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African American voters surpass white turnout for fist time

African American voters surpass white turnot

African American voters surpass white turnot

African American voters surpass white turnout for fist time

By Maria Lloyd

     For the first time in American history, African-Americans surpassed their white counterparts at the voting polls in 2012. According to USA Today, African-Americans strongly supported Pres. Barack Obama, while Caucasians stayed at home.

    According to an analysis conducted for The Associated Press, if people voted last November at the same rates they did in 2004, when Black turnout was below its current historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly. Census data and exit polling show that African-Americans and whites will remain the two largest racial groups of eligible voters for the next decade.

    Last year’s majority African-American turnout came de-spite concerns about the effect of new voter-identification laws on minority voting, outweighed by the desire to re-elect the first Black president. ”The 2012 turnout is a milestone for Blacks and a huge potential turning point,” said Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University who has written extensively on African-American politicians. “What it suggests is that there is an ‘Obama effect’ where people were motivated to support Barack Obama. But it also means that Black turnout may not always be higher, if future races aren’t as slient.”

    Whit Ayres, a Republican consultant who is advising Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a possible 2016 presidential contender, says the last election reaffirmed that the Republican Party needs “a new message, a new messenger and a new tone.” Ayres believes policy shifts such as Republican support for broad immigration legislation will be important to woo minority voters over the long term. ”It remains to be seen how successful Democrats are if you don’t have Barack Obama at the top of the ticket,” he said.

 

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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