The African-American Swing State
Obama's re-election may require a repeat of the record rate of Black turnout in 2008
The list of 2012 swing states includes Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, Iowa, Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado. Whichever candidate carries these "battlegrounds," where neither presidential candidate currently has a clear lead, will probably win the election.
That's why Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are making countless campaign stops and targeting millions of advertising dollars to bring undecided voters in these states to their side. But according to a new report from the National Urban League Policy Institute, another state belongs on this key list -- the State of Black America.
That's right, just as in 2008, when African-American voters went to the polls in record numbers and were a deciding factor in President Obama's election, the black vote could again tip the scales either way in November depending on how many register and vote.
Our report, The Hidden Swing Voters: Impact of African Americans in 2012, reveals that due to a significant increase in voting, African Americans tipped the 2008 presidential election outcome in the swing states of North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, and Florida. For example, the additional African Americans who voted in North Carolina in 2008 compared to 2004 were nearly nine times the margin of Obama's victory in North Carolina -- an additional 127,000 African Americans voted and the margin of victory was just 14,177.
Conversely, our report shows that if African American voter turnout falls back to the 2004 rate of 60 percent as opposed to the record 2008 rate of nearly 65 percent, then Obama will have a tough time repeating his wins in the critical swing states of North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.
Voter registration is also a critical factor. African-American registration lagged in 2008, but when registered, African Americans were the citizens most likely to vote. Our report estimates that if overall African-American registration rises to 78.3 percent (the 2008 African-American rate in Maryland) up from the 2008 rate of 69.7 percent, and turnout is as high as it was four years ago, an additional 3 million African Americans will vote. That potential boost in turnout could have a huge impact on the outcome of the election.
Our report confirms black America's potential voting power. The 2008 election showed that, for the first time, blacks were at the table in the democratic process, with voter turnout nearly equal to and -- in some instances -- surpassing the rate at which whites cast their ballots. But once is not enough. This upcoming election presents an opportunity for blacks to secure our seat at the table.
That is exactly the purpose of the National Urban League's Occupy the Vote campaign. In addition to fighting back against those who would deny any citizen the right to vote, we're issuing a clarion call to reawaken the hidden swing voters in the State of Black America.
After all, "people who don't vote have no line of credit with people who are elected," as Marian Wright Edelman has said. They "pose no threat to those who act against our interests."
Read the latest political news.
- Romney Opens Mouth, Only to Make a Joke of Himself
- Green Scissors for Congress
- The Truth About Obama's Tax Proposal (And The Lies Some are Telling About It)
- Mitt Romney Stays Mum on Tax Avoidance
- Condi Rice Rumor Reveals Divisions in Romney Camp and on the Right
- The African-American Swing State
- Mitt Romney's Tour Starts in Wrong Place
- Teen Assailed for Outgrowing Conservatism
- Obama's Outsourcing Ad is Demagogic Populism
- Campaign on Cruise Control
- Mitt Romney's No-Brainer
- No Loonies Need Apply for GOP Vice-President
- Mitt Romney's Veepstakes Mania
- Mitt Romney's Hidden NAACP Audience
- The Subject Straight-Shooting Mitt Romney Doesn't Dare Address
- The Sham Battle For The Black Vote
- Mitt Romney and the NAACP
- Mitt Romney's Hysteria Bubble
- Our Voting Rights: Protect Them, Don't Reject Them
- A New Kind of Scrutiny on the Campaign Trail
- Older Voters' Disapproval of Affordable Care Act Selfish
- Affordable Care Act: Lifesaving Law
- The 'Freedom' to Refuse Health Insurance
- Shameless Tax Loopholes
- 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Government
- Co-sponsoring Your Success
- The Escalator of Success (Next Time Take the Stairs)
- Weeding Out Phony Warriors
- The Numbers Game
- The Stossel Solution
- The War on Soda Pop
- Cutting Pentagon Fat
- Don't Expand NAFTA
- 21 Trillion Dollars Hidden in Tax Havens
- The True Meaning of Patriotism
- Year of the Gaffe
- Sabotaging Montana's Campaign Finance Legacy
- Taxing Mitt Romney's Consistency
- Mitt Romney's Worst Enemy
The African-American Swing State | 2012 Presidential Election
Distributed via OtherWords (OtherWords.org)