Obama Now Leading Among Key Clinton Constituencies

Some Clinton supporters claim that since Obama has not done as well as Clinton among some segments of Democratic voters he would have trouble in the general election. Today’s Gallup Poll provides evidence disputing this belief. Obama has moved out to a sixteen point lead after weeks of the poll generally being close and the lead switching between the two candidates. More importantly, the poll shows that groups which previously backed Clinton are now moving to Obama:

The broadening of Obama’s appeal for the nomination seen in Gallup’s May 16-18 polling is fairly widespread, with the percentage favoring him increasing among most demographic categories of Democratic voters. However, as a result, certain groups that were already highly supportive of Obama for the nomination — men, 18- to 29-year-olds, postgrads, and upper-income Democrats — are now overwhelmingly in his camp. Obama is currently favored among these groups by a 2-to-1 margin, or better, over Clinton.

At the same time, support for Clinton among some of her traditionally stalwart support groups — women, Easterners, whites, adults with no college education, and Hispanics — has fallen below 50%.

The only major demographic group still supporting Clinton to the tune of 51% or more is women aged 50 and older. This group’s preferences have changed little during May, at the same time that Clinton’s support among younger men (those 18 to 49) has declined by nearly 10 points.

This is consistent with what I have predicted in several previous posts. There is no reason to think that Obama would not receive the support of traditional core Democratic voters, regardless of whether he was previously their first choice. Despite Clinton’s previous lead among working class voters, Obama’s economic policies are actually better for them, as well as the rest of the country. It was largely a matter of time for Obama’s message to get through to the low-information Clinton supporters who initially backed the better known candidate.

While Obama has picked up much of Clinton’s base, the reverse would not happen should Clinton win the nomination. Much of Obama’s support has come from bringing in more educated and affluent voters who do not typically vote Democratic. Such support would not be transferred to Clinton, especially in light of both the populist tone and unethical nature of the Clinton campaign. While under normal circumstances Clinton would be able to pick up black support if Obama wasn’t in the race, the racist tone of the Clinton campaign has also made this very unlikely. Clinton will do well in Kentucky today, but not for reasons which most Democrats would find desirable.

Yet another argument being used to try to convince superdelegates to ignore the will of the primary and caucus voters has been thoroughly disputed. Of course, like all of Clinton’s other arguments, this one was never very convincing and we’ve seen which direction the superdelegates have moved since Super Tuesday.



I think that things will be much better with Obama as president than with a third term for George Bush (regardless if it comes in the form of John McCain or Hillary Clinton). I don’t think things will be like portrayed in the video above.

Many High Schools Still Teaching Creationism As a Valid Alternative to Evolution

Wired has some distressing news on the state of science education in this country (Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan).

One in eight U.S. high school teachers presents creationism as a valid alternative to evolution, says a poll published in the Public Library of Science Biology.

Of more than 900 teachers who responded to a poll conducted by Penn State University political scientist Michael Berkman and colleagues, 32 percent agreed that creationism and intelligent design should be taught as scientifically unsound. Forty percent said such explanations are religiously valid but inappropriate for science class.

However, 25 percent said they devoted classroom time to creationism or intelligent design. Of these, about one-half — 12 percent of all teachers — called creationism a “valid scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species,” and the same number said that “many reputable scientists view these as valid alternatives to Darwinian theory.” (The full study makes for interesting reading: Evolution and Creationism in America’s Classrooms: A National Portrait.

Fortunately there are many organizations fighting such degradation of science education such as The National Center for Science Education. The National Academy of Sciences has reviewed evolution, beginning with a statement indicating that there is no significant doubt about evolution:

Studies in evolutionary biology have led to the conclusion that human beings arose from ancestral primates. This association was hotly debated among scientists in Darwin’s day. But today there is no significant scientific doubt about the close evolutionary relationships among all primates, including humans.

Many of the most important advances in paleontology over the past century relate to the evolutionary history of humans. Not one but many connecting links–intermediate between and along various branches of the human family tree–have been found as fossils. These linking fossils occur in geological deposits of intermediate age. They document the time and rate at which primate and human evolution occurred.

Evolution is established science while intelligent design and creationism represent religious thought rather than science. The two fields of science and religion should not be confused with each other, especially in the class room.