Rahm and Black Voters

From the department of "More Stuff I Forgot To Link To," this is from last month's mayor's race in Chicago:


Our analysis of the racial composition of wards is based on each racial group comprising at least half of the local population. It's worth noting that "mixed" wards, where there was no clear racial majority at the last census count, have grown increasingly white. That said, it's probably safe to bet that support from white voters may have actually been higher than these numbers indicate. 

What's clear is that it's black voters -- who gave more support to Emanuel than all of the other candidates combined -- helped pull the mayor elect across the finish line yesterday. 

Mike Noonan, Ms. Braun's campaign manager, said the candidate and aides like Mr. Schaffer changed campaign strategy on the assumption that Ms. Braun was guaranteed the support of blacks when black leaders chose her as the community's consensus candidate. "It was a terrible mistake," Mr. Noonan said this week. "The thinking was: 'Why waste our time with African-American voters? They have no other place to go.' "

Before drawing any real conclusions, I would like to hear more about this from folks in Chicago. Did Carol Mosely-Braun write off black voters? Was her support ever particularly deep? 

Black voters supporting white candidates isn't an exactly new phenomenon. But I suspect the reasons why it happened go beyond race, and have a lot to do with the actual candidate and their operation.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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