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I'm Calling the Race for Obama

By Dave Lindorff

I’m ready to call this election. It’s going to be a big win for Barack Obama.

I know this because of a story I heard from an employee of a major polling organization. He tells of a poll worker who was interviewing homeowners in a small town in central Pennsylvania, part of that “real” American hailed by Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The man knocked on the door, and when the woman of the house answered, told her he was a pollster and wanted to know how her household planned to vote in November.

The woman turned and yelled into the house, “Honey, how are we voting this year?”

From inside the house, a male voice yelled back, “I guess we’re voting for the nigger.”

The woman turned to the stunned pollster and, without a hint of embarrassment, said, “I guess we’re voting for Obama.”

Simply put, Obama has won the racist vote, a core Republican constituency since the late 1960s.

Indeed, it is likely that instead of the famed “Bradley Effect” (named after the Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles, who famously lost a race for California governor which the polls said he would win handily), according to which some white voters supposedly tell poll takers they are voting for the black candidate in a race for fear of appearing racist, while in fact they plan on voting for the white candidate, the opposite is going to occur. That is, there are probably many white racist voters like the one in this small Pennsylvania town, whether in some northern suburb or village, or in Southern states like Virginia, North Carolina or Georgia, who are fed up with the Bush years, want a change, and are planning to vote for Obama, but would not want their friends to know they were voting for a black man. Call it the “Obama Effect.”

If I’m right that this anecdote is reflective of a broader phenomenon, look for just the opposite of what we saw happen in the 2004 election, when the exit polls and the networks were calling the election for John Kerry, and in fact key states like Ohio, supposedly solidly in the Democratic column, went for Bush. (Sure there was voting machine chicanery, but there were also problems with the exit polls.) This year, if there are substantial numbers of white voters who vote for Obama but sheepishly tell exit pollsters that they voted for McCain, we may hear that races are close, or that states are going for McCain that will ultimately, when the actual votes are counted, go for Obama.

In a broader sense, even based upon the pre-election poll numbers we are seeing, with Obama ahead in Virginia and North Carolina and within the margin of error in Indiana, Georgia, North Dakota and Montana, what seems to be happening in this election is the collapse of the long-successful Republican strategy of using “social issues” and fear-mongering, particularly fear of African-Americans and immigrants, to convince white working class Americans to vote for a party whose interests were and are clearly against their own. Republican campaign ads and candidate speeches are larded with code words that seek to appeal to those fears: “pals around with terrorists,” “don’t know who he really is,” “anti-American preacher,” “wife not proud to be an American,” “community activist,” “socialist,” “not really born in America.” But they’re not working. Neither is the old Republican nostrum of cutting taxes for the rich on the pretense that it will lead to jobs for the poor. When McCain charges, as he has been doing frantically of late, that Obama has been outed by “Joe” (sic) the Plumber as a “socialist” and that he will be taxing the rich "to spread the wealth around,” most people today are probably thinking, “Hey, that idea of spreading some rich folks’ money around sounds pretty good to me!”

That is to say, Obama’s populist rhetoric, whether it is sincere or not, and particularly his promise to cut taxes for most Americans while raising taxes on the wealthy and on the large corporations, and to make college and health care affordable to all, is winning over a large number of Americans, including many who for decades have been responsive to Republican fear- and race-mongering and to Republican "free-market" ideology.

There are many people on the left who argue that Obama and the Democrats are a sham, and that they won’t really tackle taxing the rich and corporations in any serious way, or offering real help to struggling working class Americans. They may well be right. Certainly the flood of campaign contributions from Fortune 1000 corporations suggests that corporate America will have a big seat at the White House table in an Obama administration, as they do already in the Democratic Congress. At the same time though, the rhetoric of this campaign is setting up a major expectation among millions of ordinary voters for real progressive action on economic issues. This hope, given continued organized political pressure after November 4, could lead to real action.

I would argue that when the real “Joe’s” and “Jane’s” of America, the ones who have been suckered in for years by cynical Republican fear-mongering and race-baiting campaigns finally turn away and vote for hope—even if that hope is being over-sold--it creates the chance for a real movement for progressive change in the country.

At any rate, it certainly looks like my theory will be put to the test come Inauguration Day.

DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). His work is available at

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Now, of course, if the voters don't behave and give him 60 senators of the blue then all bets for change are off, right?

Let see, just where was (is) Obama on charging Bush with criminal behavior?

If you can't trust a Democrat, well WHO can you trust?

Does ADS have a purpose anymore?

our purpose has been for years to communicate such things as where Obama stands (or rolls over in the dirt) on prosecuting Bush, and to educate people on such things as the very minor purpose of elections and the importance of public pressure every day of the year, not to mention the constitutional system our founders so wisely devised around the eternal truth that nobody in power can be trusted and we shouldn't have to trust them or care about whether we can -- we should compel them to represent us through eternal vigilance

so, based on your comments, maybe we never did have a purpose

...the purpose was for pushing impeachment. That seems to be passe' now thanks to Congress.

Haven't heard the "I" word in a long time. I'm guessing it's staying off the table and going in the trash with the Constitution.

"A country without a Soul is destined for Hell...on Earth."

the website and prepare to be the place for all progressive, independent insurgents to nail the hypocrites in the next Congress for their double-dealing and excuses to come.

We fought the good fight for years to get Dems to defend the Constitution. This website had a lot to do with that energy, all very positive. When I think of the massive amount of text and data compilied here, I know we all were very right to do what we did to try to make a difference. At the least, some important people were made to feel just a bit embarrassed for excusing Bush, Cheney and the rest.

But, it's time to put this effort into an historical context and lay the blame at the feet of the national Democratic Party and the criminally-inclined that call the shots within it.

I, for one, would like to be in that early group who is preparing to throw brickbats at Obama, Pelosi and Reid. Can we have any hope that Obama will pick more than one token progressive in his cabinet?

IMHO, ADS has always been about Peace and Justice, and current affairs. I see that premise moving forward with this election in the balance, and impeachment still in the wings, and prosecution of George W Bush a possibility, and always stopping illegal wars, and peaceful discourse for the future. ADS has always been ont the cutting edge of current affairs, when MSM is not. I would love to see MSM catch up to that standard.

IMPEACH BUSHCO & RICO PNAC/AIPAC...PNAC is Bush/Cheney's "Helter Skelter" !


The good people of San Francisco are going to throw her out of the Congress. Talk about time for a change! As for ADS, David can figure out what to do with it. He is a genius and I would gladly have him as my president of the USA.

was created in the aftermath of the revelation of the Downing Street Memo,

and those "minutes" lead directly to all manner of smoking guns implicating Bush officials and Bush himself in

the marketing of lies to the People and Wall Street's Congress that in turn

lead to the death of thousands of combatants and hundreds of thousands of known and unknown innocents and loss to the nation in moral and financial standing.

Now ADS is posting this promotion of a man to the Presidency who has shown no interest whatsoever in bringing the perpetrators to justice. I'm not impressed!

I say it's time to fold this tent or offer some explanation to ADS' readers why Mr. Lindorff's "decision" should mean anything of consequence to the singular purpose for which this website was created.

As it stands, it is clear that the mission of ADS is not clear. Time to refocus, retool or "move on."

I would love to get behind this guy however his actions do not give me any confidence,very concerning.chris dorsey

I feel the same way, but just how would you get "past the guard" by showing your true intentions? Hopefully the CFR and company haven't got their hooks in too deep yet. I truly want to believe that Nancy has just been biding her time and once the Democrats have wrested power from the Neo's, we'll see TRUE justice, but if we don't, we'll just have to work harder on it. Keep the faith-for now...

That's the funniest thing I've heard in awhile! Like the old saying goes "you can call me anything you want, just don't call me late for dinner!" That is funneeee!

Obama Has Overcome! I Laughed & Laughed! VERY Funny! I Wonder How M L King Would React To That... I Think He'd Laugh Too! Once racists like & respect Obama & his positions, there can be a trend of their opening up to see people as people, not as colors, even among [former] racists.

...the Corporate States of Amerika...AGAIN!

"A country without a Soul is destined for Hell...on Earth."

Maybe the guy just had a politically incorrect sense of humour. it's the sort of gag I unfortunately see myself pulling..

you so very much have underestimated the level of CORRUPTION in the election process (Electile Dysfunction, look it up!) and also, the level of collusion and conspiracy by the dinocrats to sit on the sidelines and let them steal yet one more election and take the country further into the depths of HELL.

I wouldn't be thinking this is over yet. Far too many son's and daughter's of bitch's out there in the GOP who are in positions to rig the Diebold / Sequoia / E.S. & S. machines, and also, challenge perfectly legitimate voters and have their votes nullified.

the GOP has a lot to lose here, and goddamned you for surmising they'll just roll over and die. They won't just go away.

They'll cheat far harder this time around, and projecting an O'Bombya 'win' right here is a huge, very huge, tactical and strategic error. I see no empirical data that suggests the DEMS are even remotely close to mustering the ammunition and legal resources to fight this when it becomes a CONTESTED ELECTION, as it very well might be in a couple days.


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