Black Vote Seen as Key to Democratic Senate Control

A front page story in Sunday’s New York Times quoted a memo from former Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher predicting that Democrats would suffer “crushing losses” unless they were able to drive turnout of African-American voters this year. The memo claimed that half of black voters don’t know when the midterm election is.

Georgia is one of four states where black voter turnout could decide which party controls the Senate in January.

Mr. Belcher declined to discuss for whom he had written the memo, saying it was private, but the document was circulated by the Democratic National Committee. In the memo, he also argued that the turnout gap, more than any Republican Tea Party wave, was responsible for Democrats’ 2010 defeats. So the challenge for Democrats is to get midterm voters to the polls at presidential election-year rates.

“If you tell me in Georgia that, on the closing of the polls, the electorate is 32 percent African-American, I’m going to tell you we have probably elected a Democratic senator,” he said. “That’s not theory. It’s basic math.”

Democratic efforts to boost black turnout have been stymied by the fact that the one person who could do the most to motivate African-American voters — President Obama — is also the one person many Democratic candidates don’t want to appear to be associated with.

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last week noted that while voter enthusiasm nationwide is lower than normal, it’s higher in the states with competitive Senate races. 54% of voters in those states are enthusiastic about the election, while only 44% nationally are.

Are Georgia’s minority voters fired up and ready to cast their votes? There have been rumors that Democratic voters aren’t overly enthusiastic about Michelle Nunn beacause she hasn’t made statements of support for progressive goals, and hasn’t been vocal enough in backing President Obama.

That may be wishful thinking on behalf of Republicans. What we do have is this tweet from former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.


  1. saltycracker says:

    Nunn (I’m a hawk) and Carter (I’m a fiscal conservative) are running as Blue Dog Democrats. The Blacks voting are counting on them to follow the progressive platform if elected. Neither side will know what they get until they do.

    • Jon Lester says:

      Many black Georgia voters are affluent, of course, to as many varying degrees as any other bloc. Surely some have experienced Obamacare sticker shock, and are having second thoughts about party loyalty.

      • They may not be as crazy about Obama as they used to be, but I don’t see them running into the arms of the party that has never supported a single thing Obama has done because he’s not “conservative/real american/etc”.

      • John Konop says:

        Would be true had the party not gone on a culture war with Phil Kent type attacks…If you were a minority or had a spouse……and heard this call would you vote for a GOP candidate?

        The sad part is Governor Deal has made strides in conservative rational policy to pick up support via vo tech options and prison sentence reforms….but all is drowned out…BTW I heard about this call from white executive friend married to a Asian woman with kids…What would you think?

        • Medicaid expansion. Show me a single Republican governor who has paid a political price for doing it. Deal could be in a very different position had he done it.

      • saltycracker says:


        And their vote will hardly move the applause meter. They are very smart and savvy. Many see only drama by attracting the left, they leverage affirmative action and favorable minority laws, like municipal/govt business contracts, a smart strategy by capable folks, don’t have the employee issues of imagined bias and see no benefit in explaining themselves to shocked Republicans or pissed democrats.

        The demographic surprise is one day in Atlanta they will elect one of their own (party tbd) to stand up to those that can but do not want to contribute to the community. The change within is underway.

  2. John Konop says:


    Bob told us this post is completely wrong… not even sure why it is relevant 🙂 BTW Bob can you send my paid comment to my kids college fund? 🙂

  3. Michael Silver says:

    If the Republicans weren’t so owned by the Chamber of Commerce, they could make a very compelling case that would attract black voters.

    That case is Obama’s pending legalization of 9 million Illegal Aliens in the first year with an expectation of 34 million over 5 years. Once legalized, who will be displaced in the job market? The group generally in low-skill based jobs: young black Americans.

    For Obama and Nunn, 11% black American unemployment is not enough. They won’t be happy until the unemployment rate is double.

    MattMD: the link for the Amnesty projections is here:

      • Michael Silver says:

        Yes, I do. When you are dependent on the government, you’ll vote for the party of big government.

        Look at what is going on. Where are the jobs going to come from to support 34 million new workers? To give you an idea of how big Obama’s plan is; there 19M black Americans in the labor force. There are 25M Hispanic Americans in the labor force. The civilain labor force is 155M. Obama is growing the labor supply by nearly 25%, that will cause wages to fall if not collapse, especially in low-skill, low-knowledge base jobs. (John McCain’s crony capitalist buddies are rubbing their hands with glee)

        If you think white baby boomers and their kids are going to be untouched by Obama’s plan, think about the impact on solvency of medicare, and social security of 34M new beneficiaries who will be net-takers from those systems, ie the taxes they will pay into the system won’t cover the benefits they will receive.

  4. jh says:

    The undocumented are already working now. They are not going to steal black jobs. Soon, they’ll have legit driver licenses, checking accounts, insurance policies, mortgages. Real loans, not payday car loans.
    They are working now, in construction, on our roads, in our kitchens, as our janitors. Georgia’s agricultural economy stalled a bit when Nathan Deal implemented his unenforced anti illegal immigrant law. Texas has one of the highest undocumented populations in the US, yet their economy is better than a lot of states. There is no correlation.

    I understand the concern about security, but there is no basis for fear for the economy.

    • Harry says:

      Well let’s talk security then. Do you really have any faith in this bunch to properly weed out the felons and expel them permanently? I bet 99% of felons end up with green cards. You’d be shocked to know the number of violent crimes being committed by that group.

        • Harry says:

          Doraville, Norcross, Duluth etc. are not safe. It’s true that most of the crime stays between members of the same ethnicity, but the murder rate is high nonetheless.

          • jh says:

            Maybe not as safe as Suwanee, but safer than Downtown or Stone Mountain. People aren’t scared to shop and live in Gwinnett.

            • Harry says:

              Mainly because the crime is not directed at the white populace, but stays intra-ethnicity. It can be safely ignored if you’re not one of “them”.

              • jh says:

                So what are you concerned about? They’re helping to keep taxes low (cheap construction labor), they do jobs no one else wants to do (GA farm), they aren’t taking welfare since they don’t have the documentation to get food stamps.

                I agree they should come here legally, but the legal process is so cumbersome, it’s no wonder they just sneak in through Disney World and never come back.

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