In our poll this week 87% of African Americans identified themselves as Democrats, and 84% said they supported Barack Obama.
The rest of the Democratic ticket? Not so much at this point:
Bev Perdue gets 72% of the black vote. Besides her almost everyone gets between 60-65% of the black vote, including Kay Hagan with 61%. Janet Cowell and Walter Dalton get even less at 55 and 49% respectively.
It's not that black voters are voting Republican for these offices- they just say they're undecided. But that brings up a real point- are all the folks coming out to vote for the first time this year just going to vote for Barack Obama, or will they vote the rest of the ballot as well? Down ballot Democratic candidates would do themselves well not just to assume that they will.
That means investing in robo calls and direct mail targeted at black voters, as well as advertising on black radio. The Perdue campaign did a tremendous job of this in the primary, and our polling indicated that she won by a large margin with supporters of Obama.
It also wouldn't hurt if the North Carolina Democratic Party could get Obama himself to record a couple robo calls to go out during early voting to black voters reminding them to make sure they vote the entire Democratic ticket.
I'm sure the down ballot candidates will do much better with black voters than the polling is showing right now, but best not to take them for granted.