Given a hypothetical polling matchup from 1995, what we can conclude about Barack Obama is that he's really, really lucky he's black.
What I'm particularly happy about is the apparently wellspring of forgiveness the American people have for black incompetence:
On balance I think Obama’s race has been a political asset. I believe that most Americans think it would be a good thing, all other things being reasonably equal, for our country to elect a black president. I know I feel that way myself. I think that impulse has inspired many voters, ever since his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, to give Obama a sympathetic look-over, to be readier perhaps to appreciate his strengths and to overlook his weaknesses than they might be with an otherwise similar non-black candidate.
Even though Jesse Helms died this weekend, look for Obama to become the "Hands" candidate - he just happened to stumble into the presidential race (presumably straight off of downing the last swig of his Colt 45), given a leg up by minority-coddling Democrats who just really, really wanted the World's Bestest Black Friend Ever.
Somehow, this crazy hustler Obama managed to swindle 300 million dollars from millions of unsuspecting rubes, win a major party's nomination against the surest thing any non-incumbent primary had seen in decades, and stand in the lead in the general election not because of anything that he did or the organization he put together, but because he welled up all the metaphysical blackness he could and shamed tens of millions of people into overlooking his penchant for spending his food money on Coogi sweaters and lottery tickets.
Hell, I've heard crazier things. Granted, most of them begin "Dear Penthouse, you'll never guess what happened to me in the sauna...", but who doesn't need a little bit of that ethos in deciding the next leader of the free world?