Blacks, Obama and the Election

Blacks, Obama and the Election

The New York Times

Charles M. Blow, Visual Op-Ed columnist

President Obama’s name won’t be on any ballots Tuesday, but he will most certainly be on them in spirit — a fact that many Republicans are trumpeting and some Democrats are hoping to downplay.

The president is not particularly popular at the moment.

According to Gallup’s Frank Newport:

“President Obama’s job approval rating is 42 percent. If that holds up until the day before the election, it will be the second-lowest job approval rating for a president before a midterm election going back to 1982 when Ronald Reagan, of course, was president of the U.S. What was the lowest of all? That was George W. Bush’s, whose job approval rating was 38 percent back in 2006.”…

…This is the great immeasurable when it comes to this man. Race is a construct that, unfortunately, is woven through the fabric of America. Of course, it has some bearing on our politics, but it’s nearly impossible to calculate the degree of the effect for a particular politician. And there can be benefit as well as detriment — pride and prejudice as counterweights.

As Obama himself told The New Yorker in January: “There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President.”

He continued: “Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black President.”

As Gallup pointed out last week: “We find very little change in the support given to Obama among his strongest demographic subgroup: black Americans.” The report continued, “In fact, if anything, the trend is for relatively higher support among blacks” when measuring the gap between black support for Obama and the national average…

Read the entire article here.

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