October 5, 2004


Kerry losing blacks' support (Donald Lambro, 10/05/04, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry has seen a 10 percent decline in his support among black voters in the past month that has forced him to devote more campaign resources to energize one of his party's most loyal constituencies.

"Kerry continues to hold a big lead among African-Americans," but his "advantage is narrower than it was last month," Pew Research Center said in a national poll.

Pew said that in a head-to-head matchup with President Bush, Mr. Kerry's support among black voters has fallen from 83 percent in August to 73 percent now, while Mr. Bush's black support has doubled, from 6 percent to 12 percent. [...]

But the senator from Massachusetts last week added the Rev. Jesse Jackson to his campaign staff as a senior adviser, and his campaign sent out black congressional surrogates to major urban centers in battleground states in the Midwest, where his poll numbers have slipped in the past month.

"Kerry is underperforming. He is not performing at a rate that he needs in order to win. [Black voters are] clearly a target going into the final weeks of this campaign," said Donna Brazile, who managed the Gore campaign in 2000.

"I would not worry about the so-called erosion, because in the end, [the black vote] is going to come back," said Miss Brazile, who is widely considered her party's best strategist for black turnout. [...]

Earlier this year, Mr. Kerry gave a group of black columnists the names of black leaders with whom he talks on a regular basis, including Princeton professor Cornel West, a leading black intellectual. But Mr. West since has called Mr. Kerry "milquetoast and mediocre" and "ambivalent" toward blacks. He told National Public Radio earlier this year that he did not "know anybody at all who's close to John Kerry."

The Senator will certainly carry blacks by a massive margin, but the question is why would they turn out to vote for him?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 5, 2004 5:31 PM

I would not bet the mortgage that blacks are not going to turn out for Kerry. They are the most reliable thing for the Democrats. We can and will win despite their massive support of Kerry in huge numbers.

Posted by: pchuck at October 5, 2004 5:59 PM

I think this is due to some blacks having a high profile in the Bush administration. Not enough to get blacks to vote GOP, but enough to make them demand "more" from the Democrats.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at October 5, 2004 7:51 PM

Also, I wonder if the high % of blacks in the military is hurting Kerry. Just about everyone in the neighborhodd knows somebody in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Posted by: Jeff at October 5, 2004 8:06 PM

"Mr. Kerry gave a group of black columnists the names of black leaders with whom he talks on a regular basis, including Princeton professor Cornel West, a leading black intellectual."

Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall at those confabs?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 5, 2004 9:14 PM

Of course they'll turn out in high margins, but will it be high enough? In today's Electorate if a Democrat doesn't win 90% of the black vote he doesn't win. Now a Democrat can win 60% of the Black vote showing up drunk to every appearance, but will Kerry get remaining 30? If he does, will he get enough of the other groups? Ask me in a month.

Posted by: MarkD at October 5, 2004 9:16 PM

Kerry's decision to add to his team the Rev. Jesse Jackson as a "senior advisor" sounds like a really brilliant move.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at October 5, 2004 11:30 PM

The following letter to the editor was published by the Boston Globe last month:

P. Diddy got me involved

I swore I would not take part or get involved in the 2004 election, but rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs stated something useful: "Vote or Die." Those words erupted with clarity and reality.

First of all, being a black (Haitian) American in America during this ordeal has fostered in me a centrist view of society. John Kerry lacks the competence to run a nation. I feel that the terrorists are patiently waiting for this man to take office. Kerry, with his constant contradictions, does not have what it takes to be president.

George W. Bush, on the other hand, combines pride with vengeance. These characteristics are needed at this time to succeed. The nation has blindly ignored Bush's positive achievements.

Taking on the role of president requires you to bite off more than you can chew, and you must have the characteristics needed to give voice to your agenda. Are you up to it? If your answer is "yes," then you have my vote! Remember that "stressed" is "desserts" backward!

Susan Sanon, Brockton

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