From Booker Rising:
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois), the country’s only black senator, urged Tennesseans to rise above the cynicism of those who think Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tennessee) can’t be elected to join him in the U.S. Senate. Speaking to a few thousand people at a rally in downtown Nashville this afternoon, the liberal Illinois Democrat delighted in the fact that people of every stripe, color and faith had gathered to “celebrate a young man who is going to keep us moving toward that future.” “There’s a new day dawning here,” said Sen. Obama. “We’re tired of business as usual.”Sen. Obama and Rep. Ford Jr. spent this morning at two Nashville churches. "I know that all of you are going to work the next couple of days to make sure it happens, because I‘m feeling lonely in Washington," Sen. Obama said of Rep. Ford Jr., a moderate-liberal Democrat, at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church. "I need my dear friend to join me."
Rep. Ford Jr. faces Bob Corker, a former mayor of Chattanooga, in the closely-watched race.
My response: Mr. Corker - who recently trailed in the polls - now leads Rep. Ford Jr. by 50%-38%, with 3% supporting other candidates and 9% undecided. A poll suggests that the controversial (and now-pulled) Republican National Committee ad touting Rep. Ford Jr. as weak on various issues and racially coding him as a lover of white women - which I argue was the true intent of the ad - has hurt him. 81% of likely voters saw the ad, and undecided folks who saw the ad are breaking 2-1 in favor of Mr. Corker.
Again, I assert that if Rep. Ford Jr. hadn't allowed his love for white women to override his common and political sense in the first place by attending the Playboy party, perhaps the race would still be tight...or at least the gap smaller. Now we may not have another black U.S. Senator because of Rep. Ford Jr.'s impulsiveness (which the foul RNC ad later exploited).
Perhaps black women - who are 60% of black voters, and Rep. Ford Jr. needs a strong black turnout and 35-40% of the white vote in order to win - won't turn out as strongly as they otherwise would have done, while white males who also didn't like the ad's message will turn out stronger.