May 21st, 2008
07:38 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama still struggles with some Democrats

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/05/20/kentucky.democrats/art.split.candidates.ap.jpg caption="Sen. Barack Obama has not had the same success with older, white and blue-collar voters as Sen. Hillary Clinton."]LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (CNN) - Tuesday may end up a big night for Barack Obama, giving him a majority of all possible pledged delegates in the Democratic race for the White House. But exit polling in Kentucky - where CNN is projecting rival Sen. Hillary Clinton will win by a wide margin - suggests that he still has big problems in states with a large majority of older, white and blue-collar voters.

Nearly half of Democratic voters in Kentucky polled Tuesday said they would either vote for Republican Sen. John McCain or not vote at all in November if Obama is the Democratic nominee. Among 1,278 people polled, 33 percent said they would pick McCain over Obama, and 16 percent said they would not vote at all.

By comparison, 76 percent said they would choose Clinton over McCain, with only 17 percent supporting the Republican and 6 percent not voting.

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soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Obama is not struggling with some Democrats. Some Democrats are struggling with him.

    May 21, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  2. Tiachi

    Despite Clinton's win last night by a big margin; Clinton still "struggles with some democrats" as well!!! She is not winning so what does that tell us? Don't beat up on Obama for not making ground while she is still in the race... She is obviously LOSING the majority as she is NOT the front runner. Its ok for her to stay in the race but not OK for her campaign and the media to say that he is struggling. He is 200 delegates ahead of her... that doesnt seem like a struggle to me!!!

    May 21, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  3. hello

    All negative heading for hillary why don't you put heading that college graduate from kentuky supported Hillary.
    do you think they are lesser educated then Oregon graduate?

    May 21, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  4. AJ, IL

    Unfortunately, 20% of Kentucky Hillary-supporters said that "race" was an important factor in there support of Hillary. So Hillary blames the media for sexism but embraces the racism?

    May 21, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  5. Polit

    Clinton struggles with educated voters, black voters, young voters and affluent voters. I think it says something when educated voters won't vote for you. This time around there is not just a black candidate, but a really good candidate in Obama, so why shouldn't black people support him. Blacks have had to vote for white presidential candidates "EVERY" election. Affluent democratic voters always try to vote for candidates who will both protect their wallets and institute sound public policy. Young voters are the future of the party. Obama has brought a large percentage of these and new voters into active democratic participation. Hillary would have a tough time winning the general election without these key groups. Keep in mind that NO DEMOCRAT has won the presidency without the black vote since the 1941 with FDR. If Hillary does get the nomination through so form of DNC maneuvering , it would be an insult to black voters, almost as big as when the republicans fought against the Civil Rights Act which brought blacks to the Dem party. Many of the new voters brought into the party will be upset some to the point of not voting.

    May 21, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. ruby

    I cannot vote for this guy... I am very weary of a man who is smooth talking and sounds like he has an answer for everything... I have never trusted them, and I have never been wrong. I pray God I am right again. I am done with the elections this year.

    May 21, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. Robert in Toronto,ON

    The REAL story not being listed in both Kentucky and in West Virginia – helping to explain Obama's disparaging losses – is the exit polls when it came to RACE.

    In Kentucky last night 1 out of 5 people said that race was a determining factor, and of those 9 out of 10 voted for Hillary Clinton (man...I sound like Bill Scheinder)

    And it was worse in West Virginia – 1 out of every 4 said race was an issue! Remember too that these are just people who openly admitted it. The numbers are probably worse.

    Now you tell me, if you have people who obviously are ignoring the qualifications and are voting based on race – how do you change that? The clear answer is...you can't. You can't expect that kind of prejudice to change in over 5 months, when it is part of the culture that some Americans only know of and has been past through generations. They will NEVER vote for an African American for President, even if he came down from Heaven and saved their children.

    That might help to explain why Barack Obama is not campaiging in those two states. It has less to do with vote, and perhaps more to do with culture. And safety.

    My arguement is by not reporting on the race factor in both Kentucky and West Virginia you can see how much of a disadvantage Obama is at.

    He lost their votes even before he opened his mouth.

    May 21, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  8. Marge Hibbing Mn

    And he will struggle with Democrats. Older and hard working Americans see thru the flash in the pan. They are not as easily fooled as the jumping and dancing and chanting youth. Those who get caught up in the rock star of the movement. They are so zonked out they can not possibly realize this person is the worst thing that would ever happen to this country. He cries and whines at the least little negative report.

    Hillary has taken slings and flames for the last twenty years. From people jealous of the fact that she really connects with the rock base of the Democrats. The good old boys are also so weak and wimpish they can't stand to vote or support a strong woman.

    Those two groups are fast pushing the real Democrats, the ones who stood by this party thru the thin times. The Democrats always manage to kick them selves in the butt. It is a shame that the deadheads always get in control of the party, those also with no idea how to handle things.

    When McCain wins this GE, unless by some miracle Hillary gets the nod this country will never see the real Democratic Party again. There are emails circulating all over the place to organize and ban together. We are going to start our own party. Not join the Independents. Be real Democrats not the wimpy kind who can be cajoled into supporting a piece of flotsome pulled out of nowhere.

    obama might be APPOINTED the candidate but he will never get the presidency and won't that just knock the America hating spouse's nose out of joint.

    May 21, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  9. Angel in MN

    It's sad to see how much ignorance/racism is out there. Any Dem. that would vote for McCain rather than vote for Obama is NOT a democrat. Either these people are listening to the lies about Obama's loyalty to his country (which IS the United States) or they are just plain racist. Barack Obama is what this country and it's people need to heal the wounds caused us by 8 long years of Bush in office. I personally no longer care for Hillary Clinton after what her vicious campaigning has done to her own party, but if she (magically) won the nomination, I would support her. We, democrats and republicans alike, need change. McCain would be more of the same. Unless you are one of the few wealthy people left and can afford 4 more years of a critically failing economy; vote democrat. We need a change.

    Obama '08

    May 21, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  10. AJ, IL

    Hillary in her victory speech last night said "as Kentucky goes so goes the nation". Kentucky is one of the least educated states in nation and Hillary thinks America should be like Kentucky?

    May 21, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  11. KP in Atlanta

    Is it me or does HIllary seem to morph into these people everytime you see her and hear her speak? I think she is a "pod person" just like her supporters in Kentucky and all those other "hard working" americans who are voting for her. What is amazing to me, do these people really think if she wins the White House, she is going to come visit them, maybe go duck hunting with them, etc... If she wins the White House, it will be Kentucky who???? She is an opportunist and will only say and do what she can to win at any cost. This is a dangerous person, America, "hello". Wake the hell up!

    May 21, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  12. MD in GA

    I find it interesting that AA folks in the US, while continuing to complain about injustices and bigotry, still support the DEM presidential nominees, who to date, have always been white males.

    Enter Barack Obama. The first really viable AA presidential in history and all of a sudden WHITE people would rather vote for the GOP nominee (who would likely keep us in the mess we are in) or stay at home, then vote for an AA. What injustices and bigotry have any US AA citizens heap on lower income, lower educated, hard working, white Americans? None that I can see....

    So to stay at home or vote against fixing this "BIG A MESS" is by far one of the most prejudiced, bigoted, hate filled acts I have heard of in 51 plus years of living.

    SAD SO SAD. SHAME OF YA'LL....

    May 21, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. Jim

    Actually the 28% who said that race played a large part in deciding who to vote for are the people with the problem. Please take note that Oregon had less African American voters then Kentucky and Obama did just fine. Perhaps this is the year the map changes in the general election with Obama winning states typically republican, and losing those states democrats often lose anyway. Having states other then redneckland deciding elections might actually be a positive thing being the decision they made in 2000 and 2004.

    May 21, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  14. FAT LADY SINGING LOUD !!!

    Sad to see so many of Kentuckians still embrace racist ways as if they are stuck in a time warp.

    Oh well.

    73 more delegates to go...hehe

    OBAMA 08'/12'

    May 21, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  15. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Take a look at the picture at the top. What dose this tell you. He looks happy , she looks scared. CNN loves Obama. Not that i care that much. I don't support Clinton anyway.I can see why people are saying that this is not a bipartisan network. CNN loves its dems but really loves Obama.

    May 21, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. Chris

    No just half in Kentucky, But half the Democrats EVERYWHERE will not vote for him. Silly Obama nuts..He will never win. There are no Caucasus for him or his supporters to bully into voting for him. You can see who's side you are on in a Caucasus and the White people were scared the would be labeled Racist but the Obama nuts if they did not go to his side. That’s where Obama got most of his major wins. He will never win general election without them in the general election.

    McCain or Bust…I will not be bullied into vote for Obama. I'm not blind like his cult is.

    May 21, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  17. carolyn

    Well I guess I'm one of the stay at home people. There's just to much about Obama we do not know. But I do know this is falling right ih line with what the reps. had in mind He will never get elected.

    May 21, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  18. Joe Barret

    I am not an expert, nor do I sit on any panels filled with pundits, I just talk to people daily in my job...and, I have to say that it is obvious to me that of the three musketeers running for president, Clinton is the electable Democrat.
    Cant the experts see the results and know that if the Democrats nominate Obama, the will have shot themselves in the foot?
    McCain will win this election in a landslide, and Obama will become the 21st century version of McGovern. The Superdelegates better wake up and read the same election returns from the critical states that I do.

    May 21, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  19. shelly OR

    The notion that some are so bitter about the good man being ahead and that some cant' stand that is silly. You dems, get your act together and support eachother!! If Hilary were the presumptive nominee, I would vote for her! But since it is Barack I will vote for him! If people aren't going to budge, she really needs to drop out now!

    OBAMA 08

    May 21, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  20. Tired of W, OH

    Hey, before y'all go callin' Kentucky voters a bunch of racists, consider this: Obama is only half black. That means that Kentucky voters are only half racist! YEEEE-HAWWW!

    Seriously, go look at the county-by-county results for Kentucky and pay attention to the margin of victory by Clinton in each of the counties. As you get towards the back-woods counties in the eastern part of the state, Clinton wins by 80% or more. As you get towards the more industrialized parts of the state (like Louisville) the race is much tighter. This is not due to a large African American population. This is due to an educational gap. People in larger cities follow the news much closer than those in rural areas. They are exposed to more racially diverse conditions and are much less prejudiced. I'm not saying that rural voters are dumber. They're just more ignorant to the world around them. And ignorance breeds prejudice. Those are just the facts.

    May 21, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  21. John B. From New Hampshire

    you know what boggles my mind, 1 of 5 voters in both WV and KY said Race played a part in their vote, and these are just the people who would admit this to a complete stranger! That's not my point yet… Earlier this week, Clinton made a comment that sexism has played a negative role in the campaign, crying foul(only thing i have heard is the iron my shirt thing)! She went on to say that race played NO part!!! The numbers do not lie Hillary! Nice try though! I agree with the pundits on CNN, she should rise above this, saying in effect, if you're going to vote for me because i'm white, then frankly i don't want your vote, vote for me based upon my cradentials… nothing more or less. but hey, that's just my two cents.

    OBAMA '08

    May 21, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  22. robert ga

    Race is a major issue in states like kentucky, if up to 24% admitted race was a factor in their voting then the number is really more like 50%. we this kind of statistics it does not matter what Obama has to offer , right now they will not vote for a non white candidate period. heck 7% of them voted for Edwards because they could not bring themselves to vote for a Non white candidate or a Women (think about it). You should visit Kenturky and see how it is , it is amongst the poorest states in the country and we know ignorance and lack of education breeds racist views hence the results in kentucky. I don't know why Clinton is so proud of this support from these racist pockets of america and want the normination to be given to her based on this. The voting in places like kentucky and west virginia has nothing to do with Reverend Wright, it is just an excuse to hide the real reason. Now you might say that Obama getting 95% of the Black vote is racist some how, it is just the excitement of having a candidate for the first time that they can all support rich , educated , noeducated.

    May 21, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  23. Chris in SC

    Trouble with "older, white and blue-collar voters". In other words, he has a problem with the uneducated and racists. Do we really want a president whose biggest supports come from those groups? Remember that the lesser educated individuals tended to supprt George W. (there are stats that back that up). Look where that got us. I would rather have a president who has overwhelming support from educated people, who are able to vote without racial prejudice!

    May 21, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  24. Moderates unite

    Of course he struggles with some Democrats....the moderate Democrats.

    It is because he appeals to the elitist, ultra-liberal faction of the Democratic party. His pretty boy looks and well delivered speeches don't resonate with the blue collar, traditional Democrat.

    They are able to see through the motivational speeches he gives every day and see there is no substance to what he says.

    Moderates also question how a lawyer with 10 years of experience as a State legislator and 3 years of experience as a U.S. Senator qualifies him to hold the highest office in the land?

    May 21, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  25. Michelle from Colorado

    Duh!

    May 21, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
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