Black Voter Turnout Report: Kerry’s Numbers Were Up

Not enough to engender a victory, but the trend portends well for Senator Barack Obama:


“…the total share of the national vote represented by Black voters also rose between 2000 and 2004, from 10 percent to 12 percent..”

“…In 2000, African Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 accounted for 2.1 million votes, representing 2 percent of the voting total (105 million). In 2004, young African Americans (18-29) accounted for 3.7 million votes, representing 3 percent of the voting total (122 million)…”

“..Nine states witnessed large increases. In the Carolinas, the home territory of Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards- it rose from 19 to 26 percent (in North Carolina) and from 22 to 30 percent (in South Carolina)…The Black share also rose substantially in three battleground states: Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. Higher Black turnout contributed to John Kerry’s narrow win in Pennsylvania, where the Black share of the statewide vote rose from 7 percent (in 2000) to 13 percent (in 2004)…Black turnout was also up sharply in Arkansas, Virginia, Maryland and New York…”

The Joint Center study also found that Ohio, which Kerry lost, only saw Black turnout increase from 9% in 2000 to 10% in 2004.

Conclusion- McCain is in trouble in North Carolina, and will lose Pennsylvania as did President Bush. Virginia could turn blue. The most striking number in the study was that 2.1 million young Blacks participated in the process in 2000, compared to 3.7 million in ’04.  That’s a two-thirds increase, and the younger Black vote accounted for 50% more of the national total in 2004 than during Bush-Gore. That’s another precedent that bodes well for Camp Obama, as his candidacy should engineer sufficient enthusiasm to exceed the Kerry numbers.



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