Former Republican presidential primary frontrunner Herman Cain recently sent a mailer to Iowans touting his ability to “lead the Republican party to victory by garnering a large share of the black vote,” but political analysts aren’t convinced of Mr. Cain’s ability to bring home the black vote.
Mr. Cain’s mailer promised he can attract African American constituents in a way no Republican has “since Dwight Eisenhower garnered 41 percent of the black vote in 1956.” Though Mr. Cain is the only black Republican candidate this year, the Washington Post spoke to several experts who doubt he would be able to dent President Obama’s dominance in the African American community. According to exit polls, 95% of black voters chose President Obama in the 2008 election and his approval rating among African American remains quite high.
Mr. Cain’s spokesman, J.D. Gordon, told the Washington Post his candidate is confident of his popularity with black voters because of conversations he’s had with African American supporters on the campaign trail.
“The reason he thinks that way is the anecdotal information he’s gotten in his travels around the country, the number of black people who have come up to him and the comments they’ve made. I’ve seen that traveling with him in Atlanta and other places,” Mr. Gordon said.
Raynard Jackson, an African American Republican consultant, said he questioned Mr. Cain’s chances with black voters because his campaign staff lacks the diversity necessary to come up with an effective strategy to woo African Americans away from President Obama.
“I have never, ever seen him with a black person on the campaign other than that security guy,” Mr. Jackson said.
Mr. Gordon countered by pointing out that Mr. Cain’s campaign manager, Mark Block, has an African American assistant.
“And we’re still growing,” Mr. Gordon said.