Will African American Voters Stay Home on Election Day?

I’ve posted before about the conflict some African American clergy feel concerning President Obama’s endsorsement of same-sex marriage earlier this year.

According to a recent Yahoo News article, this concern seems to be spreading from more conservative African American clergy to those who have been Obama supporters in the past. If the upcoming presidential election is close enough, this could be an important factor in the outcome. President Obama received an critical boost in key states in 2008 from the enormous turn-out of African American voters on his behalf. If this turn-out fails to materialize again, it could be decisive in a close election.

I’ve heard from people who are close to the campaign that the Obama forces have targeted the African American communities in swing states in an effort to rev up their voter turn-out in November. The question remains how much, if any, the President’s decision to personally come out in support of same-sex marriage will ultimately impinge on those efforts.

The Yahoo article says in part:

Some black clergy see no good presidential choice between a Mormon candidate and one who supports gay marriage, so they are telling their flocks to stay home on Election Day. That’s a worrisome message for the nation’s first African-American president, who can’t afford to lose any voters from his base in a tight race.
The pastors say their congregants are asking how a true Christian could back same-sex marriage, as President Barack Obama did in May. As for Republican Mitt Romney, the first Mormon nominee from a major party, congregants are questioning the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its former ban on men of African descent in the priesthood.
In 2008, Obama won 95 percent of black voters and is likely to get an overwhelming majority again. But any loss of votes would sting.
When President Obama made the public statement on gay marriage, I think it put a question in our minds as to what direction he’s taking the nation,” said the Rev. A.R. Bernard, founder of the predominantly African-American Christian Cultural Center in New York. Bernard, whose endorsement is much sought-after in New York and beyond, voted for Obama in 2008. He said he’s unsure how he’ll vote this year. (read more here)

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  • http://www.keeplifelegal.com Rev. Katherine Marple

    When Obama was elected, Shirley Caesar who pastors the 1,500-member Mount Calvary Holy Church Word of Faith Church said proudly that she blew the ram’s horn when Obama was elected. Bishop Charles E. Blake of West Angeles Church of God in Christ with a membership of over 24,000 publically withdrew himself and his congregation from proper Bible doctrine and now espouses gay marriage and abortion, among other things since Obama’s election in 2008. Pastor Clenard Childress exposed Blake for deviating from Scripture, himself being an African American Pastor of a large church in New Jersey. Was it a ‘black’ thing? Was it an ‘economic’ thing? An article in the Detroit News is blaming today’s economy for spiked heroin use in Detroit. Obama’s change did not work regardless if he’s black, white or plaid even though the ‘black church’ supported him 4 years ago. My opinion is this: I don’t believe we’ll see a marked change in Obama’s extreme Liberal Agenda if he is re-elected, and I do believe that the majority of the ‘black church’ will continue to support him regardless of their complete deviation from true Biblical doctrine because of Obama’s agenda. As a Minister of the Gospel, it is the shepherd [Pastor] of the flock that keeps the flock safe; but the shepherd is steering his/her flock in the direction of destruction. I pray that the scales will fall from their eyes and see the truth before it’s too late.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Rev Katherine, I think you’re right when you say that President Obama will continue to garner almost all the African American votes that are cast. The question, and it IS a question, is whether or not his support of same-sex marriage will sufficiently dampen their enthusiasm that quite a number of African Americans simply do not go vote. A lower voter turnout in that community might be a significant factor in the outcome of the election, depending on other dynamics.

      This is all conjecture. It’s still too early to know how close the race will be, and as I mentioned, the Obama Campaign is reportedly working hard to increase voter turnout among Africa Americans in key states.

      Thanks as always for your comments.

  • http://larrysmusings.wordpress.com/ Larry

    It really does not make any difference how badly the policies of the Democrat party hurt black Americans. The same is true for the positions on the issues taken by the Democrats. Blacks will queue up and vote 95+% for Obama or anyone else with a “D” after their name on the ballot.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Larry, the question is really not whether or not those who go vote will vote in support of President Obama. The question is HOW MANY of them will go to the polls.

  • Rebecca Hamilton

    Douglas, I’ve asked you several times to stop insulting people on this board, including me. Please do so.

  • Arkenaten

    I am not insulting people. Besides how could anyone tell? You keep deleting all my comments!


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