- Last Updated: 12:06 AM, May 25, 2012
- Posted: 11:04 PM, May 24, 2012
Like a Seurat painting or a pixilated photograph coming into focus, there are now enough tiny dots of independent data to begin to form a preliminary picture of Barack Obama’s re-election effort — and the emerging image is bleak.
Tuesday night, two more Democratic primaries brought bad news to the sitting Democratic president. More than four of every 10 Democrats who went to the polls in Arkansas and Kentucky voted against him. Obama was able to secure only 58 percent of the primary vote in each state.
This follows the 41 percent showing in the West Virginia primary for a felon sitting in a Texas jail, and the fact that 20 percent of Democratic voters in North Carolina’sprimary actually voted “no preference” rather than pull the lever for their party leader and president.
Granted, of all these states, Obama won only North Carolina in 2008. But remember, these are Democratic voters, and they live in states that are perfectly hospitable to Democratic politicians. All four have Democratic governors; West Virginia has two Democratic senators, while North Carolina and Arkansas each have one.
Instantly, the Obama-defensive media sprang into action and located the nefarious explanation for these dreadful numbers: To wit, the voters are evil.
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza said the results “have drawn a collective eyeroll from Democrats — and many others who closely follow national politics — who ascribe the underperformance by the incumbent to a very simple thing: racism. No, none of these Democrats are willing to put their name to that allegation . . . But it is without question the prevalent viewpoint they hold privately.”
Wait a minute. Haven’t I been told for 30 years now — and by such media eminences as the longtime Washington Postie Thomas B. Edsall — that dastardly Democratic racists in Southern states had left their party for the more cruelly Caucasian climes of the GOP and had thereby turned Dixie into a Republican stronghold?
Why, yes I have. But despite the theory that the GOP had sucked in all the available racists in a 12-state area over the past 30 years, apparently there are still melanin-hating meshugenahs in the Democratic camp. It took having a black president to smoke them out at last. They were so clever at hiding their tracks that they probably even voted for the black candidate in 2008.
Only rather than switching parties like a normal evil racist would do, they chose to stay Democrats in 2012 just so they could embarrass and humiliate Obama.
Those who assert that Obama’s poor showing among voters in his own party is due to the one factor he can’t control are not doing him any favors. They are, instead, helping create a smoke screen of self-delusion.
This is a refusal to look at real-time election results with a cool and dispassionate eye. What these four states offer isn’t polling information with a few hundred people standing in for a few hundred thousand. These are hundreds of thousands of actual voters in a grouping intrinsically favorable to Obama, and they are saying something about the viability of his re-election.
Obama avoided facing a primary challenger; good for him. But it turns out that Democrats who would’ve sent a message to him via such a challenger are simply conjuring one up with whatever is at hand.
That is important, because while no primary challenger has ever knocked off a president, every president with a serious primary challenger has lost his second-term bid.
What does it mean, then, when a president with unserious challengers who should be getting 90 percent of his own party’s primary vote instead can’t get over 60 percent in three successive states?
It means Big Trouble, is what it means.
It also means we know what is going to be said if he loses — that it won’t be because of the sluggish economy, or the $2.5 trillion in new spending, or the failed stimulus.
We will be told, as we were this week, that he wasn’t be judged on the content of his candidacy, but on the color of his skin.Follow @NYPostOpinion