Although Barack Obama’s historic accomplishment of becoming the first African American president still lingers fresh in the minds of many, there exists a tension in the air amongst Americans of all hues who want to see the former Chicago senator hold a second term. In a virtual dogfight with GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the media reports seem to suggest that Obama’s bid for reelection is replete with challenges.
A recent story from the Washington Post highlights the tangible presence of division between President Obama and African-American voters who largely support him. Some feel that the Democratic National Convention, which concluded Thursday night with much fanfare missed a few key marks. However, Obama has ignited the hopes of Black people who feel that the time is now to accept the changing political and racial landscape.
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“This is something deep in our community,” said Margaret Lorraine Dancy to The New York Post. “It’s about people who were on the outside in the 1960s'; we’re on the inside now.” Dancy and other Black Obama supporters across Charlotte and the nation realize that this election is close and feel obligated to rally behind the president heading into November.
The poll numbers certainly paint the race for the White House as a dead heat, with Gallup polls showing Obama holding at 47 percent versus 46 percent for Romney, if elections were held today. On the other hand, Obama’s job approval sits at 49 percent according to Gallup as well.
Issues that plague all Americans such as joblessness, the mortgage crisis and the looming specter of the economy have dogged President Obama for much of the year. Still, even Black elected officials such as North Carolina congressman Mel Watt are joining other African-Americans in their hopes that Obama will be successful this fall and cement his place in history.
“I know that Barack Obama looks like me,” Watt said yesterday at a meeting with Black North Carolina pastors and the Congressional Black Caucus, “and I know that he has some of our blood running through his veins.”
If Obama is to win on Election Day, it will most likely hinge on the support of African-Americans who look to him as not only a leader but also an inspiration.