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Rendell: Some Whites Won't Support Obama Because Of Race

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The racial components of the 2008 Democratic Primary refuse to go away. On Tuesday, Gov. Ed Rendell, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter, told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that he believed some Pennsylvania voters would not support Barack Obama simply because of his race.

"You've got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate," the Governor said, ironically, to a black reporter. "I believe, looking at the returns in my election, that had Lynn Swann [2006 Republican gubernatorial candidate] been the identical candidate that he was -- well-spoken, charismatic, good-looking -- but white instead of black, instead of winning by 22 points, I would have won by 17 or so."

This is the second time in as many days that the topic of Obama's racial appeal (or, in Rendell's case, lack of biracial appeal) has been brought up by the Clinton campaign. Yesterday, the Senator herself suggested that Obama's weekend win in the Louisiana primary was the product of, primarily, the black vote.

"In the case of Louisiana," she said, "you know, a very strong and very proud African-American electorate, which I totally respect and understand."

Obama has, in his primary victories, picked up a vast majority of the black vote. But his margins among the white electorate have increased as well. In California, according to exit polls, he and Clinton were virtually tied among the later.