Minority turnout - Personal or permanent?
by kosnomore, Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:49:27 AM EST
Obviously, there was record voter registration and record turn out among minority voters, inspired by the person of Barack Obama.
Black, brown, red, yellow, tan - - they came out for Barack.
But will they return? And, if so, what will they otherwise do?
We all heard the emotional stories of the 90+ year old, grandchildren of slaves, first time voters, all across this country. They were inspired (and inspiring) by the prospect of a black president.
Yet, part of me had to wonder why they hadn't been inspired by elections of the past. The civil rights legislation of the '60's? Martin, John and Bobby? the economic struggles of the '70's? the social battles of the 80's? the economic progress of the '90's? Bush v. Gore? Katrina?
Even in 2008, many of these voters didn't vote down ticket. Look at the results in the three south Florida (still) Republican held house seats. There was huge down ticket drop off in black and non Cuban latino districts.
And, on social issues, socially conservative minority voters in fact voted on issue questions in accord with their socially conservative beliefs, while black and latino liberals voted liberally on social issues. There should be no surprise. (Why did anyone ever expect black and brown fundamentalists to be more progressive than white fundamentalists? They read the same book, and turn to the same preachers for interpretation and guidance. If you hold voter registration drives in evangelical churches, you register evangelical voters, who come in all colors and from all nations.)
There are open questions as to whether this historic minority turnout will continue, and how minority voters will vote when Obama's not on the ballot.
We will start getting answers in the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff. And, 2010 will be interesting.
CROSS POSTED AT FAR RIGHT DEMOCRAT