There is no doubt that race helped Barack Obama win the presidency not once, but twice. Much of the country was ready for its first African-American president and it didn't matter how inexperienced he was, or how dubious his past and his affiliations were. All that mattered to enough voters was that it was "his time."
African-Americans, of course, came out in droves to vote for the man who could, and ultimately, would become the nation's first black president. Needless to say, the same black voter turnout numbers will not be the same for presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton:
The number of African-Americans who voted in Tuesday’s primaries plummeted by an estimated 40 percent in Ohio, 38 percent in Florida and 34 percent in North Carolina compared with the 2008 Democratic primary when Barack Obama was on the ballot, reported the advocacy group Black Votes Matter.
According to the NY Post, analysts did expect a decline in the number of black Democrat voters this time around, but not to such a dramatic degree. The data spell big trouble for Hillary and great opportunity for Republicans:
“Hillary’s repeated trouncing of Bernie Sanders with the black vote has masked the alarming fact that there has been a dramatic drop-off in black turnout in the Democratic primaries,” said Charlie King, founder of the Black Voters Matter super PAC.
The decline provides an opening for likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump to win the presidency, King warned.
“It will be very hard for the Hillary campaign alone to have a message that excites Reagan Democrats and the 4 million new black Barack Obama voters to come out and vote. That is why Donald Trump poses a real challenge,” he said.
“And if that is not corrected, a number of states like Ohio, Florida and Virginia can turn to Republican-leaning states . . . Trump could become president.”
In 2012, the black vote provided Obama with slim margins of victories over GOP nominee Mitt Romney in Florida (50-49 percent), Ohio (50-48), Virginia (51-48) and Pennsylvania (52-47). It also put North Carolina in play for a Democrat for the first time in decades.
It's important to note that Hillary Clinton is not generating the enthusiasm of most Democrats, really. Of course there will be her tried-and-true supporters who voter for her no matter what, but it's hard to argue that she is leading a movement in the same way Obama did. And this is her Achilles heel. The GOP is well-positioned to win the general election if it plays its cards right for a change.