JONATHAN MARTIN debunks claims that Harold Ford, Jr. lost because of race. Also note Mark Blumenthal’s analysis at

Ford did as well as any Democrat could have, adding that a candidate like Jim Webb won in Virginia only because Virginia is less Republican than Tennessee.

The exit polls for Tennessee and Virginia tend to support that point. Both Democratic candidates received exactly the same percentage of support from Democratic partisans. Ford’s race was certainly no unique barrier to those that identified as Democrats, although Webb did slightly better among independents (though one might quibble about the statistical significance of that difference. Similarly, in the Maryland Senate race, African American Republican Michael Steele did precisely as well among Republicans (94%) as Corker in Tennessee and Allen in Virginia.

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