June 3rd, 2008
06:42 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Obama's blue-collar problem persists

  A woman casts her ballot in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
A woman casts her ballot in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

(CNN) - We've talked all season about Barack Obama's problem with those white working class voters, those blue collar voters. Is that problem persisting?

Yes, it is. South Dakota’s Democratic primary voters with no college degree voted as their peers in previous contests had: for Hillary Clinton over Obama, 60-40 percent. Meanwhile, well-educated, white collar voters continue to back the Illinois senator. Take a look at college graduates in the state: they voted for Obama, 53 to 47 percent.

The effort to win over these working-class voters is just beginning for Obama – and it looks like he has his work cut out for him.

soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Garth

    I believe there is mistrust and misinformation (thanks to both the Repubs and Hillary) regarding Obama. And more is spread through these comments over and over again. I'm still waiting for some truth from Hillary or Repubs about Obama rather than pandering. I really think if people don't want to vote for Obama because he is black, they won't. And they will make up nice neutral comments as to why they don't want to, like he is inexperienced. I'm still waiting to see why Hillary is all that experienced in matters of Presidential concerns. Has McCain or Hillary ever needed to declare war? No. Has McCain or Hillary ever needed to negotiate with a foreign power? No. Has McCain or Hillary ever sent troops into harms way? No. Has McCain or Hillary ever negotiated with Congress? No. Neither has Obama nor has any incoming president.

    He is a good judge of character and he is a listener. I don't see Hillary or McCain as either from the company they've been keeping.

    June 3, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. Alison, FL

    Oh please!!...These people normally vote Republican, if they want another 4 years of Bush's policy, feel free to vote for McCain and take a chance to see how much more poor you will be...after Obama is the nominee, they will see the clear contrast between Obama and McCain, policy-wise and get over their reservations! Repubs don't give too sh**s about these people...ie. Cheney and his inbred comments...since he isn't running for re-election he can say whatever he wants...but these poor people voted for him and BUSH....Wake up people!..they don't care about you!

    June 3, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. Frances

    Miss Margaret, how can a candidate be pushed down someone's throat when he has 17 million votes plus just like Hillary. In fact, Hillary's popular vote total is leaving out all the caucus states and an illegal election in Michican. This race is an unprecedent one so you can't compare it with who loses the last state. He has won 33 contests to her 18 or 19. Now who's winning now? Get over it.

    June 3, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    Eva, What is wrong with you? shame, she should feel shame for being the first woman (ever) to run such a successful campaign for president of the United States... Grow UP! I am willing to Vote for Sen. Obama because I am a democrat, but I deeply belive in Sen. Clinton's message. I don't need your ignorant comments about how she is to blame for this campaign and for Sen. Obama not clinching until the last day of the campaign. people like you make me sick. show some respect for these two courageous people.

    June 3, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  5. clap clap clap

    Well said YMS but EVA! Sheesh! Hillary is the first WOMAN to have ever gotten this far in a Presidential campaign. That, too, is historical!
    You cannot possibly be that blind.

    June 3, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. Why

    So basically dumb people vote for HIllary. Makes sense to me.

    June 3, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. boered1

    Amazing the party officials have pushed hillary down our throats from the beginning, they even went so far as to give her delegates in obviously flawed selections in Fl and MI and no matter what they have tried, from donating huge amounts to hillaries failed campaign, from undermining obamas candidacy from the beginning to giving her false votes to allowing her to spew the filth she and her husband have spewed towards Obama, no matter what WE the PEOPLE have overridden them and got a candidate that supports us not the lobbist or the party elites!!

    YES WE CAN take back our America from the career politicians and lobbyist

    moronic Clintonistas

    June 3, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. Chris from NY

    Does CNN ever view any problem of Obama objectively? Report says that Obama is doing as well as Kerry and Al Gore among the working white or as they call them blue collar workers. For a black man to be this well among this group compared to his white predecesors is quite remarkable to me. Stop finding faults because every one has one.

    June 3, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. Jeremy - 23 year old black male for Clinton

    LOL. CNN is letting lose the Obamabots.

    June 3, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. Generation X

    Why are you people still debating? Obama has won the Democratic nominee. So, it doesn't matter what you think, he has won. Get over yourselves. Go Obama

    June 3, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. Brian Knoxville, TN

    jUST ONE PERSISTENT PROBLEM OF MANY WITH OBAMA AND HIS CANDIDACY. More are sure to emerge in the weeks ahead.

    HILLARY CLINTON '08

    June 3, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  12. Keifer S.

    If by blue collar you mean racists, then yes, there is a problem there. If by blue collar, you mean those lacking a college diploma and earning under $40 K a year, then no he does not have a problem with this group. Obama does not owe Hillary a VP promise and she would be very fortunate to be selected as one of Obama's top cabinet positions. Obama is the presumptive nominee now and it's time to put aside our petty differences and win this election.

    June 3, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  13. Tracey

    The media can be quite persuasive and an African American, while I do fully recognize that racism continues to exist, I do not propose to the position that "most white people are racists".

    Statements such as those you made only tend to fuel the racial divides.

    Someone wise once said, "Words have power. Use them carefully."

    This suggestion I offer to you as the we may soon have our first African American democratic nominee who is supported by voters of all nationalities...including white people.

    June 3, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  14. LA

    And the republican party only refers to WV in a reference to incest? Now just who really has the problem? The party whose response to legitmate questions regarding real issues is, "So?".

    June 3, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. mama coo

    And you people call those who won't vote for Obama racist? So far the only racist people on this blog and others are Obama fans. It's been that way all along. Meanwhile they blame the Clinton's. Get real. Understand some people just don't like Obama. Has nothing to do with him being Black. I would love to vote for a Black man for president , just not this one.

    June 3, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. Mike in Atlanta

    Nice comment, What happen in his home state was legal. He only use the laws to his advantage, His opponents were the ones with names that wasn't listed right on the pettions. You do have a problem with voting for any man, any color.....True ignorance is lies and hiding your close, racist mind behind it............OBAMA 08

    June 3, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. dfd

    if clinton becomes vp, republicans will totally looooooooooooooose

    June 3, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  18. Craig A Texas Democrat

    When they say blue collar they mean uneducated racists people. So what they think they got it bad now if they dont vote for the dems in the fall i dont want to be paying for welfare for these peoples mistakes.

    June 3, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. K

    "" June 3rd, 2008 6:44 pm ET

    The only reason he has a problem with these white people is because the media keeps pounding that crap into peoples' heads.

    Most white people are racists anyway!"

    Uh actually, you're a huge loser and have no sense. He couldn't have got the nom without white people you stupid idiot. Beat it.

    June 3, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. Brian Knoxville, TN

    Well, I’m sure Obama’s belief in his own intellectual superiority over so-called average Americans must be the cause of this persistent problem…

    McCAIN DEMOCRATS ’08

    June 3, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  21. Mona

    Yms – if you think any historians (genuine historians – not talking heads cum authors during the 2010s) are actually going to write about the Reverend Wright 'scandal' you must be one of the wonderfully enlightened people here who think intelligence and education are completely unrelated.

    June 3, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  22. susannah jones

    I like the look of John McCain..how about all you other dems out there that have always had a soft spot for this maverick.....ok, lets go....
    see ya Obama

    June 3, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  23. Kristen

    White Blue Collar worker do not run this show. Obama won the nomination with out them, he will do just fine in November. Gosh, they don’t hold this party together. Our country and this party consist of other people besides white folks.

    June 3, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. martin

    apparently blue-collars enjoy moving towards poverty.they don't mind our troops being killed in iraq.they want things to remain the same.whatever! obama '08

    June 3, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. BONNA

    Hillary makes all women look bad. First she told a lie and blamed it on not getting enough sleep.then she try to maked everything about her, and that not the case. You win some you lose some. Just because you are a women doesn't mean you can brake the rules. And then holla no fair. It was fair and balance.

    June 3, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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