On One Hand

May 8, 2008

African-American turnout in November

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 3:39 pm
Tags: ,

Assuming Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, we can guess that African-Americans will turn out in numbers at higher than they did in 2004 for John Kerry. Just how much the African-American vote will impact the election is up for debate – many will point out that the highest African-American populations are found in the Deep South where no Democrat can expect to win. But the nation, as a whole, is about 12 percent African-American, and a 30 percent increase in their turnout amounts to a 3.6 percent bump for Democrats over their total popular-vote score in 2004.

Obama could expect a state-by-state bump proportional to the African-American population in that state in his race against John McCain. Polls usually do not factor this increase in hypothetical matches against John McCain, so it indicates that Obama may outperform the polls. Assuming, again, that the turnout increase is exactly 30 percent over 2004 levels, that leads to the following boosts for Barack Obama against John McCain:

4.08 percent over current polls in Florida
10 percent over current polls in Louisiana
4.17 over current polls in Michigan
3.21 over current polls in Missouri
6.6 over current polls in North Carolina
5.64 over current polls in Virgina
3.18 over current polls in Ohio
2.76 over current polls in Pennsylvania
4.77 over current polls in Arkansas
4.8 over current polls in Tennessee
3.57 over current polls in Texas
8.7 over current polls in South Carolina
2.67 over current polls in Indiana.

I am not including states in the Deep South (where turnout will be countered by equal numbers of white voters who do not want an African American president) and states that are solidly Democratic already.

These boosts would significantly impact the following states because the Obama vs. McCain margin is close to the expected boost in the African-American turnout:

Florida had McCain +1 on 4/26
Louisiana had McCain +11 on 4/9
Michigan had Obama +2 on 4/7
North Carolina had McCain +9 on 4/29
Ohio had McCain +1 on 4/26
Pennsylvania had Obama +9 on 4/26
Texas had McCain +5 on 5/1
Virginia had McCain +8 on 4/12
South Carolina has McCain +3 on 2/27
Indiana has Obama +1 on 4/29

If Obama’s African-American support helps put him over the top in any 3 of these states, he is mathematically almost certain to win the election. By this math Black voters should certainly help him secure those numbers. But this scenario depends on the following circumstances:

That Barack Obama increases African-American turnout by 30 percent.

That other factors do not boost overall turnout along with African-American turnout.

That pulls accurately predict or underestimate Barack Obama’s support among whites.

That Barack Obama’s candidacy does not galvanize or boost anti-Black turnout (among Whites and Hispanics) in crucial states.



  1. I have such angst when thinking about the fact that even though McCain represents a third term of the bush administration, he could win only because a large segment of white america isn’t comfortable with a black man in the highest office. It makes me very angry to be in this country sometimes.

    Comment by tempur_tempur — May 9, 2008 @ 1:52 am | Reply

    • “It makes me very angry to be in this country sometimes.” Tough break!

      You don’t even know who the hell is barack obama. Wake the fuck up.


      Comment by Anonymous — May 12, 2008 @ 8:13 pm | Reply

      • Again, I’m going to ask that anyone leaving an anonymous comment on this blog disclose a name or some identification that help people judge for themselves how much credibility they want to give you.

        Considering how condescending your comment was, you have an awful sorry lack of evidence to back yourself up. A link to a blog? That’s your thesis? Really?

        A blog that claims to stand against the “Mainstream Media’s bias” which is “injected into” the “National Subconscious,” but really the blog’s sole purpose appears to be undermining Barack Obama. But if we want to know who these people are are and where they’re coming from, no, that information is not going to be provided, the only clue we get is “we are smart enough to break out of the mainstream media’s conspiracy… while they post an entry (in the link you provided) full of completely trivial and tenuous “facts” which all lead to a singular, repeated, all-caps conclusion, “BARACK OBAMA IS A LIAR,” woah, excellent use of third grade rhetorical techniques. We are supposed to beleive that they alone have Barack Obama’s true satanic nature figured it out, but are not politically motivated when they point it out. OIC.

        I don’t know if you knew this, but anyone can start a blog. You don’t have to have any credibility whatsoever, you don’t even have to have an IQ of sixty.

        I can link you to blogs that take every political position possible, I can find blogs suggesting that the Earth is 6,000 years old (with footnotes!!!!) and blogs suggesting that Osama Bin Laden is the messiah. I can find blogs claiming to have been written by Santa Claus.

        Please try again. “Wake the fuck up.”

        Comment by ononehand — May 12, 2008 @ 8:47 pm

      • Well said.

        Comment by tempur_tempur — May 13, 2008 @ 12:20 am

      • Listen up anonymous, I don’t care who obama is. I know what he represents. This little fact finding tour you drudged up can be put together on anyone. All politicians step on people and lie on their way to power. So get off your high horse.

        Comment by tempur_tempur — May 13, 2008 @ 12:18 am

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