April 25, 2005


Three key US election races to keep in mind: Elected African American Republicans have been nearly a non-entity since Reconstruction, but that could change (Dr. Mark Byron, April 25, 2005, Spero Forum)

Republicans have made major inroads into the Hispanic vote in the last decade, often appealing to a Catholic family values in doing so, but have yet to make their 10% percentage among African-Americans budge much. Blacks are more devout - recall that it was the black church, personified by Martin Luther King, that spearheaded and won the Civil Rights battles of the 50s and 60s - and more culturally conservative on sexual issues than whites, yet the civil rights and economic liberal planks of the Democrats have kept blacks voting Democratic until now.

The 2006 elections may well see that start to change.

Three black Republican candidates stand a good chance of being elected to statewide posts. In Maryland, Lt. Governor Michael Steele is the likely GOP senate candidate. Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell is the early favorite to be the next governor. Mega-church pastor and former Detroit city councilman Keith Butler has broad support to get the Republican US Senate nomination in Michigan.

All three stand a good chance of being the first black Republican since Brooke to win a top-of-the-ticket state race.

Steele is currently within the margin of error in recent polls - this in a state that went 56-43 for Kerry in the last election. He's a Catholic in a state with a very large Catholic population. He's also from the multi-racial Prince Georges county in the Washington suburbs, which might given him an advantage there over a Baltimore-based candidate. Steele's been given a high-profile spot as part of the White House delegation to Pope Benedict XVI’s inaugural mass. That will both give him exposure and remind Maryland voters of his Catholic faith.

Steele's a conservative on social issues, contrasting with Governor Bob Ehrlich, who comes from the moderate wing of the GOP. [...]

Ken Blackwell has been a Great Black Hope of the GOP for over two decades, having served as mayor of Cincinnati and as Secretary of State. He distanced himself from Gov. Robert Taft and other Republican leaders by supporting an anti-same-sex-marriage amendment in 2004. The amendment passed with 62% of the vote. He's currently leading in polls for the Republican nomination for governor in 2006. Taft is term-limited.

Blackwell got fifteen minutes of fame in November, as Ohio became the pivotal state in the presidential election. The relatively large margin of victory - at least when compared to Florida in 2000 - saved Blackwell from being 2004's Katherine Harris, as Kerry took only until Wednesday afternoon to concede. There are some folks who think that Bush's 2% Ohio margin was bogus and hold Blackwell among others to blame, but they're unlikely to be swing voters next year.

Keith Butler has less of an elective track record, having only served a term as a Detroit city councilman, but has become part of the Republican establishment in Michigan. He's a pastor/bishop of World of Faith International Christian Center a 21,000 member megachurch in suburban Southfield. Butler is getting more than just theocon support in the Michigan GOP mainstream Republicans such as state Attorney General Mike Cox and former Lt. Governor Dick Postumus were introducing - but stopping short of endorsing - Butler in his candidacy announcement tour earlier this month.

If he gets the nomination, he'll create a different dynamic than Michigan's used to.

The network anchors wouldn't know what to say on Election Night if even two of the three come in.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 25, 2005 11:25 PM

A 60 seat Republican Senate? Wouldn't it be loverly! I can just see Dingy Harry Reid explaining that away:

"We didn't get our message out effectively."

Posted by: oswald booth czolgosz at April 25, 2005 11:48 PM

Would I love to be a fly on the Black Caucus' meetings wall.

Posted by: Sandy P. at April 26, 2005 12:27 AM

Hey! Maybe thyey could form a new black caucus - for conservatives only! Love to see how the MSM would cover this new group.

Posted by: oswald booth czolgosz at April 26, 2005 12:46 AM

Of course they would.
"The Apocalypse! It's The Apocalypse!"

Posted by: Mikey at April 26, 2005 9:40 AM

The anchors might be speechless, but you can bet that Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the hard-left moonbats like Katrina Van Den Heuval would be calling these newly-elected officials "Uncle Toms, sell-outs, whores, traitors, Nazis, monsters...." and worse.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 26, 2005 1:53 PM