Local Politics

N.C. races could turn on black voter turnout

Posted October 24, 2008

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Inspired in part by Democrat Barack Obama's run for the presidency, black voters are going to the polls in North Carolina at a break-neck pace.

African-Americans make up about 21 percent of North Carolina's registered voters, but they account for 29 percent of the 830,000 voters who have cast ballots during the record-setting pace of the first week of early voting. In recent elections, black voter turnout has averaged about 17 to 18 percent.

"Making history is such a great opportunity, and we are doing it right now," voter Flora Joyner said.

According to the State Board of Elections, about one in six registered black voters has cast an early ballot so far, compared with one in 10 white voters.

"Everyone needs to get out and vote. Every vote counts, not just the African-American (votes)," voter Jacqueline Watson said.

Democratic political consultant Brad Crone said the high proportion of African-American voters will erode by Election Day. But even if it levels to 21 to 23 percent, he said, that likely helps Democrats running for down-ballot races as well as Obama.

"That's a rising tide. So, it should lift the votes for Obama, for (U.S. Senate candidate Kay) Hagan and for (gubernatorial candidate Beverly) Perdue," Crone said. "Clearly, it's a game changer in a close election."

Obama's extensive campaign organization across North Carolina – he has 50 offices and hundreds of staffers in the state – has gotten much of the credit for getting out the vote.

"They've mobilized (and) put together a grassroots organization unlike anything we've probably seen in a long time," said Ballard Everett, a Republican consultant. "I think Republicans are worried about it, but I think they are looking at the fact that, if we get our folks to the polls and we do our job well, we'll be OK."

Crone said the election could turn on whether the black turnout can withstand the so-called "Bubba bump" – the Election Day surge of white, conservative voters.

"The question that everybody's is looking at (is) will the 'Bubba bump' exceed African-American performance," he said.

157 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • muttley - back by popular demand Oct 24, 2008

    bldalyncsu,

    Yes it is time for people to share in the abundant wealth of this country. Share and share alike!!

  • bldalyncsu Oct 24, 2008

    Thandiwe. Thandiwe! You've got to be joking. Please tell me your not serious. You really want a free handout from the government? Why does the government owe you free healthcare? Do you really want the government to rape corporations via higher corporate taxes so you can have free healthcare? And you said you wanted to buy a car??? You've got to be kidding me. If you can buy a car then you can pay for health care. This just tears me up. What would you rather have, free healthcare or a JOB!!!! If Obama has his way and raises taxes on corporate America millions of Americans will lose their jobs.

    Also....stealing is a crime the last time I checked. The biggest problem the liberals have is that they don't understand that it's NOT THEIR MONEY!

  • TooMuchGovt Oct 24, 2008

    Don't WHITE people get to vote too? What if the lawsuit currently in federal court in Pennsylvania claiming that Omaba isn't a natural born US citizen turns out to be valid? If true, he won't be a valid candidate. What an October surprise that would be.

  • muttley - back by popular demand Oct 24, 2008

    *** I am also very excited that Obama will give us free healthcare. I pay hundreds a month in health insurance and this will be a godsend to me. I can then have extra money for food, and perhaps get that new car I've been looking at!!

    Think about it, the money we save for not having to pay for health insurance will go back into the economy and create jobs and oportunity for all!! Like Barack says, WE NEED TO BUILD THE ECONOMY FROM THE BOTTOM UP!

    I hope Obama gives us more incentive checks. I think this is a wonderful idea, and Christmas is just around the corner!!

    Good times are coming soon!!!

  • shepherd Oct 24, 2008

    If the liberals get 250 in the house, 60 in the senate and Obama in the White House, the tears of joy will be short lived.
    Many middle-class americans (of all colors) have 401K's.

    Do you realize that powerful House Democrats are now eyeing proposals to overhaul the nation’s $3 trillion 401(k) system, including the elimination of most of the $80 billion in annual tax breaks that 401(k) investors receive.

    "No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves" - Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • bldalyncsu Oct 24, 2008

    OMG... the moderators on this website must me a bunch of liberals or someting. Let me try this one more time.

    The reason the number of black voters have increased for this election is because Barack Obama is black. The reason Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama is because Barack Obama is black. It is what it is. Time to face reality people!!!!

  • lyteoflife Oct 24, 2008

    Is there a reason that this is made out to be a 'black thing'? I have plenty of African American friends who don't even care for Obama...and when will the media shut it up, I mean really...guess what?? Obama is NOT BLACK!!! He is bi-racial. When is someone going to step up to the plate about that? If you think that the 'black' population is going to vote for Obama just because his skin is darker than McCain...well, wow....we have some serious issues

  • JaredsMom Oct 24, 2008

    I'm so ready for Nov. 5th - no more political commercials!

    MCCAIN/PALIN '08

  • muttley - back by popular demand Oct 24, 2008

    ** There is peace and calm surrounding Obama. There will be celebration thoughout this land like never experienced before. Pelosi has stated that Obama will start working with congress the day after he wins, so that when Jan 20th comes he can hit the ground running. I praise God every day for sending Obama to us!!

  • muttley - back by popular demand Oct 24, 2008

    *** Before long we will have a president that truly believes in share the wealth. The rich of this country will SOON have to share their EXCESS money with the rest of us. Its been a long time coming... and I am so excited about Obama being president that I have to pinch myself!!! Soon there will be equality for everyone!!!!!!!!! A new age has come!!!

More...