Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Monday, November 10, 2003  

Dean tried to raise the issue of race and started a firestorm. How about some cold, hard stats:

Exit polls released Monday help explain Republican gubernatorial victories last week, finding that Haley Barbour overcame high black turnout with overwhelming support from whites in Mississippi while Ernie Fletcher capitalized on ill will toward the scandal-plagued Democratic incumbent in Kentucky....

In Mississippi, 33 percent of voters were black -- 3 to 6 points higher than in VNS exit polls in the past three presidential elections -- and 94 percent of them voted to re-elect Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.

But 77 percent of whites backed Barbour, propelling the Washington lobbyist and former national Republican chairman to victory with 53 percent of the overall vote.

Dean's right: the Democrats have effectively bought into the southern strategy by not appealing to non-racist whites. Because of the population advantage, whites voting together control the results. Right now they're voting for very conservative Republicans. If the Dems make some inroads into that population (winning, say a third of them), they can win some key states. The Republicans were quick to characterize the results in Mississippi and Kentucky as harbingers of 2004. I think they're right:

Looking ahead to 2004, pluralities of around 45 percent in both states said they definitely would vote for Bush if the presidential election were today while about 35 percent definitely would vote for someone else. Those who haven't firmly made up their minds comprised 20 percent of the gubernatorial electorate in Kentucky and 17 percent in Mississippi.

Bush is polling at 45% in the heart of his base? Yeah, that's a harbinger, all right...

posted by Jeff | 2:04 PM |
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