Democrats and the Last 'Black Vote' Hope

black votersDemocrats can’t win without that entity known as the “black vote.” At least 90 percent of black voters pick the liberals over the conservatives. Why do blacks who say they oppose abortion and homosexual “marriage” vote for Democrats?

During the 1960s civil rights era, the federal government was perceived as the protector of black people. The president sent federal troops to the South to restore order after white southerners (Democrats, ironically) resisted desegregation. The government created laws and policies to retain these new civil rights. Such images have been slow to dissipate. People who weren’t even alive during this time have read the stories and heard the accounts.

Whatever the reason, the theme is Big Government. A bloated central government is comforting to some Americans, like a thick, warm blanket, until they realize they can’t remove it when it gets too hot. Big government encroaches on the individual’s liberty, but many accept the trade-off.

The New York Times published a 1,400-word piece on the black vote and a pollster’s warning that Democrats could lose the Senate if blacks don’t show up at the polls next month.

“African-American surge voters came out in force in 2008 and 2012, but they are not well positioned to do so again in 2014,” Cornell Belcher, the pollster, wrote in the memo, dated Oct. 1. “In fact, over half aren’t even sure when the midterm elections are taking place.”

Mr. Belcher’s assessment points to an urgent imperative for Democrats: To keep Republicans from taking control of the Senate, as many are predicting, they need black voters in at least four key states. Yet the one politician guaranteed to generate enthusiasm among African Americans is the same man many Democratic candidates want to avoid: Mr. Obama.

President Obama isn’t as popular as he once was, and Democrats trying to remain in office seem to be avoiding him. Still, when blacks do vote, it’s for one party. And when they don’t turn up? The pollster quoted in the article says Democrats lose. Voter turnout for midterm elections is notoriously low across the board. The pollster’s warning memo “set off alarm at the White House.”

What, if anything, can Republicans do to persuade enough of these voters to choose a different party?

Photo credit: David Goehring (Creative Commons) Some Rights Reserved

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