The opening stages of the campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination have produced a noticeable shift in sentiment among African American voters, who little more than a month ago heavily supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton but now favor the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama.
Clinton, of New York, continues to lead Obama and other rivals in the Democratic contest, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. But her once-sizable margin over the freshman senator from Illinois was sliced in half during the past month largely because of Obama's growing support among black voters.
Most of you that read PYY already know what I think of polls, especially polls this early in the game. But politicians do care greatly and therefore, this has to be concerning for the New York senator.
One thing Hillary must understand is, overreaction can cost you points. In this case, I think the action caused by Geffen's remarks would not have caused as much of a problem, had the NY senator just played them down and reacted so histrionically.
One thing she does not want to do is alienate Democratic black voters in the pre-primary season. If the wounds are too deep and blacks perceive that there is a disconnect as a result of a bloody primary campaign between her and Obama, she may find many staying home in November. And from where I sit, Democrats need the black vote to have any viable chance.
As it stands now, she is still comfortably ahead. But hey, it's still a long way to go before the votes are cast. Those that advise Hillary would do well to not overreact to anything from other Dems, at this point in time. At least, that's how I would advise her.