Irwin Stelzer in the Telegraph today lays out reasons why Sen. Obama should be leading Sen. McCain.
But the polls suggest that the candidates are in a dead heat.What Stelzer says about race as an election factor is reasonable right now, but there are a few things I'd add.
Some put this down to race. But race cuts both ways in this election.
Ignore the fact that only five per cent of Americans say they would not vote for a black presidential candidate. More important is the 19 per cent who say that most of the people they know - not including themselves, of course - would not vote for such a candidate.
On the other side of the ledger is the massive increase in registration and participation of black and pro-Obama Hispanic voters, white voters eager to demonstrate their lack of prejudice by voting for a black candidate, and folks who believe that the mere fact that Obama is black means that the world will think better of America if its electorate relocates Obama from the Senate to the Oval Office.
In sum, it is difficult to tell just how much race might be affecting the polls, or would affect them if respondents felt unembarrassed to tell the truth, and in which direction. …
I'd put emphasis on “now.” We may very well hear statements and witness events before November which will heighten race as a campaign factor.
Something else: most MSM are more gah-gah for the Dem presidential candidate than usual and less inclined than usual to ask him tough questions.
I think Obama’s race explains that.
It’s been 5 months since Obama was forced to make his Philadelphia speech which Team Obama billed as “on race.”
In fact, the speech was a so far largely successful effort to: 1) fog over Obama’s 20 year close relationship with the racist, America-bashing Rev. Jeremiah Wright; and 2) avoid answering tough questions about it.
Obama’s “I didn’t hear any of that stuff” excuse should have lead MSM to ask: Well then, didn’t Michelle ever tell you? Didn’t anyone else in the congregation tell you? How could anyone, Sen. Obama, belong to a church for 20 years and not know its pastor said and believed things like “KKK –America?”
But those questions haven’t been asked and reported by MSM.
However, as we get closer to the election the pressure will build for MSM to ask them and for the Obama’s to answer them.
As that happens it’s likely race will grow in importance as a campaign factor, if only because decent people who are rightfully concerned about the Obama’s failure to satisfactorily answer those questions will be slimed by many Dems and their MSM flacks as racists.
It’s a long way to November.
Stelzer’s entire column’s here.