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The Hush-Hush Election Issue: Race

No one talks about it, but race is one of the main factors behind anger and tension in the U.S. presidential election campaign.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/5/2012, 3:37 PM

U.S. President Barack Obama at a campaign rally in Wisconsin
U.S. President Barack Obama at a campaign rally in Wisconsin
AFP/Mandel Ngan

No one talks about it, but race is one of the main factors behind anger and tension in the U.S. presidential election campaign.

'There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America,” President Barack Obama said at the Democratic National Convention.

Facts on the street speak differently.

The turnout for Obama in Cleveland’s poorer east-side district was almost entirely black. Black pastors urged their followers to vote in a “Souls For Polls" operation.

“It started with the Obama campaign in 2008,” Thione Niang, an Obama organizer told the Toronto Globe & Mail. “And this year it’s gotten even bigger.”

When Vice President Joe Biden campaigned in a Cleveland suburb, few blacks were present.

If Obama loses the election, race will be cited as major factor, according to Politico.  

Only 43 percent of white voters cast ballots for Obama in 2008, while all but 5% of black voters voted for him. Current polls show Mitt Romney with approximately 58 percent of the white vote. White voters accounted for 74 percent of all voters in 2008, and this year’s neck-and-neck campaign make every black vote all the more important for Obama.

“One key to the outcome on Election Day will be the racial and ethnic mix of the electorate,” wrote Rasmussen Reports, one of the most widely quoted polling agencies in the United States.

The Obama campaign is counting on the percentage of white voters to fall as a result of a larger turnout of blacks, Hispanics and Asians. However, many of those discouraged by Obama’s first term where he has been accused of not coming near to living up to hs promises on issues that concern them, may not go to the polls a second time, a factor that actually could increase the percentage of the white vote, presumably in Romney’s favor.

“If the white turnout increases on Election Day, it will be very difficult for the president to win." Rasmussen Reports wrote.

The undercurrent of racial tension was illustrated in a report on Saturday by Townhall, which noted that members of the NAACP literally took over an early voting station in Houston, Texas.

“According to Eve Rockford, a poll watcher trained by voter integrity group True the Vote, three NAACP members showed up to the 139 precinct location with 50 cases of bottled water and began handing bottles out to people standing in line,” the website reported.

“While wearing NAACP labeled clothing, members were ‘stirring the crowd’ and talking to voters about flying to Ohio to promote President Barack Obama.”

Rockford complained to the polling station supervisor, who “ignored” her. She was then told on the telephone that NAACP activists were acting properly because they were allegedly 100 feet from the precinct, as required by law.

“I told her that the NAACP was inside the building, wearing the NAACP clothing and caps and were handing out water and moving people from the back of the lines to the front of the lines,” Rockford said. NAACP members finally were told to hide their identification by turning their clothing inside out, but they reportedly refused to cooperate.

“The NAACP basically ran this poll location and the judges did nothing about it,” Rockford said.