Fear of a Black Candidate

More

One crucial thing Barack Obama did last night was get white people to vote for him. Lots and lots of white people. Iowa's not the kind of place where you can dominate the black vote, plus add on a sliver of white liberals and win a primary. To win -- even in a primary -- you need the support of white people.

And one thing holding Obama back among both black and white voters has been, I think, a fear that other people won't be willing to vote for a black guy. Winning a primary does a lot to dispel those worries. Winning a majority in a primary would do more, but given the presence of three strong contenders in Iowa that clearly wasn't on the table. The analogy, I think, is to JFK winning the West Virginia primary and showing that a Catholic from Boston could win in a state where there was no urban "ethnic" machine to serve as his base.

Photo by Flickr user Joe Crimmings used under a Creative Commons license

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Fascinating Short Film About the Multiverse

If life is a series of infinite possibilities, what does it mean to be alive?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In