Confused by all the blabber last night from Tim and Keith and Chris and Pat? Want to find out what actually happened in Indiana and North Carolina? Go here for your reality pill from Jay Cost, Doctor of Politics. Excerpt:
As you can see, North Carolina performed roughly as we might expect, falling in between Virginia and Tennessee. Nevertheless, it is surprising that the results were closer to the Virginia end (i.e. Obama +29) than the Tennessee end (i.e. Clinton +13). What might explain the difference?
Unlike Indiana, it doesnít come from Clintonís core voting group. She did extremely well among white voters in North Carolina. Obviously, she didnít do as well with them as she did in Tennessee. However, she still trounced Obama among white men and white women, regardless of their religious affiliation.
Clintonís problem was with the African American vote, which came in at about 33%. Her trouble in North Carolina, as well as the South in general, is that white voters are more likely to be Republican than in decades past. This has given Obama a demographic edge in the region ó one that has actually grown in the past few months. Note that African Americans in North Carolina went for Obama more strongly than they did in either Tennessee or Virginia. In fact, we can see a general trend in the African American vote toward Obama ó not just in these states, but nationwide. It has not been much commented upon ó most likely because African Americans have been supporting Obama more strongly than any other group. Nevertheless, as time has gone on, the African American vote has clustered around Obama much more tightly.