support Hillary's record more than Obama's, just the mere fact that he was a bench warmer in the Illinois senate makes me skeptical, he voted present over130 times for crying out loud. Was there not an issue he could take a stand on? As for Ted Kennedy he has been a part of Washington longer than Bill and Hillary combined and hence is more responsible for the broken government and divisiveness that now plague our government. Teddy needs to step aside and allow mommy Hillary to clean up the mess he helped to create.

    January 29, 2008 at 12:52 am |
  125. California voter

    I thought I might add something with regard to Obama attracting more white voters. Looks like he is trying blunt any concerns that whites may have about his membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ by recently inserting a u-tube video on the page that speaks to what the church is about. It shows a white minister of the United Church of Christ testifying that Obama is not a Muslim and that the church is very welcoming to all. Perhaps the campaign felt that whites could be offended by its members commitment to the church's 10 point vision (included among them "a non-negotiable commitment to Africa") and other separatist ideas.

    January 29, 2008 at 1:38 am |
  126. Mike Cooper

    What does Obama have to do to attract more white support?!

    Well perhaps he could talk more of "white issues" and encourage more "white power"? Perhaps he could meet with David Duke and agree to let bygones be bygones?

    What an incredibly STUPID question Cafferty!

    This white man is not voting for Obama, because I put a premium on experience and I feel Obama needs more. While still undecided, Clinton will probably be my choice. This white man is color-blind and gender neutral and has been very disturbed in recent days in seeing Hispanics vote in such numbers in Nevada for the "non-black" candidate while blacks in South Carolina voted in such numbers for "one of their own". This white man has never considered his political identity attached to his skin color, and after considering it now, finds it highly uncomfortable.

    The answer to your question, is that it would be useless for Obama to try to attract more "white support" because racial politics are almost always zero sum. Actively pursuing white supporters will only encourage black supporters to question his 'blackness' again. Obama, and all of the other candidates should be seeking support of all Americans by being the best candidates they can be. If enough Americans are ready for a black president, and he is the right candate, that will be enough. If it isn't and he isn't, then it won't. Obama would only be betraying the hopes he claims to represent (ala Bill "Obama's the black candidate'" Clinton) by pursuing the race card.

    January 29, 2008 at 2:09 am |
  127. Colin

    It isn't what Obama can do to garner more white support, but rather what we can do to give Obama the support he needs.

    I'd like to think we aren't living in a day and age where one group votes for a woman candidate just because they happen to be female, or one group votes for a black candidate due to the fact they themselves are black and so forth.

    Obama shouldn't *have* to try harder at getting the white vote than the black. People should stop looking at the gender, skin or even political party of an individual and choose to support the one that has the better plan for our future. I cannot understand our inability to think outside the box. Why is it that a Democrat or a Republican supporter has the distinct inability to vote for a politician for an opposing side if they have sound views? We are not our political party. We are our own ideals and beliefs. We should be supporting the individual who best alligns themselves with our wants for a better America and ultimately a better World, regardless of religion, race, gender or political party.

    Bottom line: Do not let your race, gender or blue or red colored animal of preference determine who you vote for.

    If we can't look outside the box on this issue, have things really changed in the past forty years?

    January 29, 2008 at 2:24 am |
  128. Dorothy

    When considering Obama for my vote I asked myself if he was electable. The answer was "I don't know. I don't think he has the experience nor do I know enough about him."
    Now I'm beginning to feel he has become the "Teflon Obama" with the news media. Bill Clinton could sneeze and the media will say it was a racial sneeze. Yet Michelle Obama is allowed to make speeches along with Oprah about the struggles of the black person, Rosa Parks, Dr King and others. So it became clear to me that Obama himself was promoting the race card and not being accountable for his "present" votes or his mis-statements in the past.

    Maybe he has always been against the Iraq war, but when asked about it after his speech at the Democrat Convention in 2004, he said "I don't know". If he didn't support the war, why didn't he say "No"? So when the Clinton campaign brings up this question, I think it is a legitimate question. Why play the race-card when his response was brought up by the Hillary team? Why didn't he just say "You know, I was there to support John Kerry and since he had voted for the war, I felt uncomfortable saying "no".

    If he fails to acknowledge things like that, what else is there that we should know?

    I think the Clinton campaign has very little record of Obama's to even question. Only through their questions though are we going to discover what we should know about Obama, the candidate. By saying everything is racially motivated is just wrong.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:23 am |
  129. Kevin

    I don't have any suggestions on how he can attract more white but I can say that I am white, 51, and always voted republican and he has me. I see in him a man that is polished, confident, and appears honest. Whether things are going great or not I feel he will level with us and include us in his decisions. He has been in Washington long enough to know it needs change and I believe he can change or at least persuede government to fork, not fight. Any and ALL the others will be fought against and again no progress.

    January 29, 2008 at 7:35 am |
  130. James Brown (Independent )

    White people love Obama , it's the media that keeps trying to spin skin color.

    January 29, 2008 at 8:41 am |
  131. Christine Chisholm

    The support of Ted Kennedy may do more to hurt than help Obama. Isn't he running away from the Democratic establishment?? I feel the bombardment of attacks on the Clintons by the Republican party & now the schmoozing of the Kennedys may have a backlash & provide an empathy for Hillary, much like happened in New Hampshire.

    January 29, 2008 at 10:16 am |
  132. George NC

    Even though I think Obama is not presidetial caliber and certainly not the person to be the leader of the free world, I am dismayed that race still is such a big issue.

    People will think the 78% black vote Obama received in SC only demonstrates blacks are voting for him simply because he is black; which, probably is the case. Clinton was leading in the black SC tally until after Obama won in Iowa and showed well in New Hampshire. Then, it appears the blacks realized that if they supported him that he might stand a chance. Such a dramatic shift from Clinton to Obama will have a severe impact on Obama's changes to win the nomination.

    Hate to say that because I am ABC (anyone but Clinton).

    January 29, 2008 at 10:26 am |
  133. J.C. from Raleigh, NC

    All Obama has to do is to continue on the high road, the one the Billary machine has never taken. Obama has inspired this former educator as no one else has since JFK and Martin Luther King inspired him to put on hold the comfort of the white suburbs to teach in the South Bronx.
    Watch the candidates this week. Recognizing their failure to play the race card, the Clintons will try a brutal attack on Bush. They are incapable of inspiring-they only know how to calculate, attack, and cajole. People are potential votes for the Clintons, not fellow citizens. With Obama Americans have the hope of transcending-the Clintons offer the prospect of descending.

    January 29, 2008 at 11:25 am |
  134. Toni

    Barack Obama is appealing to the x generation, who in all the idealism are not thinking of the issues that Obama must address. As a Baby Boomers he needs to provide answers to the issues that really count; border enforcement, I9 enforcement, how he is going to fix the economy, getting rid of "pork barrel" entirely, ending the war honorably, so our children and grandchildren do not have to return to fight another day. To date, he has not done so. Obama, please reply!

    January 29, 2008 at 11:59 am |
  135. Billy

    Obama needs more experience – perhaps a good starting point would be as Clintons VP.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:48 pm |