By Jack Minor
While the focus today has been on the Republican primaries and caucuses Tuesday, the little-noticed Democratic primary results actually are starting to show potential trouble for Barack Obama, observers say.
Charles Dunn, an author and political scientist with Regent University, said primary results in Oklahoma and other states should be troubling for Obama, and his Democratic Party.
While the media attempts to portray Democratic voters as solidly supportive of Obama, in Oklahoma the president received just slightly over 50 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary.
In the other three states that held Democratic primaries, the president also faced difficulties. In Massachusetts, Tennessee and Missouri Obama only received 88 percent of the vote. These numbers are interesting in light of the fact in two of the states Obama was unopposed.
Dunn said these numbers should be seen as a warning light to the administration.
“The mainstream media and the White House may not see it, but it is there. These numbers are definitely not normal for an incumbent president and do not bode well for Obama,” he said.
In Oklahoma, unlike other states that have held their primaries, Obama actually faced Democratic opponents. During Tuesday’s election, the president received only 57 percent of the vote, with almost 20 percent of it going to a person who the party says is not a “bona fide candidate.”
Randall Terry is a longtime pro-life activist who has authored several books and appeared on shows such as “Nightline,” “60 Minutes,” “Hannity and Colmes” and “Oprah.” Terry is running in the Democratic primary against Obama and is on the ballot in several states
After he purchased ads to run on local television affiliates during the Super Bowl, the Democratic National Committee sent out letters to the stations saying Terry was “not a bona fide Democratic candidate or representative of the Democratic National Committee.”
As a result of the letter, several stations canceled the ads.
However, on Tuesday he came in second place in Oklahoma, garnering 18 percent of the vote. With Terry clearing the 15 percent threshold, he has earned a delegate at the Democratic National Convention, which would mean that Obama’s nomination will not be unanimous.
Dunn explained a key reason for Tuesday’s numbers has to do with disenchantment by several groups that were vital to his 2008 victory.
He said Latino voters have become frustrated with his broken promises.
“He promised immigration reform and many Latino voters are dissatisfied that he has not made good on his promises,” he said.
And Dunn said Obama’s policies have also alienated other key groups that have traditionally been loyal to the Democratic party.
“Jewish voters have been among the most loyal groups to the president and the party, but they are becoming disenchanted with his handling over Israel and the Middle East,” he said.
He said a similar thing is happening with Catholic voters, “They are another historically hard core group of Democratic voters and they are upset over his requiring Catholic institutions to violate their conscience and provide birth control and sterilization.”
Dunn said another cause of concern for the president that may surprise people is the Protestant evangelical vote.
“In 2008, Obama won North Carolina by 14,000 votes because thousands of Southern Baptists and evangelicals voted for him,” he said. “These four different groups who were instrumental elements of his winning coalition in 2008 no longer feel comfortable with him.”
While pundits have discussed liberal disenfranchisement over his perceived lack of results of their issues, there has been disagreement over how that would play out in the election with many saying the various groups will ultimately wholeheartedly back the president.
However, Dunn says the election numbers indicate a different story.
“In Oklahoma where Obama actually had to face challengers, he only received 57 percent of the Democratic vote, that is very significant,” Dunn said. “This is an important issue for the Democratic party and Barack Obama and it could spell the difference between winning and losing the White House in November.”
He said the primary results are showing trends similar to what happened with Jimmy Carter.
“In 1976 Carter swept the south. Evangelicals and others were standing in lines outside the polling places to vote for him,” he said. “Four years later the Southern Baptists and evangelicals became disenchanted and Carter ended up being sent back to Plains, Georgia.”
Former Congressman Tom Tancredo, who received 37 percent of the vote as a third party candidate in the last Colorado gubernatorial election, said the primary results reveal the large amount of Americans who are frustrated with Obama and his policies.
“No president since Jimmy Carter has been this vulnerable to defeat,” he said.
Tancredo said he believes ultimately the election will turn on the economy above all else.
“The issue is the same as Carter had. If the economy doesn’t improve Republicans will win no matter who they nominate. If the economy improves, he will win no matter who we nominate.”
Dunn says he does not believe that is true in this case.
“There are several variables to consider and you cannot explain everything with just one of them,” he said. “No president has ever won with unemployment above 7.2 percent, however Obama could possibly win with unemployment around 8 percent if it is perceived as improving, however the other variables such as the conscience, Middle East and abortion issues are all working together against this president.”