Friday, October 31, 2008

Fannie Lou Hamer must be smiling from heaven

Just flash back forty plus years. African-Americans were risking their lives to make sure that the Fifteenth Amendment applied to them --in reality, i.e., to get equal voting rights, regardless of color. Think of the struggles of Fannie Lou Hamer with her struggle for basic representation at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, of Martin Luther King and the Selma Marches, of John Lewis.

And now, see: not only is a candidate of African (and European) descent on the verge of reaching the White House, but African-American voting power is forecasted to have an instrumental role in a tipping point effect in .....the South, toward strengthening Democratic Congressional power. has posted an article, pointing to how African-American voters could tip about a dozen Congressional seats in the Democratic direction. And most of these races are in the South.
Alex Koppelman, "Black voters may lead Democratic wave
An Obama-propelled increase in African-American turnout, already apparent in early voting, may put more Democrats in Congress."

From the lead of the article:
Forget soccer moms. Forget hockey moms. When it comes to this year's down-ballot races — Senate and House seats, state legislatures and beyond — the Democratic Party's most loyal voting bloc could determine the outcome. Assuming that early trends hold, a Democratic wave bigger than the one that swept Congress out of Republican hands in 2006 could be coming, and if it does, it will probably be powered by African-American voters.

The question is how much the African American vote will increase this year, and how that increase will be distributed. A fair number of vulnerable Republican candidates are in disproportionately black states and districts, and a substantial jump in black turnout — especially in the South — could mean that the Democrats could pick up a significant number of seats in those areas. Data from early voting suggests that this surge could already be happening, and that even some of the Republicans who were considered relatively safe despite being in competitive battles are seriously threatened.

By Salon's count, the black vote could swing as many as 17 House seats currently held by Republicans who are running in competitive elections. It could also play a role in three campaigns for Republican Senate seats and in one gubernatorial battle. With that in mind, the potential rise in African-American turnout could be devastating to Republican hopes.

"In the general election, I think you're looking at anywhere between a dozen to potentially 20 battleground House districts where the African-American vote is going to be key," Doug Thornell, the national press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, says. "If our candidates can turn out a significant number of African-American voters in those districts, I think we're going to be in very good shape."

Thornell's count, which includes both Republican and Democratic districts, represents perhaps as much as a third of all the races the DCCC considers competitive.

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