It's worth noting, as Robert George does here, that this notion that Obama's share of the black vote is a problem in a way that, say, George Bush's share of evangelicals weren't. George notes a particularly egregious example, where Bill Schnieder did a whole piece for CNN about the Dems "dependency" on the black vote:
The "problem" with this analysis is -- what's the point? Analysis of the GOP's relative strengths and weaknesses comes down to geographic assessment. Schneider doesn't devote a segment to "What would the Senate look like if white Southerners didn vote for Republicans (which in some states they do to upwards of 70 or 80 percent)?" But blacks voting for Democrats is staged as some sort of "exception" that should implicitly invalidate the reality of the current political situation.I'd go even further. The best kept secret amongst people like Obama is this--the black vote is the best bargain in politics.
The Democrats monopoly on the black vote is almost wholly based on the perception of the Republican party as racist, and the brand Kennedy built, but LBJ really enacted, in the 60s.
Now, because of the black community's demography, it's likely that Democrats would still get a majority of black votes, even if this weren't the case.
But the GOP could probably peel off a 20-30 percent or so, and here is why they should be trying: Unlike evangelicals, black voters of this era, don't have a list of polarizing demands. Obama doesn't have to fear a Terri Schiavo incident, for instance.
Which is not to say that black voters don't have issues, but in the last election, I'm hard pressed to think of one that would crack the top three (health care, the war, the economy) that differ from those you'd find among white people that voted for Obama. All they ask is that you not have people at your rallies who feel comfortable (on camera!!) saying that they don't want a black president.
What was Obama's great strategy for securing the black vote? First, winning Iowa. Second, as Marc has reported, going on Tom Joyner. Repeatedly. I'm a black guy that would like to see torture investigated--but that's not because people in Harlem are out in the streets. It's because of what I believe individually.
People need to understand that this isn't 1988. Welfare was reformed, and Bill Clinton didn't lose a black supporter for it. The Crime Bill was passed, and they still called Clinton the "First Black president." You can't do Willie Horton today. You can't run a presidential campaign on Affirmative Action. There simply isn't a national issue that black voters are pushing for that white voters hate. The South Side isn't organizing around reparations. Maybe they should be. But they aren't.