Voting habits of Blacks
The Dallas Examiner | 11/16/2014, 10:50 p.m. | Updated on 11/17/2014, 1:18 p.m.
The Dallas Examiner
After the Civil War and during the early 20th century, Blacks for the most part voted Republican. Blacks referred to the Republican Party as the “Party of Lincoln” because he freed the slaves. Also, during this period the Democratic Party consisted of White segregationist who governed Southern states and the party did not welcome Blacks.
Additionally, most Blacks lived in the South and Blacks were prevented from voting there.
In 1924 Blacks were permitted to attend the Democratic convention in an official capacity for the first time.
According to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies:
• In 1932, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president, he received 71 percent of the Black vote and in his subsequent elections he received a large percent of the Black vote. However, the number of Blacks who identified themselves with the Republican Party was about the same as the number who considered themselves Democrats, according to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
• During the presidential election in 1948, Harry S. Truman received 77 percent of the Black vote and the majority of Blacks reported they thought of themselves as Democrats. Truman issued an order desegregating the armed serves and an executive order setting up regulations against racial bias in federal employment. However, in subsequent elections Republican nominees continued to get a large part of the Black vote. Dwight D. Eisenhower got 39 percent of the Black vote in 1956 and Richard Nixon got 32 percent in his loss to John F. Kennedy in 1960.
• In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson received 94 percent of the Black vote in his election against Barry Goldwater. Johnson had gotten the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, outlawing segregation in public places and Goldwater opposed the legislation. The following year, Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and no Republican presidential candidate has gotten more than 15 percent of the Black vote since.
• In 2012, only 16 percent of African Americans considered themselves Republicans. In spite of the fact that 88 percent of African Americans voted for Democrat John Kerry in 2004, 44 percent consider themselves to have a moderate political viewpoint. Only 28 percent consider themselves liberal in their political views.
• In the recent presidential elections, President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has received overwhelming support from Black voters.
Blacks have a history of voting a straight party ticket. Currently, most Blacks vote a straight Democratic Party ticket. We may need to start looking at the individual running for office and not the party tickets.
In addition to voting more we need to learn not to vote a straight party ticket. We need to get to know candidates, what they stand for, what they have done in the past, and what they say they will do if elected to office. And then, hold those elected to office accountable.
In the recent Nov. 4 election, Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio received 26 percent of the Black vote. Ohio’s leading Black newspaper the Call & Post endorsed Kasich. In their editorial endorsement, the paper listed two specific examples of how Kasich addressed issues of concern to the Black community – he expanded Medicaid coverage to low-income Ohioans and supported setting aside jobs for minority contractors on the Opportunity Corridor construction project in Cleveland (Read more about Kasich in Raynard Jackson’s column on page 5).