America Plays the Race Card: What It Means for Obama

Obama crowd
All races, creeds, colors united in...trying to shake that guy's hand. Photo: Getty Images

If you thought race would disappear from the Democratic campaign after the controversies in South Carolina, you were horribly mistaken. This issue returned with a vengeance after last night’s Super Tuesday returns showed a stark racial divide among voters for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Barack continued to garner around 80 percent of black support, while Hillary took a strong majority of Latino and Asian voters, who turned out to be especially important in California. Whites, however, seemed to split along gender lines, further confusing things. Opinions on all this abound.

• John B. Judis dissects the disorder among white voters. Obama handily won white males and white independents in California, but lost badly to working-class whites in states like New Jersey. [The Plank/New Republic]

• Matthew Yglesias looks at the California exit polls and notes that Clinton accomplished the extremely rare feat of winning the contest on the strength of Latinos and Asians, after failing to get black and white votes. [Atlantic]

• David Brooks sees the same demographic oddity and welcomes us into the “future of the American electorate.” [Campaign Stops/NYT]

• David Paul Kuhn writes that Obama’s strength with white men last night, which drove his success with whites overall, demonstrates the support he's getting from Edwards's former followers. He also notes that even the Latino-youth vote in California went to Hillary. [Politico]

• Mark Ambinder observes that nothing that happened last night will dispel the notion that “black voters are choosing one candidate and Hispanic voters are choosing another.” And, of course, Ted Kennedy apparently doesn’t have as much clout with Hispanics as we thought. [Atlantic]

• Amy Goldstein writes that the overwhelming Latino support for Clinton last night is partly based on their fondness for Bill’s legacy. [WP]

• Or maybe not, as Ryan Tate tackles minority-against-minority hate to surmise that it wasn’t just that Latinos and Asians were voting for Clinton last night. They were also, he says, voting against Obama. [Gawker] —Dan Amira

For a complete guide to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.