January 9th, 2008


Hey New Hampshire... what happened?!

Well, I was right about a huge turnout in N.H., but I was wrong about the outcome... and so was everyone else. Really, it's probably the most unpredictable outcome in a race in recent history.  So, what happened?

One theory is that Hillary Clinton suddenly acted a bit more human  (Emphasis on the word "acted", as opposed to "became".)  and that women voters responded positively to it, because many women are gushy and easily manipulated.

Another theory is racism, also known as The Bradley Effect, where polling numbers are way off of expectations, because voters -- primarily white voters -- say one thing about their views about race when polled, and another thing when they go in the polling booth. 

So, were many of the women voters last night entirely too prone to emotional manipulation, or are a very disquieting number of voters closet racists? 

The answer, unfortunately, is both.

The saddest part of last night is that many black voters could likely become cynical and disenfranchized once more, after starting to believe that America actually could actually elect a brilliant, inspirational black politician. And the many, many black people who were biased against Obama because they felt that America wasn't ready for a black president could sadly be proven right.   

This behavior wasn't a factor in the Iowa caucus, because in the caucus, voters stand in a room and publically reveal their voting intent. 

In other words, in an environment of anonymity, racism still prevails in America... with or without a white hood.

So, what does this mean as far as the final election outcome goes? Well, I hate to say it, but it's not looking good for Barack Obama, in part because he can't count on voters not succumbing to racism in the ballot booth, and also because John Edwards has announced that despite his declining numbers, he's going to staying in the race all the way to the end, thereby splitting the progressive vote. 

For progressives who want real change, that unfortunately means that John Edwards will likely become this year's Ralph Nader.