Sunday, May 14, 2006

2006: A Race Oddyssey [WITH CORRECTION]

For about 25 years, the conservative line on race has been 1) Racism is dead in America and 2) Blacks and white Liberals are obsessed with race, which is in itself racist. This year they are adding two new ingredients to the stew: 3) Blacks will vote for our guy because he is black, and 4) Liberals hate Blackwell, not because he’s conservative, but because he’s a black conservative, which is racist.

Welcome to the colorblind society.

This question of Blackwell’s ability to pull black votes based on his race has been the subject of much blogging the past week. RussellPounderStaff set the tone by calling the argument “bullshit.” That got Fitrakis minion Dave Hickman spamming us about it. Hickman’s emails quoted this post by Nate at Cincinnati Black Blog.

Until there are data sets to crunch, all of this talk tends to be out the speaker’s butt. RussellPounderStaff’s source is apparently RussellPounderStaff. Hickman makes the argument that Blacks are so angry about the Democrats’ “silence” over vote suppression in 2004 that they will vote for they guy who allegedly masterminded the vote suppression. I suppose congratulations are in order; Team Fitrakis’ claim that the RON election was stolen was once the dumbest political argument ever, but they may have bested themselves.

CORRECTION: An Ohio Honest Elections staffer emailed to tell me that Dave Hickman isn't on staff and didn't write the paper linked. As noted in comments, I acknowledged this argument only long enough to dismiss it, so I didn't read the piece carefully. I regret the error. In any event, Hickman makes the argument and links to the piece. At this point I don't know what his affiliation is. I just want to stop getting his emails and comments from his number one fan.

(Then, apparently because no one actually physically assaulted him, Hickman apparently decided we all wanted to know everything he had to say about voter fraud. Four emails in three days and finally people told him to step off.)

Nate Livingston goes Nate Livinston, which is to say it’s all about race – he’s mad because the whole Dem world failed to line up behind Coleman. Whatever, dude. I heard plenty of scuttlebutt that Coleman’s campaign was in chaos, but surely that’s Chris Redfern’s fault as well.

Hopefully at some point some publicly available polling will permit a data-based discussion. Until then, a few points based on what we know. Anecdotally, I’ve heard of an unusual number of African Americans pulling Republican ballots in the primary. Folks who did the Fifty State Canvass in black neighborhoods around here reported that black voters were very interested in “That Black Guy” running for Governor, but it wasn’t hard to talk away that support by telling people what Blackwell actually stands for.

As for actual data, I can’t find a Blackwell/Strickland poll for which crosstabs are publicly available. (I love you all, but I’m not paying for Rasmussen Gold until I find a way to make money off all this. PhoGold – think about it.) The last SurveyUSA poll of the primary shows Blackwell winning big among African American Republicans, but his number among Black Republicans is only ten points higher than among White Repblicans. Also interesting is the canvass of the 2002 election in which Brian Flannery killed Blackwell in Wards 3,4, and 5, but Blackwell did slightly better than Taft in those wards.

One of my former bosses taught me that in politics you run scared or you don’t run at all. In this race we run very scared. My take from the information available is that the African American vote is in play. Stickland can win strong Black support, but he will have to work his ass off to get it. He will have to hone his message on education – vouchers bad/funding good won’t do it. He will have to make the case that TEL would devastate inner cities. Making that argument understandable to average folks isn’t easy, but it has the happy virtue of being true. He also will have help from Black punditry.

Meanwhile, Blackwell will almost certainly win more Black support than a White Republican would, making Independents and moderate Republicans crucial to the race. Playing strong both to inner-city Blacks and White moderates isn’t an easy balancing act. Strickland needs to have as much game as his supporters say he does to pull this off.


staff said...

You want some data ?

How many black Republicans have held office for either Gov or Senate ? There's ya data. Mountains of it. You think that is because Republicans have never ran strong black candidates ?

If people are really going to make this stupid argument that Blackwell wins blacks because he is black, then surely you have to flip the argument over and also conclude he is going to lose white voters because he is black - and there are a lot more white voters in Ohio than black.

Give me one good reason other than skin color why black folks would have any interest in voting for blackwell ? Just one.

Cultural issue ? Nope the data from 2004 suggests that while blacks voted for issue 1 - they still voted for Kerry as a candidate - as they do vote for every dem candidate in massive %'s every election.

Way to play into the BS republican narrative on race Pho.

You think it is just about schools ? If Strickland loses votes it will be over guns (and that will be turn out not cross over) and what he loses in the urban he more than picks up in the rural with cross over.

I have more than enough confidence in the black community that they like everyone else will figure out that blackwell offers them nothing and vote accordingly.

Hickman is an idiot. You think black people are more pissed with Dems over 2004 than Repubs ? You have to have some real weird reasoning and faulty memory to come to that conclusion. STJ and Conyers did speak out about the disenfranchisement and contested the certification of Ohio's electoral college voters.

abdirissa said...

Hickman played ya both (Pho and Pounder)

He succeeded at getting you off your ass and arse about discussing the 2006 African American and Election Reform issues, among other things.

Hickman outsmarted you both... you're both tools. He redirected discussion away from meaningless U.S. House District 02 blabber bloggers like Bryan Clark.

Hickman also effectively swayed you to actually write the word:

F-I-T-R-A-K-I-S .... GASP !!

Many people will now be combing your blogs for inacurracies and blabber that has no place in a STATEWIDE election of such importance.

Brian Rothenberg got one thing right regarding NOT giving you freebie $150 ODP dinners... Neither of you can or should be defined as "journalists"

You both are FAR FAR FAR from that.

Thus, Brian Rothenberg is correct about another thing regarding bloggers like both of you ... You're no goddamn more important than hundreds of other "activist" organizers ... why should you be given any special consideration?

The answer is: YOU SHOULDN'T

Screw Bryan Clark and those who enable his kind of idiotic blog posting described on the Democracy Guy blog below.

"Multiple Blog Personalities in Ohio"

All hail Tim Russo for the above and Andrew Warner for the below:

"Ohio Democrats: Too little, too late"

abdirissa said...

Anti-democracy Ohio Democratic Party

1) Absent during 2004 presidential recount
2) Absent during Reform Ohio Now campaign
3) ODP Executive Committee annoints Redfern undemocratically
4) ODP & Brown swiftboat Hackett
5) ODP destroys right to vote in primary with undue endorsements.

and now this ... Columbus Dispatch Senior Editor Joe Hallet rocks!

"There could be hell to pay for Democrats if they overlook a crucial opportunity to help cure Ohio government."

staff said...

actually I posted on the AA issue before hickman even turned up to run his mouth - he didnt punk anyone. I was oneof the few people who reported live from the ODP chair selection meeting

As for election issues - I've been working with those groups for years too and am depressed that people like hickman give the effort a bad name and cause too many people to tune the issue out.

You need some better fact checking.

abdirissa said...

The fact that Staff (Russell-Pounder) perpetuates continuous Bryan Clark style blabber on the Buckeye State Blog gives him absolutely no room to claim the high ground.

This is especially true regarding claims to be a "journalist" and/or "activist" or whatever other supposedly priceless aspect that makes staff believe he deserves special treatment from Brian Rothenberg and/or the entire Ohio Democratic Party.

My God Staff-Russell-Pounder, why in the hell do your readers have to be subjected to all of Bryan Clark's multiple blogger personality crap as well as post after meaningless post about the U.S. House 2nd District?

When all the smoke cleared for Thor Jacobs down in US House 02, a much different picture emerged than what Bryan Clark and Russell-Pounder-Staff portrayed during pre-primary predictions.

Thor Jacobs, who was Bryan Clark and staff's favorite to win US House 02 wasn't JUST humbled by Victoria Wulstein's victory.

Also, a completely grassroots political upstart, with no money, named Jim Parker basically tied Thor Jacobs for second place after Parker's humble campaign of Xerox copied yard signs and a whole hell of a lot of TRUE "grassroots" shoe leather.

So much for Staff-Pounder-Russell's coddling of unproven THEORIES related to how candidate campaigns should be breaking down the doors to pay Bryan Clark's so-called "big boy" re:organize team to conduct election field work.

Things would be a lot better for Bryan Clark if he actually did more "field work" and less hyperactive psycho-blogging like this:

Pho said...

Read my post. Both of you, read my fucking post.

Abdrissa, either you are Hickman or you are working with him. Your comment on the Carnival and GABB post tracks his emails in form and time. Your comment is borderline incoherent (more Hickman similarity), but you seem to be saying that Hickman baited me into talking about something I dismissed with the back of my hand. Oh yes. He/you got me all right. And no, it doesn't take much for me to type the name "Fitrakis," generally followed by some variant of "is an idiot."

Pounder, I'm not playing into the Republican narrative, I'm acknowledging the fact that if Strickland wants the African American vote he needs to work for it. I say that because it's what I hear. Here. Where I live. In a city. With black people. How it helps Republicans to acknowledge that Dems can't follow business as usual eludes me.

If anything, you are perpetuating a far more dangerous narrative -- that Democrats can take the African American vote for granted. Run scared or don't run.

abdirissa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bryan clark said...

abbey/hickman, fuck off. seriously. get a life. find a hobby. something.

but stop the libel bullshit. and stop the harassing calls and email to my staff and clients. and stop the harassing phone calls TO MY HOME.

this is your last warning.

abdirissa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bryan clark said...

last warning -- stop the harassment. you wont get another warning.

Pho said...

abdrissa, I've deleted your last couple of posts. I've done that maybe twice before aside from robo-spomments. Here's why you earn the honor.

First, you have quickly developed the unfortunate habit of cutting and pasting huge gobs of text into my comments field. Nothing good can come of that and I will nip it in the bud.

Second, you are using my blog to insult and harass someone else. I have a high tolerance for insults directed at me -- I've put myself out there and I'll take what comes. But you do not come into my house and insult my guests. RusselPounderStaff and Bryan and I fight, but we fight like family -- at the end of the day it's all love. You are just bringing the hate and no one needs that.

By the way, your insult, I think, is that RussellPounderStaff and Bryan Clark are the same person. Oh so totally wrong.

Finally, you're just a pain in the ass. Even the low-impact sport of devising creative insults for you has lost its allure. Please do not comment here again. At least stay away on days that you skip your meds.

Now go, and trouble me no more.

abdirissa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pho said...

Ab, I'm "a little touchy" about you using my blog to attack someone who has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. Stay away from my blog you fucking loon.

The D-Guy post is out their and covers stuff for which Bryan has apologized publicly and personally to me. I'll let the latest comment stand unless Bryan wants it off because it doesn't seem over the line, but this is your last one. I will delete everything you post from now on, simply on the grounds that you are an insufferable asshat.

I work too hard on my blog to have my credibility undermined by allowing an obvious nutcase to have free reign here.

GO. A. WAY!!!!

bryan clark said...

pho -- your original post prompted me to do some number crunching on the aa support for blackwell argument. its over at buckeye state blog if you'd like to take a look.

abdirissa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
abdirissa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What worries me is Blackwell doesn't have to sway many black voters at all. If he raises above Bush's 10% to 20% it shouldn't be a problem but the race will tighten a little. More worrisome is if he gets in the 20-30% range. If he gets above 30% we're toast, no way a D wins without 75% of the Black vote.

That said looking at all his numbers their was no discernable difference the first two times he ran, besides that he ran agains a black candidate both times. He did seem to have soft support in what were good R years. He then ran strong across the board against Flannery, more people black and white people voted for him then. But that may just be a reflection fo Flannery's immense weakness.

And Staff needs to look at Youngstown if he thinks this simply can't happen. Democrats lost the mayor's election in one of the most D cities in the state. Basically a chamber of commerce backed moderate got into all the black churches and absolutely crushed Hagan. Going back to the percentages above it doesn't have to be as sizable as the Williams race to make a difference. There's no way Blackwell will get as much out of it as Jay, because he's clearly more conservative, but look at the above percentages, he only needs to be half as successfull as Jay to run away with this.

And finally, this you can't talk about this BS from staff is ridiculous. I remember his reaction when people said we shouldn't be critical of our own candidates. He nearly blew a gasket, but if you disagree with him on this you're "feeding the narrative" which is apparently second rate Lakoff speak for blog wankery of some sort.

If anything I think its good debate to have, Democrats should prove they don't take the black vote for granted and now's the perfect time to do it.

Pho said...

Anon, thanks for that last comment. That's why I got so bent about my comments being hijacked for election fraud flogging and Bryan bashing. There's a serious discussion to be had here that has nothing to do with either.

Anonymous said...

all these comments on this but zero on your school funding post. I think that says a lot about the lack of interest/sense of urgency people have on the so called broken school funding system.

staff said...

oh good god. My argument isnt that we dont have to give a shit about the black vote. Fuck i have been one of the early writers saying we need to mend broken fences and deal with AA issues.

My point is really fucking simple. Blackwell isnt going to get more black votes because he is black. how is that so fucking hard to understand?

that isnt to say he cant get more black votes if Strickland fucks up - shit if strickland fucks up blackwell gets more white votes too - so this whole youngstown argument is irrelevant.

Anyhow - Bryan has data up at BSB. Seems to prove my point from the gitgo - which is to say - quit thinking blackwell is going to get more AA votes because he is black - that IS the GOP BS narrative. Got nothing to do with lakoff or any other fucking BS.

And what the fuck are you talking about me getting bent out of shape about being critical of Dems ?

TKE House said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TKE House said...

The only thing black about Ken Blackwell is the first syllable of his last name..

Pho said...


I think it says more about the appeal of horserace stories as argument starters. My experience from extrablogular comments is that people read and digest policy posts to learn, but pile into the horserace arguments as sport. I can tell you from my on-the-job experience that people are plenty concerned about the issue, but intimidated by its complexity. Which is why I have the job I do.


Respect? For you? Around here? Surely you jest.

Seriously, you know I have nothing but love, but when you launch your broadsides you invite the sort of misunderstanding you complain about. Your point turns out to be is that the AA vote is in play but winnable. That's a long way from saying that all concerns about Blackwell peeling off AA votes are "bullshit," which is what your original post sounded like.

Finally, I personally think that skin color is relevant. It's relevant because historically it has been. It's relevant because anecdotal evidence indicates that it is. It's relevant in that I think it's the only way someone as far right as J.Ken polls as well as a moderate like Petro.

Anonymous said...

Staff, I never said you didn't care about the black vote, but I do think not having the debate about Ken Blackwell's appeal does take the black vote for granted. This is an excellent race to prove that the Democratic Party really does care about the issues that matter most to real people.

As for the not criticizing D's part, a D.C. blogger whose name I can't recall, I'm thinking it was a tapped guy, suggested lefty blogs should stop criticizing D congressiona candidates as lacking ideas because it reinforced negative stereotypes about our candidates not having ideas. You said that that was hogwash, and rightfully so, but then made a similiar complaint saying no one should mention this because it feeds into "the narrative." Which is a term I still think is a poor choice for anything other than an actual narrative. But that's a different debate entirely.

And saying race and ethnicity doesn't matter in politics is absurd. One of the very first memories I have of going door to door was meeting a voter who had already voted absentee. I asked if they voted for my candidate and they said 'of course he was the irish one.' I've met people who won't vote for candidates with hyphenated names, I've met people who in judicial races vote on gender and I've seen voters who vote ethnicity. It isn't an accident Republicans try and run judge's named O'Donnell in Cuyahoga County or with Italian names in "the valley."

Basically all I'm saying is Ken Blackwell might be able to peel a chunk of those undecided black voters on covert appeals to race and hitting religion mixed with gay marriage. I'm not saying he's going to get 40%, but the numbers he had in the crosstabs plus a chunk of the undecideds could put him in the danger zone for Strickland.

Which means Strickland needs to be in the black churches, he needs to be in the community and he needs to get people like Stephanie Tubbs-Jones onboard. None of these things are remotely bad in general, and specifically can help defuse any appeal Blackwell may have among black voters.

Anonymous said...

You're a fucktard Pho