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North Carolina has been a Republican stronghold for decades. So can Barack Obama really overcome the history of racial prejudice in the southern states?

The polls suggest that America will elect Barack Obama its first black president in two weeks. But the tidal wave of enthusiasm for him points to him not just winning the White House but capturing two important states of the Old Confederacy, North Carolina and Virginia.

Both have reliably gone Republican during every presidential election for 40 years, and only once since 1948 has Virginia voted to put a Democrat in the White House. On a US electoral map, these are the highest peaks of prejudice the Democrat is poised to overcome. North Carolina, especially, is a place where some of the nastiest race-based campaigns have been fought in modern times. The ground is now shaking under the country club Republicans as the polls give Senator Obama a margin of some 10 percentage points in Virginia and put North Carolina on a knife edge. Read more.

Question: Can Obama really pull this off and does it mean a sea-change in US society as well as politics?

Comments

( Comment )
brennakimi wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
African Americans are, by and large, democrats. They've also been systematically--both explicitly and implicitly--disenfranchised for over 100 years.

We're finally seeing people taking responsibility for that and seeking actively to enfranchise them. It's about time it happened, and about time the election accurately represented America.

The South still has a higher percentage of African Americans than the rest of the country. It's simply a dose of reality that a serious enfranchisement effort would give the democrats a boost in the South.

Add that to the current economic crisis, the very real evidence that Obama has a better economic plan and the popular opinion that that is the case, and the massive distaste in an incumbent opposing party which are affecting the whole country and the disproportionately rural and poor South especially, and you have a perfect recipe for a seriously interesting election.
( Comment )