Susan Estrich: It’s The Race Thing Again

Susan Estrich brings up the unspeakable issue for the Democrats:

But, the fact is that there is a long pattern of what we in California call the “Bradley problem” in polling, after the former Los Angeles mayor who was elected governor in every poll, including the exits, except that he lost at the ballot box. Did I mention that he was African-American?

That was, according to the pollsters, the problem: about 10 percent of the electorate claimed that they were going to vote for him, and in many cases even told pollsters that they did, but they lied.

Shocking. Racism in America. Who’d a thunk it?

Doug Wilder, who wasn’t elected to the Senate from Virginia, faced the same problem. We who are Democrats would like to believe that race is not a factor in the polling of our party members, but maybe we’re wrong.

No one doubts, or at least no one who is honest does, that both racism and sexism come into play as people decide between Clinton and Obama, but could it be that people are more willing to admit that they won’t vote for the woman than that they won’t vote for the black?

If this is happening even among us good Democrats, what does that say about Obama’s strength in a general election? Not pretty questions. Not a fair world.

But this avoids the obvious dumb question.  If the Democrats, liberal party that they are, after years of advocating civil rights and affirmative action and calling the rest of us a bunch of bigots, can’t get past the race issue, how can they expect the rest of us to go along with their program?

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