For Dems, 2018 race means ad­dress­ing race

Orlando Sentinel - - WALL STREET REPORT -

— from his pre­de­ces­sor Obama may have had more to do with many Trump vot­ers’ choices than eco­nomic con­cerns that cross other de­mo­graphic lines.

But if you want to talk about eco­nomic anx­i­ety, ask black folks. So says a new poll con­ducted by for­mer Obama and Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee poll­ster and strate­gist Cor­nell Belcher and his firm, Bril­liant Cor­ners Re­search & Strate­gies, and due to be re­leased by the in­de­pen­dent po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion Black­PAC.

As re­ported by The At­lantic, the poll of 1,000 black vot­ers in the bat­tle­ground states of Mis­souri, Ohio, Penn­syl­va­nia, Vir­ginia, Michigan, North Carolina, Illi­nois and Florida finds more than half of those sur­veyed be­lieve the econ­omy is get­ting worse and only 1 in 10 be­lieve they are get­ting ahead eco­nom­i­cally.

Eighty-nine per­cent of black vot­ers said they be­lieved racism in the coun­try has got­ten worse since 2016, and more than half be­lieve that one of the key shifts in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics has been a re­newed at­tack on black Amer­i­cans.

With at least 25 po­ten­tial Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates be­gin­ning to hit the road to au­di­tion their vi­sion, slo­gans, punch lines and pol­icy ideas, we have yet to see who can best nav­i­gate these dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives.

For many vot­ers the an­swer is in­tensely per­sonal, as a sur­vey by poll­ster Stan­ley Green­berg re­veals. He came up with the la­bel “Rea­gan Demo­crat” to de­scribe the cru­cial swing vot­ers of Ma­comb County, Mich., while work­ing for Bill Clin­ton’s 1992 campaign. He re­turned there for a re­cent study of what they might do next, af­ter vot­ing for Obama twice and Trump once.

One white work­ing-class man said he “lost con­tact with (his) own daugh­ter be­cause of the elec­tion.”

No won­der so many peo­ple are re­luc­tant to talk about race, es­pe­cially in racially mixed com­pany. Maybe it takes an au­da­cious grand­stander like, say, Kanye West to break the ice. But it re­mains to be seen how many of this year’s of­fice-seek­ers can wade suc­cess­fully into those treach­er­ous wa­ters with­out be­ing pulled un­der.

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