The 5th Horse in the 6th Race

Last night, Barack Obama won the Arkansas primary by a 58/42 margin, beating a nobody, with 162K votes cast. He beat “uncommitted” in Kentucky by 58/42 with 206K votes cast. In 2008, he lost to Hillary Clinton in Arkansas by 70/26, with 314K votes cast, and he also lost to her in Kentucky by a 65/30 margin, with 700K votes cast.

In other words, turnout was 1/2 or less than 1/3 of what it was in 2008, in states where Obama didn’t do well in 2008 among Democrats. I don’t know exactly what this tells us, but it’s pretty consistent with the 2008 facts that Southern states aren’t enamored with Obama for reasons mainly having to do with race. So here’s how the Post plays it:

That’s from their mobile edition – their web edition headline is more sedate. You’ll have to read the article to see exactly how Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake get to that conclusion from the conventional view that Obama has some issues with Southern Democrats, but the path involves not mentioning turnout, using 2004 instead of 2008 as a reference point, and cherry-picking like this:

“Race is definitely a factor for some Texans but not the majority,” said former congressman Charles W. Stenholm (D-Tex.). “The most significant factor is the perception/reality that the Obama administration has leaned toward the ultra-left viewpoint on almost all issues.”

“Former” Congressman Charlie Stenholm is a lobbyist in DC who hasn’t served in Congress for almost 8 years. That’s how far you need to go to find some Democrat who thinks that Obama’s in trouble with this own party.






74 replies
  1. 1
    Ron says:

    This is so stupid. They were also trotting out that Obama had a small margin of victory in OK(?) over some convict. BFD. Obama has about as much chance of winning KY,AR, or OK as I do of becoming a movie star. Or, another way to think about it is this: if any of those states are actually in play in November, Obama is headed for a monster victory.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Shit, I thought we had a shot at Arkansas and Kentucky this year. WE’RE DOOMED!

    Maybe Obama should give a speech at Liberty U.

    “Former” Congressman Charlie Stenholm is a lobbyist in DC who hasn’t served in Congress for almost 8 years. That’s how far you need to go to find some Democrat who thinks that Obama’s in trouble with this own party.

    I’m just happy Manchin wasn’t available to give a quote.

  3. 3
    Radon Chong says:

    Just once I would like to see the press ask an actual Communist or socialist or whatever the “ultra-left” is called if Obama is one of them.

  4. 4
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    “The most significant factor is the perception/reality that the Obama administration has leaned toward the ultra-left viewpoint on almost all issues.”

    What’s he smoking? And why won’t he share it with the rest of us?

    ETA: Do these people even understand the difference between an incumbent and a contested primary?

  5. 5

    Maybe they could have gotten a quote from former Congressman Bart Stupak (and a Democrat) to balance it out with an opinion north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Obviously the author of the piece just doesn’t understand modern journalism.

  6. 6
    sherparick says:

    Yes, passing the health care program originally created by the Heritage foundation and pioneered by a guy named “Mitch Romney” when he was governor of Massachussetts, is so ultra left. Boy, to Overton window keeps shifting fast in these United States.

  7. 7
    Ash Can says:

    This is a great illustration of how far these news guys have to stretch to manufacture a horse race for themselves. Poor things.

  8. 8
    Suffern ACE says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Did he say “Slash” when he said “Perception/reality”?

  9. 9
    myiq2xu says:

    Damn white people! Can’t they see that Obama is The One?

  10. 10
    AxelFoley says:

    @Ron:

    This is so stupid. They were also trotting out that Obama had a small margin of victory in OK(?) over some convict. BFD. Obama has about as much chance of winning KY,AR, or OK as I do of becoming a movie star. Or, another way to think about it is this: if any of those states are actually in play in November, Obama is headed for a monster victory.

    This.

  11. 11
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Let me fix that for them…

    Obama’s narrow primary win indicates ratfucking and racist unrest, nothing new.

    Fix’t. Speaking of racists… Hey myiq2xu GoatBoy! Someone mentioned the south and Hillary and BLAM!, your sleazy ass appears on queue. BTW, you score on any of that prime PUMA ass you were chasing over at SwampDaughter’s Shithole?

    I would say that it’s good to see you but I’d be lying.

  12. 12
    amk says:

    So many EV’s does arkansas have ? Also, too, who gives a shite.

    A high-school student journo has higher IQ and integrity than the msm fucktards.

  13. 13
    amk says:

    So it seems Hawaii finally handed over that birther sos of AZ his own balls on a platter and asked him to GFH.

  14. 14
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Wait. What?

    Has Stenholm outed Obama’s secret identity as Ultraman?

  15. 15
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Suffern ACE: mmm obama slash… But who are you shipping him with?

  16. 16
    SensesFail says:

    The most significant factor is the perception/reality that the Obama administration has leaned toward the ultra-left viewpoint on almost all issues.

    President Obama nailed it a few months ago when he described in a speech how what used to be “The Center” is now “The Far Left.”

    Anyone have a link to that quote?

  17. 17
    Ash Can says:

    @amk: TPM had an article up a day or two ago with some of the AZ-HI e-mail exchange. A familiar theme in the e-mails from HI was, in essence, “Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner; I had to do more important stuff. Now, please prove that you’re who you say you are; the information you’ve already given us isn’t good enough.” Masterful.

  18. 18
    amk says:

    @Ash Can: yeah, they were yanking the chains of this ratfucker, till he went public with his stupid threat, and then lowered the boom on him – Here is your birth certificate you, nitwit, now fuck off. The racist pig had to cancel his press meet today and had to eat his own crow. Racist scums.

  19. 19
    Kay says:

    Why do they bother interviewing lobbyists? His job, each and every day, is to gut, evade or block regulation. What did they think he was going to say? He’s a paid advocate for a specific industry, and they just gave him a free forum.

    No wonder they’re not making any money. They don’t charge for advertising.

  20. 20
    MattF says:

    Yeah, WaPo. Recent poll on front page showed Obama four points ahead of Rmoney, big headline is Obama and Romney tied (on the state of the economy). The fact that a tie vote on the miserable economy is pretty remarkable isn’t mentioned. The actual advantage that Obama holds over Romney was (oh, by the way…) in the third or fourth paragraph. It’s ridikulus.

  21. 21
    amk says:

    DC Press Corpse – A fitting tag. Rotten bastids all.

  22. 22
    lacp says:

    I don’t suppose the low turnout could also be related in any way to the difference between a race between two high-profile office-seekers and a race between an incumbent and himself. Obviously not. It is a mystery!

  23. 23
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Charlie Stenholm

    And as a former resident of Abilene, TX, where Charlie was my rep, and a current resident under Ralph Hall, Ralph’s career saving change from a Blue Dog Democrat to a Republican is almost noble compared to the kind of crap that Charlie did as a Democrat.

  24. 24

    Chicken fucks man

    Man lays egg

  25. 25
    Suffern ACE says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Paul Ryan?

  26. 26
    NancyDarling says:

    mistermix, I was looking at AR’s numbers last night. I am wondering if a lot of republicans requested democratic ballots so they could vote for that asswipe, Wolfe, and mess with the vote. I’m not sure, but that may be part of the result.

    Maybe now Cole will feel a little better about WV. Dumbasses live everywhere.

  27. 27

    Yea, well, what wingnut baby jeevus takes away, the FSM delivers something new and shiny

    I’m much too bleery eyed this early to make much deep analysis of this map, but it seems to me a lot of blue in some new places, and redder red in a few others.

    Bottom line, fuck the south, go west young man.

  28. 28
    4tehlulz says:

    Yahoo tells me that Mittens got more votes than Obama in KY and AR, so this is supposedly some sign of weakness.

  29. 29
    Foregone Conclusion says:

    George Wallace got above 30% in the Democratic primaries against LBJ in Indiana, Michigan and Maryland in 1964. LBJ then went on to win those states in the biggest Democratic landslide since FDR.

    Just saying.

  30. 30
    satanicpanic says:

    That’s how far you need to go to find some Democrat who thinks that Obama’s in trouble with this own party.

    If he’s a DC lobbyist, this is probably the equivalent of walking down the street to a 7-11 for these two.

  31. 31
    LittlePig says:

    @NancyDarling: There’s going to be some of that, but frankly it’s race. Having lived my whole 53 year span here in the Wonder State, I have no doubts.

    That’s a sad aspect of the whole George Tierney of Greenville, SC thing for me – that so many folks think he is all that unusual. He’s pretty much your basic redneck.

  32. 32
    Kay says:

    @4tehlulz:

    It’s because the votes of white Democrats matter more than the votes of black Democrats. There’s really no other explanation for this crazy political analysis that focuses on states that Obama didn’t win, and won’t win. Because it doesn’t matter, really. If he loses Arkansas and Kentucky he picks up North Carolina or Virginia. I don’t know why that’s a lesser or less legitimate win, and no one has ever been able to explain it to me. It’s irrational.

  33. 33
    Steve says:

    What’s going to happen when ultra-left Obama wins? Will it be taken as proof that we are an ultra-left nation, or at least that we are open to ultra-left ideas? I’m not great at predictions but I’m fairly certain the actual narrative will be much more conservative-friendly, somehow.

  34. 34
    amk says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse: ooo, nice and colorful.

    And they want you to facebook/twitter/linkedin it too.

  35. 35

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Here is an article that explains the electoral shifts from the map above, that have been occurring well before Obama ran for president. It is a kind of circling the wagons around the south and some border states, into voter enclaves of something like permanent white wingnut entitled butthurt.

    Obama’s race may well have sped up the bifurcation with this region and the rest of the country, but it has its roots well before Obama came along.

  36. 36
    Cacti says:

    @Kay:

    It’s because the votes of white Democrats matter more than the votes of black Democrats.

    Of course.

    When the librul media says “ordinary/average Americans” what they mean is “white dudes”. The white guy is the automatic default for every conversation in American politics.

    You would think they made up significantly more than 32 percent of the population.

  37. 37
    LittlePig says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse: It’s definitely sped it along. There’s a lot of old boys that are driven foaming-at-the-mouths nuts over the “Stolen Presidency”. When Obama gets re-elected they will be apoplectic.

  38. 38
    wiscomom says:

    Why isn’t the story about how Obama actually got more votes than Romney in Kentucky? (119,277 for Obama versus 117,396 for Romney)…so there are more Obama supporters who came out yesterday than Romney supporters.

  39. 39
    Nemesis says:

    “I think his name was Chips Ahoy.
    Came in 6 lengths ahead
    we spent the whole next week gettin high.
    I love that girl
    but I cant tell when she’s having a good time.”
    -The Hold Steady

  40. 40
    jim filyaw says:

    “ultra-left” my ass!

    the best i can tell is that obama is serving as the president dubya wanted to be if he had a brain.

  41. 41
    Cacti says:

    @wiscomom:

    Why isn’t the story about how Obama actually got more votes than Romney in Kentucky? (119,277 for Obama versus 117,396 for Romney)…so there are more Obama supporters who came out yesterday than Romney supporters.

    Well, like Kentucky, the media lurves them a good horse race.

    There was also nary a peep about the Vanderbilt University poll showing Romney and Obama tied in Tennessee. There are also few mentions of how every electoral vote forecast has Mittens trailing badly.

    Must sell the narrative.

  42. 42
    Scott S. says:

    I remember Charlie Stenholm. He’d do anything Republicans told him to, and he still couldn’t get them to love him.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @Cacti:

    I think it’s some Party people, too. There’s a real fixation on recapturing “Reagan Democrats” among older, white, state Party leaders in Ohio even thought the fact is that black Democrats are very successful in Ohio, as mayors and in the state legislature and as Party leaders, and they have been for decades.

    If you’re looking wistfully and longingly at a group of voters “we lost and must recapture” who have been voting for Republicans since Ronald Reagan, there’s a word for those people, and it isn’t “Reagan Democrats”. It’s “Republicans”.

  44. 44
    Cacti says:

    @Kay:

    If you’re looking wistfully and longingly at a group of voters “we lost and must recapture” who have been voting for Republicans since Ronald Reagan, there’s a word for those people, and it isn’t “Reagan Democrats”. It’s “Republicans”.

    Not to mention, why burn resources chasing after a segment of the population that is aging and shrinking with each election cycle, while also being the one least likely to vote for you?

  45. 45
    Maude says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:
    bifurcation I’m impressed. I’m still using refudiate.

  46. 46
    amk says:

    @Kay: Aren’t raygun democrats dead yet ?

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Everyone has made the points I wanted to make, so I’ll just chime in by saying, again, that the best horse race I’ve ever seen in my lifetime was the ’73 Belmont Stakes.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    @Cacti:

    I just don’t think we can blame it all on media. When I listen to James Carville, I hear someone who believes the Clinton Map is the gold standard for Democrats. That’s his baseline for “success”. That was almost 20 years ago.
    It’s like when David Gergen talks about Carter. It’s interesting historically, but jesus christ, the electorate isn’t frozen in time.

  49. 49
    Cacti says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Everyone has made the points I wanted to make, so I’ll just chime in by saying, again, that the best horse race I’ve ever seen in my lifetime was the ‘73 Belmont Stakes

    Speaking of the Belmont, what do you think of “I’ll Have Another’s” chances at the Triple Crown.

    I actually like him better than some of the recent challengers who fell short. He’s a strong finisher, and that’s a great trait to have at the longest of the three races.

  50. 50
    Steve says:

    @Kay: Well, it’s not as if we didn’t put the theory to the test. A lot of Hillary Clinton supporters shared a strong belief that Democrats couldn’t win without hanging onto a large chunk of those voters we’re talking about, and they correctly presumed that Obama was weak with that demographic. Obama won a resounding victory, including states nobody thought possible, in spite of all that. I don’t doubt that Carville could round up the ol’ Clinton coalition with the right candidate, but the idea that this is the only plausible winning coalition for Democrats has been refuted pretty conclusively, so why are we still talking about it?

    As Thomas Huxley said, the great tragedy of science is the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay:

    Ronald Reagan last ran for office over a quarter of a century ago.

    America’s generals and admirals are often accused of fighting the last war. Well, it seems that some Democratic leaders are still fighting political campaigns as if MTV still was all about music videos.

  52. 52
    Cacti says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    America’s generals and admirals are often accused of fighting the last war. Well, it seems that some Democratic leaders are still fighting political campaigns as if MTV still was all about music videos.

    Obama is the vanguard of the new democratic electoral model. The rest of the party will eventually catch up.

  53. 53
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay:

    Carville literally sleeps with the enemy. In 2004, he shared Kerry campaign strategy on Ohio with his wife. Who passed it on to the deserting coward’s campaign.

    No Democrat in his right mind should trust Carville at all, for any reason. He’s a traitor. He deserves no quarter whatsoever.

  54. 54
    Cacti says:

    @Kay:

    I just don’t think we can blame it all on media. When I listen to James Carville, I hear someone who believes the Clinton Map is the gold standard for Democrats. That’s his baseline for “success”. That was almost 20 years ago.

    Also too, I like it when some grey-haired Repub politician brings up Jimmy Carter. For people under 40, he’s mostly known as the nice old guy who builds houses for poor people.

  55. 55
    balconesfault says:

    Charles Stenholm voted in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Law. He voted for the attempt to change the Constitution to ban gay marriage.

    That’s all you need to know about what he considers “extreme”.

  56. 56
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    To be clear, I think (here, anyway) “Reagan Democrat” is a sort of code. It’s more polite than “white, older Democrats who actually vote for Republicans”, which is what they’re saying. I have a lot of trouble with this, among Democrats, because I want them to be clear. If the price of wooing this elusive group is ignoring the group of people who actually vote for Democrats, I think that’s nuts. You’re defining “Democrat” according to the terms of people who don’t vote for Democrats.
    Democrats exist. They’re not a theory. “Democrats” means the people who are, right now, Democrats. If we want to chase these other people, that’s fine and dandy, but it seems insane to make them the standard. I think one should probably define “their” electorate” by the people who make it up. Go from there. But start there.

  57. 57
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cacti:

    Haven’t paid any attention to it this year, I’m afraid, so I’ve got no opinion to give.

    Just know that a horse race doesn’t have to be close to be exhilarating. Something that the Village can’t appreciate.

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay:

    Oh, absolutely agree.

    It’s nostalgia. It’s in the way of getting things done. Everyone wants FDR’s coalition back, because FDR just plain ruled for 13 years, and created an America to be very proud of. Defeated Fascism, fostered the greatest material prosperity this country has ever known.

    But that was a moment in time. We need to create our own moment.

  59. 59

    This makes me sad. What else can you blame it on, if not racism? Racism as an angry, thrashing elephant in the room that can no longer be ignored?

  60. 60
    Kay says:

    I thought this was interesting, because Crossroads and super-duper honest person straight-shooter Paul Ryan are still lying, constantly, about Medicare/Obama.

    Obama’s even w/Romney on seniors:

    and seniors (46 percent to 44 percent).

    Why can’t Mitt Romney close the deal with seniors? :)

  61. 61
    Chris says:

    “Race is definitely a factor for some Texans but not the majority,” said former congressman Charles W. Stenholm (D-Tex.). “The most significant factor is the perception/reality that the Obama administration has leaned toward the ultra-left viewpoint on almost all issues.”

    Look, I’m sorry, but in order to believe that Obama’s leaned toward the “ultra-left viewpoint” on, well, anything at all is so completely deluded that you’ll forgive us if we DO think race has something to do with it.

  62. 62
    gbear says:

    @amk:

    Aren’t raygun democrats dead yet?

    A lot of them are still in their 50’s. They may still be around for another decade or two (althogh they are dwindling).

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I had this organizing thing at my house, and there were more men than women because I went out of my way to invite people who are elected w/in their respective unions. So, the women who always come, came, and then all these men came. It’s good that they showed up, it means they’re plugged in early, we need them, blah, blah. But. Two of the women (who don’t know about the union/men thing) were all thrilled that the men came.

    The “real” Democrats are here! They “count”.

  65. 65

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Bottom line, fuck the south, go west young man.

    Some interesting maps here.

    I suggest a new strategy: The GOP wants cuts? Let’s cut. Let’s cut every farm subsidy. Let’s cut foodstamps in rural areas. Let’s close every military base or govt facility in a red state. Let’s push for a Constitutional amendment forbidding any state from getting more in Federal funds than it pays out in taxes. The Math Demands It! Austerity is the Path to Pure Prosperity!

    I like to call it my “Starve the South” strategy. What a sweet, cleansing purge that would be, especially once the reduced birth rates kicked in. A boy can dream…

    (And no, I don’t seriously expect any such policy to ever happen… but wouldn’t it be gratifying to see these hypocritical, money-grubbing, unproductive/parasitical SOBs put on the rhetorical defensive, just for once?)

  66. 66
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ) says:

    @dedc79: Ahh you beat me to it. The Hold Steady.

  67. 67
    Cacti says:

    @Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor:

    Let’s close every military base or govt facility in a red state

    Let’s start with Texas. 7 Air Force bases, 4 Army bases, 4 Navy bases.

  68. 68

    @Cacti:
    They also get more of the NASA budget than any other state.

  69. 69

    @Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor:

    Some interesting maps here.

    Just more evidence the entire GOP narrative is built upon complete bullshit. That may or may not help them win this or that election, but it is leaky basket to pour all your eggs into. It’s Karl Rove politicking, of fly by the seat of your pants, and get just one more vote than the other guy gets. That is not a political movement, it is wingnuttery on the run.

    Cue up the Ryan/Romney plan for SS and Medicare and watch the granny vote pitchfork that goose to the barn door.

  70. 70
    Cacti says:

    @Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor:

    They also get more of the NASA budget than any other state

    But they’re so self-reliant, I doubt they’ll miss a penny of it. /snark

  71. 71

    […] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}The media’s making a semi-big deal over Pres. Obama’s primary struggles in heavily white Southern states. As […]

  72. 72
    Brachiator says:

    Obama’s narrow primary win indicates ratfucking and racist unrest

    Draft Hillary.

    Somebody had to say it. And it fits with the GOP “Back to the Future” strategy of pretending that it’s still 2008, and Obama remains “unvetted.”

    Media dopes.

  73. 73
    Ted says:

    I live in Texas and if you listen carefully to their arguments here about Obama, you can clearly see it’s all about race…

  74. 74
    Darkrose says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Sorry, but Barack/Michelle is my het OTP.

    Slash? Barack/Rahm all the way.

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