Sunday, August 31, 2014

Control of the U.S. Senate: Is black turnout the key?

Posted By on Sun, Aug 31, 2014 at 6:55 AM

MOBILIZING BLACK VOTERS: Rep. John Lewis, shown at a recent appearance in Arkansas, is urging blacks to vote to continue Democratic Senate control. He praised Sen. Mark Pryor effusively at this appearance at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.
  • MOBILIZING BLACK VOTERS: Rep. John Lewis, shown at a recent appearance in Arkansas, is urging blacks to vote to continue Democratic Senate control. He praised Sen. Mark Pryor effusively at this appearance at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

Jonathan Martin of the New York Times
writes on a theme already so well-worn in Arkansas it's almost cliched — continuing Democratic control of the U.S. Senate depends on black voter turnout in states like Arkansas.

The nearly palpable contempt for the black president, Barack Obama, is one motivating factor. Another is anger over police treatment of black people, newly stimulated by the shooting in Ferguson, Mo.

“Ferguson has made it crystal clear to the African-American community and others that we’ve got to go to the polls,” said Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia and a civil-rights leader. “You participate and vote, and you can have some control over what happens to your child and your country.”

...Mr. Lewis is headlining efforts to mobilize black voters in several states with competitive Senate races, including Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina. The drive is being organized by the Congressional Black Caucus, in coordination with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Other steps, such as recruiting N.B.A. players to help register more African-Americans, are also underway.

GOTV efforts in the past have had mixed success, particularly in non-presidential years. Arkansas is problematic for Democrats because it has a smaller percentage of black voters to start with than other Southern states. It would be remarkable — and probably mean a strong Democratic showing — if 13 percent of the electorate was made up of black voters in November.

Martin notes that it's a tricky thing for senators like Mark Pryor — to encourage black voters while distancing himself from the deeply unpopular president. The low state of the Republican Party — seen as extreme and obstructionist — is seen as a plus for Democrats. This may not be true in behind-the-curve Arkansas.

PS — It's probably worth mentioning that an active push for black voters could well stir white resentment. White weariness over Ferguson, Mo., mentioned here today by Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, is welll evident  Evient, too, he writes is white cluelessness about the raw facts of blacks' condition in the U.S.

Tags: , ,


Speaking of Black Voters, Arkansas Elections

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • A foggy open line and preparation for King-Lee Day

    The line is open. Perhaps you're reading in preparation for the King-Lee holiday tomorrow. One book is currently sold out, thanks to Donald Trump.
    • Jan 15, 2017
  • An angle on collecting sales tax from Amazon, other online sales

    The president of the Arkansas Restaurant Association says there is a way to make sure a sales tax is collected from on-line retailers, most recently adopted in Louisiaa. He's working on the idea in Arkansas.
    • Jan 15, 2017
  • LR City Hall agenda: Sales taxes

    The Little Rock City Board of Directors has  scheduled a vote on a resolution asking for a meeting with the Arkansas congressional delegation about federal legislation to allow cities to recapture sales tax revenue lost to Internet sales.
    • Jan 15, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • UPDATE: Retired Arkansas Arts Center director Townsend Wolfe dies at 81

    Townsend Durant Wolfe, III, retired director and chief curator of the Arkansas Arts Center, has died at 81.
  • Subpoenas identify names of federal interest in kickback probe

    The Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District today provided me with the subpoena it received from federal investigators in a probe that led to former Republican Rep. Micah Neal's guilty plea to taking kickbacks from money he guided to a nonprofit agency and a private college in Springdale, apparently Ecclesia College.
  • Human Services says it's eliminated Medicaid application backlog

    The state Human Services Department has informed Gov. Asa Hutchinson that it has all but eliminated a backlog in applications for Medicaid coverage.
  • Praising Asa

    Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
  • Glass houses

    Having gotten a deep security briefing and probably a confidential glimpse of our own vast cyberspying operation, Donald Trump is no longer pretty sure that the Kremlin didn't hack Democratic computers or employ other tactics to help his election.

Visit Arkansas

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation