VOTERS PLAY KEY ROLE IN ELECTIONS

Washington Times has a startling revelation: Black voters play key role in S. Carolina, Missouri

The South Carolina and Missouri primaries next week will be the first test for the Democratic presidential candidates seeking inroads into the black vote.

Political strategist Morris Reid said the importance of these primaries have increased and candidates who choose to skip certain heavily black states early in the primary season are taking a big gamble.

“South Carolina is the Iowa for the black community, and I don’t believe Senator Kerry is making the right decision,” Mr. Reid said. Mr. Kerry pulled out of South Carolina turning his attention to the New Hampshire and Missouri contests.

Black voters have yet to latch on to a single Democratic candidate, which leaves the eight Feb. 3 primaries even more crucial for those seeking to make it to the next round of primaries.

Census figures show that 29.5 percent of South Carolinians are black. Exit polls from the 2000 election show that 53 percent of South Carolina voters who voted for Democratic nominee Al Gore were black.

Donna Brazile, director of the Democratic National Committee’s Voting Rights Institute, agreed. She said the outcome of the Iowa caucuses has shifted some of the attention to South Carolina, but added that the Southern state’s primary could be equally unpredictable.

So, apparently, in a state that’s about a third black, and where the Democratic electorate is about half black, blacks are going to be influential? That sounds like some kind of conspiracy to me. Stay tuned.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.