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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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June 23, 2008 11:52 AM

Republicans overthink race, while black voters go elsewhere

Posted by David Postman

NPR asked the question yesterday morning, “Where Did All of the African-American Candidates Go?” And by that, they mean all the black Republican candidates. It was only two years ago that Republicans had African-American candidates in high profile races for governorships in two states and for the U.S. Senate in Maryland.

But in a piece by Allison Keyes on Weekend Edition Sunday, it is clear that some of those candidates and other prominent African-Americans from the party say Republicans have not followed up with a concerted effort at minority voter outreach. As Michael Steele, the former Senate candidate put it, Republicans need to “stop overthinking this problem.”

I get the question all the all the time, how do we reach out? … Well, first off, stop asking the question and just do it.

Keyes' piece makes clear that there has not been a lot of visible progress within the party since 2005 when then-RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman went to the NAACP convention to make a notable public apology.

“Some Republicans gave up on winning the African-American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization," Mehlman said at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

And, of course, the problem is made much more difficult in a year when Democrats will nominate an African-American for president.

Listen to the NPR piece here.

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Posted by JimD

3:09 PM, Jun 23, 2008

Man - This one's a can or worms...LOL

Ironically, one republican who seems to truly pitch himself without over-thinking the racial makeup of his surroundings is John McCain.
He fearlessly wanders into inner-cities delivering the same "straight talk" and corny jokes he gives everyone else.
If not for running against the unprecedented and profoundly symbolic opportunity to finally vote for a fellow African American, McCain's seemingly un-self conscious transcendence of race may have been appealing to the vast majority of conventionally centrist African Americans.
Right guy, wrong election.

Posted by Hinton

6:13 PM, Jun 23, 2008

Locally, the WSRP doesn't have a clue about minority outreach. As a result, when it comes to color, we can expect this state to become a deeper, darker shade of blue.

Posted by JimD

6:33 PM, Jun 23, 2008

While the WSRP becomes a lighter shade red.

Posted by John

10:19 AM, Jun 24, 2008

JimD, will vote by color only even though candidate is not trustworthy or capable of carrying out the duty of the office the sheep will find out shortly they picked the wrong candidate again! You got to love these people they never learn.

Posted by filsdepatrick

5:59 AM, Jun 25, 2008

John- somehow I think that of the majority of voters that went for Bush, and of those, the ones that still support him, very few will be voting for Obama.

Posted by John

7:14 AM, Jun 25, 2008

Before the "d's" and media picked which Republican would win I was leaning towards obama,

Thought we was a good man, would do good and would bring this country together.

The more I seen the more I disliked.
I would have even hold my breath and voted for OMG Iím saying this Hillary.

Been a Republican a long, long time.

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Jun 23, 08 - 11:52 AM
Republicans overthink race, while black voters go elsewhere







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