An article in the New York Times written by White House correspondent Helene Thomas talks about the strong support President Obama still has in the Black community.
With Black unemployment at 16 percent and even the voting rights of African Americans being attacked across the country, numerous columnists have voiced that they feel Obama’s Black voter support will dip in the 2012 elections.
Obama campaign officials say they recognize the difficulty of renewing the enthusiasm that spurred black turnout, but they also say there are still new black voters to be reached. Democratic campaign strategists say they also expect African-Americans to be motivated to vote by Republican attacks on the president and the desire to make certain that Mr. Obama’s historic tenure in the White House extends beyond one term. They are already building staffs in swing states with significant black populations, like Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, for an intensive effort called Operation Vote, which will focus on African-Americans, women and Hispanics.
“Already the foundation is beginning to eclipse what they did in 2008,” said Mike Henry, campaign manager for former Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia, a Democrat running for the Senate.
Democratic candidates have historically struggled to elevate turnout among blacks, and 2008 was the first time nationally that the black share of the electorate was slightly more than the black share of the voting-age population. In North Carolina, where more than one in five residents are black, Mr. Obama scored perhaps his most unlikely victory with the help of what his campaign said were more than 300,000 black voters who went to the polls for the first time. He needed almost all of them, winning the state by fewer than 14,000 votes out of the more than 4 million cast.