Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

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

click to enlarge 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

  • The homeward bound open line

    I'm off to the airport for a flight home to Little Rock. See you in the morning.
    • Dec 27, 2014
  • The lonely progressives

    A Nebraska liberal writes of the plight of the lonely progressives in a state dominated by Republicans. Sound familiar?
    • Dec 27, 2014
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Opinions split within GOP on "law and order" issues. Where will Asa stand?

    The New York Times reports that some Republicans are trending away from the lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key approach to criminal justice embraced by the party's old guard, in part out of a recognition that minority votes matter now more than ever. Asa Hutchinson wants to reach out to black voters — what better place to start?
  • Humanists sue over Baxter County nativity scene. Looks like another winner

    The Baxter Bulletin reported today on a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Baxter County resident over the Nativity scene that has been erected on the Baxter County Courthouse lawn for decades by local lawyer Rick Spencer.
  • Live: Weedhorse, Flat Top Tony and John Neal Rock and Roll at Revolution (Photos)

    I arrived at The Rev Room Friday at 7:15 p.m., as a bartender was setting up for a busy night. I saw Mark Colbert (soundman) and Mark Sadler (lighting) and we talked shop a while. I saw Samantha "Sam" Allen (venue manager) and we caught up as well. Soon I met and interviewed Richie Barnard, the website coordinator for the Little Rock Scene, whose 10 Year Anniversary we were here to celebrate.
  • Here's to Hutchinson, McCain and American revulsion at torture

    On Nov. 16, 1776, Gen. George Washington stood on the Jersey Palisades and peered across the Hudson River through his telescope as the British tortured American militiamen who had surrendered and then put them to the sword. Hearing the screams of his men, according to an aide, Washington turned and sobbed "with the tenderness of a child."
  • Easy on the pay raises

    An independent commission appointed by the governor, legislative leaders and the chief justice began work last week to fulfill part of Issue 3, the constitutional amendment that eased term limits, banned lobbyist gifts to legislators (sort of) and provided a mechanism for pay raises.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The homeward bound open line

    • Dang. This weather makes me crave a BIG Hershey bar. Either that or a bottle…

    • on December 27, 2014
  • Re: The homeward bound open line

    • Apparently the wind power transmission line has passed environmental muster. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/e… Federal regulators say construction…

    • on December 27, 2014
  • Re: The homeward bound open line

    • It's been snowing most of the afternoon here, but it's too warm for anything to…

    • on December 27, 2014

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation