As Barack Obama continues to labor under the cloud of controversy stirred up by his longtime friend, pastor, and ostensibly mentor Jeremiah Wright, the consequence of Wright's recent high profile speaking engagements will no doubt result in an abandonment of some voters, many of whom will be white, from Obama's camp to either John McCain's or Hillary Clinton's.
The pace and scope of this desertion is not yet clear, and even one on a fairly large scale would almost certainly not be enough for Clinton to emerge with the most pledged delegates after the last primaries in early June.
In a brand new poll conducted by SurveyUSA from April 26-29 of likely voters in North Carolina, Obama finds his once double-digit lead over Clinton reduced to 5 points—49 to 44 percent. The headline from that poll was stated thusly:
"White voters are key. Since January, Clinton had led among Carolina whites by 14, 19, 17, 22 and 23 points. But today, suddenly: 31."
If Clinton manages to perform above expectations and make North Carolina a nail-biter, expect the left-leaning media and pundits to level the race charge against white America, perhaps tempered with the qualifier that whites "do not understand black (churches)" or that there was a "racial component" to the vote.
And perhaps that's true.
But let's look at the numbers: Obama has regularly been receiving 40 (Ohio) to 45 (Texas) percent of the white vote in states that he has lost. Clinton, meanwhile, has struggled to receive 15 percent of the black vote in states that she has won. The question for the pundits: where was the outcry when blacks abandoned Clinton in favor of Obama? Remember, Clinton received 88 percent of the black vote in her 2006 re-election victory for Senator of New York.
In short, even on his worst day in the midst of this controversy, Obama is going to receive two to three times the proportion of Democratic white voters as Clinton will receive from blacks. So if and when Obama supporters play the race card during the coming weeks, know that this card could just have easily been played by the Clinton campaign—and with more justification—many months ago.