Republicans Can Make Headway with Blacks
By Raynard Jackson
Last week’s midterm elections were historic. Republicans regained control of the U.S. Senate, increased their majority in the House, and expanded their majority among governors. While these gains were historic and impressive, there was a bigger story that no one is talking about.
According to early polling figures, Black participation in this year’s midterm was 12 percent, down slightly from 13 percent in 2010. Eighty-nine percent of Blacks voted for Democratic congressional candidates and 10 percent voted for Republicans. This year’s figures match the 2010 midterm figures for Democrats and represents a slight increase in support for Republicans, up from 9 percent in 2010 to 10 percent in 2014.
In Illinois, incoming Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner received 6 percent of the Black vote. He actively courted the Black vote, but did it the wrong way. For example, how many people in Illinois know that Rauner has endowed a full professor’s chair at historically Black Morehouse College in Atlanta? There was no reason why he should not have earned upwards of 25 percent of the Black vote with his history in the Black community. But, as with many White Republicans, his White consultants and staff thought they knew more about the Black community than Blacks.