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Opinion: Why Romney Will Make Gains with Black Voters in November

Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 04:36 PM

Mitt Romney addressed the NAACP's annual meeting on July 11, 2012. (Getty)

To this day, the Democrats take the black vote for granted - confident that 95 percent will once again cast their ballots for Mr. Obama. Will President Obama lock up the black vote in such high numbers as he did in 2008? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Enter Gov. Romney. Rather than appear before the NAACP Convention and pander, Romney offered his positive vision of the country if he were elected president. Rather than change his cadence and message before a group of black people, Romney spoke to them as unique individuals.

For his part, VP Biden gave a standard campaign speech - more government spending, more government healthcare, more entitlements. Then he descended into class warfare (wealthy not paying fair share) followed by racial scare tactics (Republicans want to make access to voting harder).

The tone of Biden's speech was everything blacks have heard before without offering anything new of what a second term of office might mean to blacks to look forward to.  Even worse, Biden did the typical white Democrat politician approach before black audiences by whooping and hollering like he was standing in the pulpit on Sunday.

How will this translate to electoral success in November? For the scattering of boos that were heard during the speech yesterday, I suspect ears of some black voters that had always tuned Romney out listened in and heard a different person than they've been told about. The more Romney continues this outreach, the more people will be willing to give him a chance to be heard.

Also, independents are going to decide this election cycle. Rather than appearing as a rich white guy who was out of touch, Romney was quite engaging and comfortable before hundreds of black folks gathered in a convention setting that was less than home territory. This will change some minds as well.

Finally, by aggressively courting black voters unlike other GOP standard-bearers in the past, Romney could well peel 1-2 percentage points of the black vote away from Obama - millions of votes that could well make the difference in a tight election.

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Comments [2]

Pascale Jean-Louis from Long island ny

When I heard that he was speaking at the NAACP I was willing to give him some points. However, at his fundraiser that very night, he made a comment about his appearance before this group and referring to the boos as "them wanting free stuff". This man is unaware that members of the NAACP are tax payers, professionals in the middle class. They are not on welfare although black. He is so out of touch and disdainful that he did not bother to find out who his audience was. With his remarks at the fundraiser, his presence at the conference became an insult because he was not really there to reach out. He spoke to an organization that came into being partly to guarantee the right of blacks to vote yet he made no comment on the new voter ID laws. The man who pandered to every crowd he ever faced in the primaries,more southern than a southerner, had so little respect for the crowd he faced that he set out to antagonize them to score points with his racist base. No, I don't think he will get more black votes. We know how to recognize racism.... And since this president has come to power - the republican party if not outright racist , is quite happy to to pander to racist and to give them cover. To this day, no republican in a position of leadership has come out and said that the president is a US citizen, not Muslim... with the exception of John McCain who corrected his supporter and said that no Obama is not a Muslim. I can go on but it was to be a quick comment.

Jul. 17 2012 12:11 AM
Sandy Santiago from Bedmisnter, NJ

I believe you are right. Blacks in my family just want to make a good living for their families & the single ones want opportunity to create the American dream for themselves. Opportunity is the key, a fair shot, not special treatment.

Jul. 12 2012 06:20 PM

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