How Hillary Missed the Boat on Black Votes

Obama's dominance in the demographic hardly a given at the start
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2008 3:46 PM CDT
Hillary Clinton and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., meet during a campaign stop Friday, Oct. 12, 2007, in Atlanta where Lewis officially endorsed Clinton's candidacy for president.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama's lead over Hillary Clinton among black voters is perhaps not surprising, but Clinton could have avoided such devastating losses in the demographic, Thomas Schaller writes in Salon. "One would expect Obama to win these voters, but 90-10 is a total collapse that Obama is not experiencing among any constituency. Simply put, Hillary Clinton has a black problem," says one analyst.

The wife of America's so-called first black president might have managed to lose by 4-1 or even 3-1 margins in the African-American community, which would have garnered more precious delegates and perhaps put her ahead in the popular vote. But after Obama's Iowa victory (and Oprah endorsement) it was much too late to start the battle for black votes.