Friday, November 18, 2011

Amos Says Black Voters Did Their Part For Kennedy

Radio talk show host Amos Brown's latest column in the Indianapolis Recorder makes the case that Melina Kennedy's narrow election loss to Mayor Greg Ballard in last week's municipal election cannot be blamed on black voters as it was four years ago when some analysts contended then-Mayor Bart Peterson lost because many African-American voters stayed away from the polls in protest. Brown's analysis of the municipal election results indicates black voter turnout was as good as the turnout among non-black voters, and that Kennedy received overwhelming support among black voters.

Again, Indianapolis' African-American voters did their job.
African-American turnout was the same rate (some 30 percent) as the rest of the city/county. Blacks overwhelmingly voted for Melina Kennedy and, more importantly, powered the election of a Democratic-majority City-County Council.

Kennedy garnered some 85 percent of the Black vote, as an estimated 45,600 Blacks voted in an election with an overall turnout of 181,171. Some 25.2 percent of the total vote came from African-Americans. Both those living in Black-majority precincts and those living in white-majority areas.

There's been a lot of uninformed speculation and plain hot air in local media about the election. Keep these facts in mind . . .

Mayor Ballard's win is the third weakest of any Indianapolis mayor in 60 years. Ballard won by 7,528 or 51.3 percent. In 2007, he won by 5,312 votes or 50.5 percent. By any objective standards it's a win; but far from a mandate as his winning percentage increased by just 0.8 percent . . .

As I've previously pointed out, you can attribute Ballard's 0.8% larger victory margin this year simply to the fall off in support for the Libertarian candidate for mayor this year compared to four years ago. Ballard likely did as bad, if not worse, among African-American voters this year as he did four years ago. In one predominantly black ward in Center Township, for example, Kennedy won 95% of the vote compared to Ballard's paltry 4% of the vote. Kennedy lost because white voters chose Ballard over her by a nearly two-to-one margin. It didn't matter how well she did among black voters, her support among the majority white voters was so weak that she could not possibly make up the difference with her overwhelming support in the black community.

1 comment:

Paul K. Ogden said...

"Ballard likely did as bad, if not worse, among African-American voters this year as he did four years ago."

I would agree with this completely. The African-American vote did not cost Kennedy the election.