York asserted that SC white men who did not vote for Clinton "voted against" her

››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

In another example of a media figure asserting that primary or caucus voters who chose a candidate other than Sen. Hillary Clinton were thus rejecting her, National Review's Byron York asserted that in South Carolina, "72 percent of white men voted against" Clinton. York did not point to any evidence that the white men who voted for someone other than Clinton did so because they were "vot[ing] against her."

On the January 27 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, National Review White House correspondent Byron York asserted that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) "was kind of reduced to her core constituency in South Carolina. She had problems with everybody except for white women." He later added, "Seventy-two percent of white men voted against her." The Associated Press reported that, according to AP exit polls for the January 26 South Carolina Democratic primary, 45 percent of white males supported former Sen. John Edwards (NC), 28 percent of white males supported Clinton, and 27 percent of white males supported Sen. Barack Obama (IL). York did not point to any evidence that the white men who voted for someone other than Clinton did so because they were "vot[ing] against her."

This is not the first time a media figure has asserted that primary or caucus voters who chose a candidate other than Clinton were rejecting Clinton in doing so. In a January 2 "guide" to "post-caucus spin" posted on MSNBC.com, NBC News political director Chuck Todd wrote that if there were a "three-way tie" in the January 3 Iowa caucus, Clinton would have to "make sure the media doesn't somehow turn the tie into a '60-plus percent of Democrats rejected her' spin" and added: "While the Clinton campaign believes that they've gotten bad media coverage, they do have to worry about a certain segment of the press interpreting Clinton as the incumbent being rejected by majority margins." Despite Todd's "guide," MSNBC host Chris Matthews asserted that if Clinton were to "squeak" out a victory, she will nonetheless have been "rejected here in Iowa by two-thirds of the Democratic Party" while discussing possible outcomes of the Iowa Democratic caucuses on the January 3 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe.

In contrast to his analysis of the Democratic race in Iowa, earlier in the January 3 show, Matthews predicted that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) would win 18 percent of votes in the Iowa Republican caucuses, but did not assert that if he was right, McCain would have been "rejected" by 82 percent of Iowa Republican caucus participants. Rather, while Matthews characterized a "low 30 percent" result for Clinton as negative, he suggested on the January 2 edition of MSNBC's Hardball that if McCain were to receive 18 percent of the vote, he would be "the big hero."

From the January 27 edition of NBC's Meet the Press:

YORK: You know, I don't think you can overstate the amount of anger created in Democrats by Bill Clinton's tactics. I mean they were very, very unhappy with them. I was talking to a Democratic strategist the other day who said, "My wife just got in the car. She's driving to South Carolina to volunteer for Obama." They were that angry at what Clinton had done. And he also said, you know, Clinton is trying to turn him into Jesse Jackson. And sure enough, after Obama wins big, what does Bill Clinton say but, well, you know, Jesse Jackson won here, too. But you know she -- Hillary Clinton was kind of reduced to her core constituency in South Carolina. She had problems with everybody except for white women. Eighty percent of black women voted against her, 80 percent of black men voted against her, and 72 percent of white men voted against her. I mean, she was down to a very small constituency.

Network/Outlet
NBC
Person
Byron York
Show/Publication
Meet the Press
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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