When African-Americans went to the polls in 2008, 96 percent of them voted for Barack Obama. In the years since, the president has seen his approval ratings rise and fall amongst every American sub-community. But his unwavering popularity amongst Blacks has always been remarkable. In August 2010, Obama’s year-low Black approval rating was still at a massive 85 percent, and it went up to near 90 percent within a couple months after that. A new poll, however, shows that Black voters won’t stick by Obama through everything. Everyone has their breaking point, and the African-American community’s breaking point is increasingly the same one on all of America’s mind: jobs.
According to a new Washington Post/CBS poll, “The number of African-Americans who believe the president’s actions have helped the economy has dropped from 77 percent in October to just over half of those surveyed.” Even liberal Democrats are finding it harder and harder to stomach Obama’s handling of the nation’s flagging economy—less than one-third of liberal Democrats now support Obama’s record on jobs. It would seem that you can only push people so far, and when you’re talking about their pocketbook, and the stability of their family, you have even less room to push.
Speaking to the Post, a self-described liberal Democrat told the paper, “We’re focusing on too many things right now. Our biggest issue is the economy. People are hungry; people want work. Honest to God, it’s tough times.”
It’s not as if Obama is trying to create a poor economy; nobody’s saying anything like that. It’s also pretty obvious that the obstinate GOP is the one playing ridiculous games with the nation’s financial future. That said, rational understandings of politics are not something people always have in mind when going to the voting booth. The lesson of this latest poll is that something is going to give, or Obama is going to lose the support of the people who have stood by him the longest. They’re probably not going to vote Republican in 2012, but they’ll most likely hold their nose while choosing Obama.
(Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)