I think you'll enjoy this lecture given at Emory University (Atlanta's 'little Ivy') and memorialized on YouTube, and you might even want to bookmark it in the event that you ever have a discussion with a Religious Conservative about the origins of their political movement. Stick it out to minute 10, and I think you'll stay for the whole thing (35 minutes).
In 1972 Richard Nixon won 18 percent of the black vote, according to New York Times exit polling.
In 2008, John McCain won 4 percent of the black vote.
The conventional explanation for this has something to do with civil rights and Democrats and the "Southern strategy" followed by Republicans. And, to a large extent, the explanation is probably right.
But part of the reason African-Americans have been trending Democratic recently has as much to do with chance as with fundamental political shifts.
Democrats have had the good fortune of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The two most influential, recognized Democrats of the past two generations are incredibly popular amongst blacks. Bill Clinton was so well-regarded by African-Americans that Toni Morrison called him "the first black president". Today Barack Obama is even more popular amongst blacks than Clinton (the fact that, unlike Clinton, he actually is "the first black president" might have something to do with this).
Republicans haven't had such luck. No Republican presidents have been relatively popular amongst blacks since Eisenhower's time. And even he lost the black vote by a 3:2 margin.
Imagine if Republicans nominated Colin Powell in 1996. He might have cracked the black vote and won 25%; that was how well Michael Steele ran in his 2006 Senate campaign. Or he might have utterly broken the alliance between blacks and Democrats and taken more than 90% of the black vote.
That would have changed politics forever. But as luck would have it, the exact opposite happened. Barack Obama, not Colin Powell, was nominated by the Democrats and elected president. Today it looks like Democrats have won the black vote for another generation.
Unfortunately it worked in California, so the Yes on H8/Yes on 1 radical right Californicators are trying to do it again in Maine. We can't let them succeed. No on 1 has already done some great ads to fight back...
But they obviously have more work to do to fight the lies and get the truth out. We still have time to help them, so let's make sure they have enough resources to keep fighting. The forces of inequality know this is their last chance to stop progress, so they're throwing everything including the kitchen sink at us. We all know the story of California, so let's make sure it isn't repeated in Maine.
According to new poll data, 51.8 percent of people who plan to vote in November say they will vote no or are leaning in that direction on question 1, the people's veto of Maine's same-sex marriage law.
The poll shows that 42.9 percent plan to vote yes, or are leaning that way. And 5.2 percent remain undecided.A "no" vote would allow the same-sex marriage law to stand. A "yes" vote would overturn the law.
The poll was from Portland-based Pan Atlantic SMS Group, which released its fall Omnibus Poll today. [..] According to Pan Atlantic, the survey is of 401 Mainers who identified themselves as "likely" voters in the Nov. 3 election. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
So either we have quite a tiny lead or we're starting to see a larger lead. But most likely, No on 1 is leading by just under 9%. Folks, that's still too close for comfort.
However, there's a way we can stop it before it really starts. We can help our friends and family in Washington state Approve Referendum 71 so that we send a message to the forces of bigotry out West that we won't allow any more of their H8!