It's Not All About Race

So this was supposed to be posted TODAY... and instead was posted yesterday...but somehow, despite a timestamp suggesting it was published BEFORE Obama spoke, 47 of you managed to comment.

Did Obama's speech "work?"

The commentariot interprets this to mean: how do Reagan Democrats feel about the speech?

There's not that much evidence that Obama has a problem with whites, YET. He won 40% of them in Georgia, won them handily in Virginia ... whites of all socioeconomic backgrounds. And in Wisconsin, too. Yes, Pew and Gallup and some state polls have found that blue collar Democrats and white working class independents are attracted to John McCain when Obama is the Democratic nominee, but that evidence is preliminary, and the thread hasn't really been pulled. We don't know whether that's because Obama has yet to establish his security credentials, whether these whites are uncomfortable voting for a black man, or whether Clinton's kitchen-sink attacks against Obama are hurting him when pollsters ask people to project forward.

Does Obama resonate with the steelworker in Pittsburgh? Well, is that steelworker rich? Does he or she read Dailykos? How's his pension? His health care? Is he young or old? There are so many cross-cutting cleavages having little to do with race here.

The most polarized states are the states with the harshest racial histories and the states where Obama has done well so far -- think Virginia -- the New South -- he seems to be doing well enough, thank you, with white voters, although I haven't seen a poll there.

Obama's speech is about, yes, race, but its reception may depend as much on the hearer's class and age and religion and gender.