The race to the White House is shaping up to be a clear referendum in Black and White.
Though President Barack Obama has faced harsh criticism from many in the African-American community for his positions on marriage equality — and his perceived reticence on issues that directly impact the Black community, while arguably pandering to Latino/Hispanic, Evangelicals and women as a voting bloc — that has not dampened his support one iota.
According to a new NBC/WSJ poll, Obama is riding high on 94 percent of the African-American vote, while Mittens can count on a statistical — wait for it — 0 percent of the African-American vote.
In a smaller sample of voters living in 12 key battleground states – Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin – Obama leads Romney by three points, 49 percent to 46 percent.
That’s a narrower edge in these battlegrounds than the eight-point lead the president enjoyed in the June and July NBC/WSJ polls.
Looking inside the numbers, Obama continues to lead Romney among key parts of his political base, including African Americans (94 percent to 0 percent), Latinos (by a 2-to-1 margin), voters under 35-years-old (52 percent to 41 percent) and women (51 percent to 41 percent).
Romney is ahead with whites (53 percent to 40 percent), rural voters (47 percent to 38 percent) and seniors (49 percent to 41 percent).
And the two presidential candidates are essentially even when it comes to the swing groups of suburban voters, Midwest residents and political independents.
As for Romney’s selection of Ryan as his running mate, which was made on Aug. 11, the poll suggests that – so far – the pick has had less of an impact on voters than previous running mates have had.
Twenty-two percent say Ryan makes them more likely to vote for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, while 23 percent say he makes them less likely to vote for Romney; 54 percent say the pick doesn’t affect their vote either way.
That margin (-1) is compared with Joe Biden’s in 2008 (+8), Sarah Palin’s in 2008 (+9 percent), John Edwards’ in 2004 (+21), and Joe Lieberman’s in 2000 (+13).
Ryan’s numbers come closest to Dick Cheney’s in 2000 (+2).
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If Romney has any doubt when the ‘0 percent’ nail was first driven into his proverbial coffin, he need look no further than his spectacular crash and burn at the NAACP convention. After he was booed during his speech, he had this to say:
By the way, I had the privilege of speaking today at the NAACP convention in Houston and I gave them the same speech I am giving you. I don’t give different speeches to different audiences alright. I gave them the same speech. When I mentioned I am going to get rid of Obamacare they weren’t happy, I didn’t get the same response. That’s ok, I want people to know what I stand for and if I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that’s just fine. But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy-more free stuff. But don’t forget nothing is really free.
Feeding fuel to the “Black just want a bunch of free, government hands-outs” narrative was apparently not the brightest idea.
Read more of the poll’s results at NBCNews.com.