Black Voters May Tip House Contests

Obama coattails could mobilize enough to play decisive role in at least 10 districts
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2008 11:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – With black voters expected to come out in record numbers on Nov. 4, Democrats think a surge could flip as many as 10 hotly contested House districts in their favor, the Washington Post reports. “I was just thinking about the need to vote Democratic down the line,” said one black Barack Obama supporter, “because the president is going to need help in Congress.”

Pollsters expect an African-American turnout as high as 70%, well above the 56% in 2004. Candidates notice that kind of voting power; with Connecticut Republican Chris Shays even running an ad linking himself to Obama. “It’s kind of wild what’s going on here,” said one political scientist. Only 11% of Shays’ district is black, but “that’s where the energy seems to be.”