Whether you're a Hillary Rodham Clinton fan or a Barack Obama supporter, a closer look at Tuesday's election numbers from the Ohio Democratic primary are upsetting.
Exit polling done by MSNBC shows about two-thirds of white voters in Ohio backed Clinton, higher than in many other states. Also, Ohio is far more Caucasian than many states; nearly three-fourths of all voters here are white, compared to the six in 10 in previous Democratic primaries.
Obama got overwhelming support from blacks, younger voters and the college educated, but did poorly among blue-collar workers and elderly voters.
In fact, Obama won in Ohio's three largest counties: Cuyahoga, home to Cleveland; Franklin, home to Columbus; and our own Hamilton, home to Cincinnati. Obama also won Montgomery County (Dayton) and Delaware County in suburban Columbus. But Clinton took the remainder of the state — all suburban and rural areas.
Then there’s the matter of a photograph of Obama used by the Clinton campaign in advertising that appears to have been digitally altered to make the Illinois senator appear darker than he really is.
Several national bloggers first noticed the discrepancy. Clinton’s commercial on national security uses a clip of Obama from a recent debate at Cleveland State University, but his skin tone is noticeably darker than it appears in television coverage from the debate. The reddish backdrop in the TV clips is purple in Clinton’s ad, suggesting the coloring was intentionally manipulated. There’s still no explanation from the Clinton camp about how this occurred, but it smacks of Willie Horton-style dirty tricks.
Sadly, the available evidence would suggest that race played a factor in Ohio’s election results.
Clinton appeared on The Early Show on CBS this morning and hinted about the possibility of her and Obama sharing the Democratic ticket. Some political analysts believe this was done to send the message that Clinton remains friendly with Obama, and to blunt criticism of her recent negative campaigning. Most national Democratic leaders interviewed agreed that a shared ticket is unlikely, and Clinton would never deign to be on the bottom half.
Clinton’s campaign, though, needs to take another peek at the Texas results. Although she claimed victory in the Lone Star State’s primary, Obama is ahead in counting of the caucuses there, meaning he will pick up more delegates. Put in starker terms, Clinton needs to get a whopping 97 percent of the remaining delegates in upcoming primaries to win the nomination, while Obama needs a much more manageable 77 percent, according to some estimates.
Perhaps the catch phrases used by the two campaigns are telling in a way not intended. Obama’s supporters shout, “Yes, we can” at campaign events; Clinton’s backers have adopted the rallying cry of “Yes, she will.”
In the end, it seems, it’s all about ego and personal ambition for Hillary.
— Kevin Osborne