While Barack Obama has been trying to excite support from blacks in South Carolina, he is trying not to get tagged as “the black candidate” and not scaring off everybody else. In South Carolina, Obama says that color does not matter over and over.
At the spaghetti dinner in the basement of a black church, Obama told the crowd that the civil rights movement started from the ground up with the use of marches and boycotts. He would link black civil rights to his campaign.
On the same day, Obama said to an audience at Winthrop University: “If I came to you and I had polka dots but you were convinced that I was going to put more money in your pockets and help you pay for college and keep America safe, you’d say, ‘OK, I wish he didn’t have polka dots, but I’m still voting for him.’”
According to the polls released by McClatchy/MSNBC, Obama leads over Hillary Clinton in South Carolina. However, support from white Democrats came down from 20 percent to 10 percent in one week after race turned into more than an issue in the campaign.
Large portions of the Democratic electorate in the Deep South are made up of blacks. Obama could win a handful of primaries in those states with South Carolina included. After the results of Saturday’s primary are in, Obama plans to head to Georgia and then to Alabama on Sunday.
It might hurt Obama in the bigger states the more he is seen through a racial lens. Those states include those where voters may either be unaccustomed or unwilling to support black candidates.
In the case of the Clintons who have campaigned separately, they have wooed both black and white supporters in South Carolina.
One person in an audience Bill Clinton was addressing said that black American is voting for Obama because he’s black. The person in the audience was a black man who is a pastor.
The man said Democrats are in a dangerous position if Obama wins the nomination. He explained that voters will vote Republican in November as a result. “They’re not ready for a black president,” the man said.
“I have to tell you I hope you’re not right,” Clinton responded to the man.