The route was not just among old, Deep South unreconstructed or latent bigoted white male voters, but in virtually every voter demographic among whites, including a dead heat with Obama among a majority of younger white voters. This doesn't tell the whole story of the sharp racial divide Obama faces. A sizeable percentage of whites were disgusted enough with Bush's policies to stay home on Election Day, but not disgusted enough with him and his policies to vote for Obama. The Henry Louis Gate's affair and the right's town hall rabble rousing have made more whites wary of Obama's policies. Polls after the Gates outburst showed that a majority of whites condemned Obama for backing Gates and even more ominous expressed grave doubts about his policies. A painful reality is that the crushing majority of whites who oppose Obama or disavow his policies for racial, party, or ideological reasons or personal prejudices, are fast forming the backbone of the radical right's counter insurgency against him.
The radical right has gotten its way in the media with its fist shaking town hall shock troops. But the White House has given the counterinsurgency a generous boost with its fits and starts, and conciliation on health care, and waffling on a total rollback of Bush policies. Obama hasn't lost the war yet, but without a huge battlefield counterattack, defeat may not be far off.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, "The Hutchinson Report" can be heard weekly in Los Angeles at 9:30 AM Fridays on KTYM Radio 1460 AM and live streamed nationally on ktym.com