However well or poorly Hillary Clinton does tomorrow, she still seems to have one demographic group locked up: Cabbies in D.C. and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs. It doesn’t matter whether the cab drivers are white, black, Arab or Asian; immigrants or native-born; young or old. (I’ve only been driven by one female cab driver since I’ve lived in this area, and she didn’t talk politics. So I don’t have a large enough sample size by gender.)
Common themes: They all criticize Obama for selling “change” when they have no clear idea what he plans to change. They all say he lacks experience. Interestingly, cab drivers from the Middle East express skepticism about Obama’s plans to withdraw from Iraq and talk to Iran. One Iranian-born cab driver, obviously a swing voter, told me, “Too bad Bush lied about the weapons in Iraq, because he is telling the truth about the weapons in Iran.” Many of the black cab drivers think the Clintons have a better understanding of poverty and economics than Obama. Some of them have also told me that they don’t think he will get enough white votes in the general election to beat John McCain.
In almost every case, the driver initiated the conversation about politics himself without any knowledge of what I do for a living. Obama has occasionally said he has difficulty getting cab drivers to pick him up. If my anecdotal evidence is at all representative, he has an even bigger problem getting them to vote for him.