America's blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.Did it make a difference? You betcha:
Had people voted last November at the same rates they did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly, according to an analysis conducted for The Associated Press.A few more thoughts and quotes beneath the clouds:
Although much has been made of the need to woo the Hispanics, as they are the fastest growing section of the population, for the next few elections, the blacks and the whites will remain the largest voting blocks. Perhaps that's why you'll find this in the article as well:
In recent weeks, Republican leaders have urged a "year-round effort" to engage black and other minority voters, describing a grim future if their party does not expand its core support beyond white males.We know that. We have told them that, and what policies would appeal, but they're still working on keeping contraceptives and medical care away from women and intent on auctioning off the safety net. They may say the above, but in reality they're betting on gerrymandering and electoral college abuse and finding ways to suppress the vote of people they don't like - the people who don't like them.
Still some reality has sunk in:
The 2012 data suggest Romney was a particularly weak GOP candidate, unable to motivate white voters let alone attract significant black or Latino support. Obama's personal appeal and the slowly improving economy helped overcome doubts and spur record levels of minority voters in a way that may not be easily replicated for Democrats soon.It turns out that the voter-suppression tactics made some people (often, usually black) so angry that they became determined to vote no matter what. Some of the whites did not vote possibly because of those same tactics (it was widely reported, and even if it did not affect their polling places, they may have thought it would, and not bothered). It is true that we cannot be complacent.
So: will Republicans continue to mouth "minority outreach" while working on voter suppression? More effective, more insidious ways of oppression? Or will they try to come up with better candidates?
And here is an interesting question: what will the Democrats do? So often we react rather than proact. What should we do?
Tired of politics? Need to escape? Try one of my Greek mythology based novels, either the story of Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus or a trilogy about Niobe, whose children were murdered by the gods - or were they? or one of the first examples of civil disobedience, Antigone and Creon. Or, if you like mysteries and/or Jane Austen, treat yourself to
The Highbury Murders: A Mystery Set in the Village of Jane Austen’s Emma.