- The Progressive Pulse - http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org -

Fayetteville O columnist: GOP missing an opportunity with African-American voters

Fayetteville Observer columnist Myron Pitts says that the North Carolina Republican Party is making a terrible political¬†blunder with its plans to plunge ahead with mandatory voter ID legislation [1]. Pitts says that it’s obvious that the legislation is designed to suppress Black voter turnout:

“But the real reason for the laws is to suppress Democratic votes, in particular votes by lower-income, black and young voters. The laws instead have had the opposite effect: Democrats have rightly painted them as threats to voting rights, and turnout among the targeted groups has increased. In November, in the critical swing state of Ohio, where the GOP made a heavy voter ID push, President Obama boosted his turnout among blacks by 33 percent from 2008, a year when his history-making run had already increased the number to historic levels.”

Pitts goes on to say that the GOP would be be much better served to actually compete for the African-American vote rather than trying to suppress it. After describing a part of the Black business community in Fayetteville he says this:

“But the subject of business is where Republicans can use their natural inclinations – and connection to the national and a number of local chambers of commerce – to attract black voters….

Might not Republicans get a leg up on their Democratic colleagues by reaching out to these important players in the black community, the many small-business owners? The late Jack Kemp, a former vice presidential candidate, is still held up as a model of how Republicans can connect with black voters, and he believed in “enterprise zones” in black neighborhoods that fostered businesses.”

For better or worse, however, this does not appear to be part of the GOP¬†gameplan in 2013. You can read Pitts’ entire column by clicking here [1].