A week ago a Democratic activist with education ties in Ohio told Eduwonk that Bush would get 16 percent of the African-American vote there primarily because of school choice and gay marriage. He worried that in an extremely close race it could cost Kerry the state. It seemed like a high estimate but according to the exits, that’s exactly what happened (in 2000 Bush earned 9 percent of the black vote in OH).
It’s too early to discern exactly why (and Bush also increased his share of the African-American vote in Florida from 6 percent to 12 percent) but this is a trend worth examining. Bush’s national share of the African American vote only increased by 2 percentage points. There was a lot of under the radar pro-voucher organizing and boutique targeted advertising going on in Ohio, was the same true of FL? Important to disentangle these issues since they have obvious ramifications going forward.
The good folks at Booker Rising are all atwitter and weigh-in on this, too, but are a little too deterministic, it didn’t cost Kerry the state.