The booing of Mitt Romney’s treatment of the president at the NAACP convention was not a one time thing. Many African Americans displayed their disapproval of Romney giving 99% of the vote to Obama in some communities.
According to philly.com, “In a city where President Obama received more than 85 percent of the votes, in some places he received almost every one. In 13 Philadelphia wards, Obama received 99 percent of the vote or more…Nor was Philadelphia the only place in the region with such high numbers for Obama. Five Delaware County towns topped 90 percent, led by Yeadon at 96.3. Following were Chester City (94.8), Darby Borough (93.5), Chester Township (92.3), and Colwyn (90.3).”
This backlash against Romney and the GOP occurred for several reasons. First, support for this president among African-Americans along with other members of the Obama coalition has never wavered. Through good and bad, African-Americans, Latinos, and young voters have all given President Obama higher approval ratings than he has averaged with the rest of the country.
Obama’s maintained high level of support is what made Mitt Romney’s behavior so curious. Romney went beyond not trying to court these voters. The Republican nominee appeared hell bent on antagonizing them. From his self-deportation immigration position to an education plan that boiled down to borrow the money from mom and dad to go to college, Romney not only lost the support of these voters. He offended them.
However, it was the African American community that he appeared to purposefully take aim at. In hindsight, it seems that Mitt Romney addressed the NAACP convention with the intention of creating a photo-op, but not the normal kind of photo-op. Romney was looking to be booed. Romney appears to have attempted to use the NAACP convention as a prop in his endless appeal to white voters. It turns out that this courting of white voters through race baiting was based on the Romney campaign’s inaccurate premise that minorities would not show up to vote in 2012. Romney also targeted African Americans with his lie filled ad accusing President Obama of ending welfare to work.
Members of the Obama coalition saw a candidate that antagonized them, didn’t care about them, and who was offering a set of policies that would harm them.
Instead of staying home, these voters marched to the polls to support their president. Minority turnout was up 2 points over 2008, and 5 points over 2010. Young people also didn’t stay home. The youth vote was up 12 points over 2008, and 18 points over 2010.
A lot of the media has focused on Romney’s attempted “whites only” path to victory, but it was a combination of voter devotion to the president, and Romney’s disrespect of the growing segments of the electorate that really cost him this election.
Losing 99% of the vote isn’t a rejection. It’s a banishment.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association