Opinion: GOP voter suppression fueled black turnout
Voters wait at a makeshift polling place in the hurricane-devastated Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, New York.
November 9th, 2012
06:22 PM ET

Opinion: GOP voter suppression fueled black turnout

Editor's note: Roland Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."

By Roland Martin, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - As political pros, journalists and pundits pick over exit polls to study how and why President Obama beat Mitt Romney for the presidency, a lot of the attention has been showered on the Latino turnout, gender gap and voters under 30.

The African-American turnout has largely been overlooked, seen by prognosticators as a no-brainer for President Obama.

There was never any doubt he was going to receive the overwhelming majority of black support. In 2008, Obama won 95% of the black vote, with black women voting at a higher rate than any other group in the country.

But six to nine months ago, numerous Obama campaign workers were privately expressing concern about the enthusiasm level of black voters, and about whether the massive 2008 turnout could be equaled.

They hoped registration efforts and get-out-the-vote drives would kick in at the right time.

Re-electing the first black president was clearly a motivating factor for African-Americans, but what also should be noted is the Republican Party's efforts to enact voter suppression laws.

Not only were black folks angered and shocked at Republicans' blatant attempts at voter suppression in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, Texas and other states, they exacted revenge at the ballot box.

Read Roland Martin's full column
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Really American

    Obama cares about voters just as much as Romney. Which is to say he doesn't care at all. If black voters live in hovels or mansions, he'd argue you're being mistreated. If Hispanics live hand mouth or with a nest egg the size of Texas, Romney will argue he can give you more. Obama won because the citizenry is too dull realize he doesn't care. And had Romney won, it would have been for the same reason. People need to realize that this great experiment is on the verge of failing due to neglect. Politicians can't save you. Inflated dollars can't save you. And, sadly, if you think you can be saved then you're already lost. In times like this you need to be your own hero. You need to take charge of your life and save yourself. Or at least be so decent as to not doom all those around you.

    November 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Voter

    When you can vote with a non-pictured hunting license and not a pictured college ID card, then it's about voter suppression. Now you can believe what ever make you feel comfortable.

    November 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Roland is spot on. The grapevine has been grumbling for months with people wanting to "check" their voting rights. People felt the best push back against suppression was expression. Expressing themselves at the polls. Republicans motivated not just black voters, but all voters targeted by the Voter ID laws. The young voter turnout exceeded that record turnout in 2008. The entire Voter ID suppression strategy has been a grossly miscalcuated misfire.

    Just like most everything else that conservatives thought and believed. The trend continues as they launch their INTERNAL investigations as to what went wrong, to find someone to blame. They'll never find the core reason for their drubbing if they do not look outside of the box, because the problem IS the box in which they have positioned themselves. Their hypocrisies have been so staggering that they literally cannot see the forest for the trees.

    November 10, 2012 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. rightwingnutsandbolts

    I suppose if you keep throwing the "voter supression" lie out there long enough, it's going to be perceived as truth. Oh, Look! It was! It's gotten to where I can't hardly buy a tube of toothpaste without a check of my ID. But, when it comes to the most important thing a citizen does–voting–we should do nothing to verify that people are citizens? What are you afraid of? That more of those people who rounded up and tried to register illegal aliens (oops, my bad, not the PC name) might actually get caught?

    OK, Obama got the black vote. Maybe it wasn't a reaction to "voter suppression laws" at all. Maybe they just like the fact that someone who looks familiar is in the White House. Maybe they are still waiting, hoping against hope that "Hope and Change" finally gets to the people.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sezoni

      You're trying to underscore that Blacks voted for President Obama because he's Black, without highlighting that Whites like you voted for Romney because President Obama is Black.

      November 10, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • David

        I didn't vote for Obama because he is incompetent

        November 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Name*Gi Jon

        i didnt like Romney but voted for him because i dont like obama he is a racist against whites and all the white people that voted for him are stupid as for the blacks that voted for obama cause he was black they are racist and stupid too

        November 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |