At this point before the Wednesday morning shows, Matt Drudge is highlighting an MSNBC clip where Tim Russert says we know the nominee will be Obama, and Hillary will be the last to realize it. But will the networks' post-election coverage identify the sour notes for Obama in the exit polls? AP reporter Alan Fram found the Jeremiah Wright connection continues to hurt Obama with white voters (and this is Democratic primary voters):
Obama, the Illinois senator battling to become the first black president, again failed to gain ground with a crucial voting bloc that has consistently eluded him — working-class whites. But he was piecing together a coalition that besides blacks included the young, first-time primary voters, the very liberal and college graduates, plus sizable minorities of whites....
Wright was a looming factor in the voting, with nearly half in each state saying he was important in choosing a candidate. Of that group, seven in 10 in Indiana and six in 10 in North Carolina backed Clinton.
Those saying Wright did not influence them heavily favored Obama. In North Carolina, Obama got more votes from people saying they discounted the Wright episode than Clinton got from those affected by it, while in Indiana the two groups were about equal in size.
Among whites, eight in 10 in both states who said Wright affected their choice went with Clinton. That was well above the six in 10 whites overall who supported her.
In both states, two-thirds of Clinton's white voters said Wright was important. That compared to eight in 10 white Obama supporters who said Wright was not a factor.
Fram watered down the most controversial Wright remarks, that the government "may have" invented AIDS, and it "invited" 9/11:
Wright has said the U.S. government may have developed the AIDS virus to infect blacks and that the U.S. invited the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Obama denounced the remarks last week.
Fram had one other nugget of bad news in the exit polls:
In the latest evidence of bitter feelings between the two camps, just under half of each candidate's supporters in both states said they would support the other against McCain in November. Analysts expect those heated feelings to wane once the party finally chooses its candidate.