Two pervasive and persistent myths about racial voting in the modern South are behind the notion that Mr. Obama might win in places like Georgia, North Carolina and Mississippi.It should be noted that this trend applies generally nationwide. Even in Northern states, the larger the black population, the more heavily the white vote tends to shift toward Republicans.
The first myth is that African-American turnout in the South is low. Black voters are actually well represented in the Southern electorate. . . .
The second myth is that Democratic presidential candidates fare better in Southern states that have large numbers of African-Americans. In fact, the reverse is true, because the more blacks there are in a Southern state, the more likely the white voters are to vote Republican.
I dubbed this phenomenon "Mississippification" based on the fact that Mississppi has the largest percentage black population of any state (37%), but while Al Gore got more than 90% of the black vote in Mississippi, George Bush got nearly 90% of the white vote and thus won the state with 57% of the total. (CNN no longer has the 2000 exit polls online, but they showed that whites in Mississippi voted Republican at a higher level than the white population of any other state.)
Schaller correctly concludes that it is highly unlikely that Obama is going to de-"Mississippify" the vote in the South. To which I would add, or anywhere else.
UPDATE: Dan Riehl: "the O.J. verdict in reverse"?
UPDATE II: Liberal blogger Booman:
Schaller doesn't consider any benefit that Obama may have derived from the organization he did in the state during the primary. He doesn't discuss the competitive senate race between Roger Wicker and former governor Ronnie Musgrove. . . .Booman: It's Mississippi, OK? Have you ever been to Mississippi? All the "skills" and "organization" on the planet couldn't elect a liberal Democrat from Chicago in Mississippi, even if the Chicago Democrat was a white guy named Smith.
Schaller's analysis takes no account of Obama's superior political skills that far outrun what John Kerry had to offer.
And since you mention the Senate race, Booman: What do you want to bet that the Musgrove campaign is begging Obama not to come to Mississippi? Heck, every time the TV news shows Obama's face, Musgrove loses a few more voters. It's Mississippi, I repeat. The past ain't dead there. It ain't even the past.
UPDATE: Obama's at 36% in neighboring Louisiana. Does Booman suppose that Mary Landrieu, now in the fight of her life, wants Obama to come in to campaign for her? What does Booman imagine would be the effect of that photo-op?