Can the GOP Pry Some Blacks Voters Away From President Obama?

Earl Ofari Hutchinson | 7/18/2012, 8:29 a.m.

Romney will take every opportunity to shove the notion down the throats of black voters that Obama’s alleged economic failures have directly resulted in mounting economic misery in poor black communities. The appeal to them will be not to necessarily embrace Romney, but simply to pause and consider their misery. The shrewd gambit is to create enough doubt, hesitation and dismay among blacks, and then hope that that’s enough to stem some of the black voter floodtide to Obama.

Obama walks a narrow tight rope. He must do everything possible to keep the significant number of wavering and even bigoted white Democrats who are indifferent or outright hostile toward him from jumping ship and not voting—or worse, crossing over. This means moving gingerly on the issue of race. But at the same time he must stoke the enthusiasm level of black voters by sending constant signals that he is not taking their vote for granted, and remind them that his policies on health care, job stimulus and small business have benefited black people. And that if elected he’ll do even more to battle chronic high unemployment, failing public schools, high incarceration rates, home foreclosures and poverty facing black communities.

It’s a tall order. But one that he must fill to insure that the GOP fails miserably in its ploy to pry some black votes away from him.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst.