A funny thing happened on the way to the wife of America's first black president being coronated: more than twice as many African-Americans voted for "Mr. Uncommitted" as Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) in Tuesday's Michigan primary.
Clearly, the recent racial sparring between the Clintons and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has not helped Hillary in the black community.
As reported by the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder:
Exit polls show backlash against Hillary Clinton among black voters... Almost 70% of black voters in the Dem sample chose uncommitted and only 25% chose Clinton. (She's leading overall -- beating uncommitted by, like, 40 points)... Remember: Michigan's Dem primary doesn't matter b/c Clinton's name is the only one on the ballot and there are no delegates, but one can read these numbers as a sign of trouble for her among black voters.
Michigan Live reported early Wednesday morning (emphasis added):
As election returns came in Tuesday, it was clear to a group gathered to support Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in downtown Grand Rapids their push to get voters to check "uncommitted" resonated in West Michigan, if not statewide.
Sen. Hillary Clinton won Michigan's Democratic primary with 55 percent of the vote, and 40 percent voting uncommitted.
NBC News exit polling found 73 percent of uncommitted voters favored Obama with 17 percent saying they backed Edwards.
Backing that up, precincts with predominantly black voters in Grand Rapids -- as in Detroit -- overwhelmingly voted uncommitted. In Grand Rapids, "uncommitted" beat Clinton in almost every precinct in the city's diverse 3rd Ward.
The big question moving forward is how much attention mainstream media will give to Mr. Uncommitted's success with black voters in Michigan, and, will they report some other not so Hillary-favorable results from this primary such as:
- Mr. Uncommitted did very well with young voters edging out Hillary in the 18-24-year-old demographic 48 to 44%
- Mr. Uncommitted beat Hillary 49 to 47% with high-income earners
- Mr. Uncommitted fared better with voters as their level of education increased. Amongst college graduates, the vote was virtually tied at Hillary 47 and Uncommitted 46%. With no degree, Hillary won 60 to 36%. Those with a post-graduate degree favored Uncommitted 50 to 44%
- Independents favored Mr. Uncommitted over Hillary by a margin of 51 to 37%
Of course, the major media outlets will be sure to share all this information with their patrons.