Why Obama is appealing for help
In a video to supporters, President Obama made the following statement:
“It will be up to each of you to make sure that the young people, African Americans, Latinos and women, who powered our victory in 2008 stand together once again,” he said.
“If you help us do that — if you help us make sure that first-time voters in 2008 make their voices heard again in November — then together we will deliver on the promise of change and hope and prosperity for generations to come,” he said.
He’s caught a lot of crap for that statement, with a some claiming it is racist. It’s not. It’s a demographic appeal citing areas where he and Democrats think they’ve lost a significant amount of support, or, if not support, at least the energy that turned those demographic groups out in the large numbers necessary to give he and the Democrats the margin of victory.
Now, there are a lot of forces working against an energized electorate on the Democratic side of the isle, but Ron Bonjean of USN&WR brings us nice little summary of the facts confronting them as it pertains to these particular groups:
* The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that African-American unemployment jumped to 16.5 percent in March, up from 15.8 percent in February. Hispanic unemployment rose to 12.6 percent. These numbers are much higher than the nation’s unemployment rate, which still hovers at 9.7 percent.
* America’s young workers haven’t seen positive change. According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute, one of these groups is workers age 16-24, whose unemployment rate peaked at 19.2 percent. And African-American 16-24 year-old workers had the highest rate, starting 2010 at 32.5 percent, followed by Hispanics at 24.2 percent.
* The percentage of investments made by the Small Business Administration supporting Small Business Investment Companies in minority-owned firms has dropped from 26 percent in 1998 to about 7 percent today.
* Some 80 percent of Hispanic seniors making less than $20,000 per year were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage program, according to 2007 data–and yet the Obama healthcare law cuts $132 billion from this program. A Medicare analysis released last week shows at least half of all Medicare Advantage enrollees will lose their plan, while others will see higher premiums and lower benefits.
And now we have the immigration issue reigniting with little prospect of seeing anything meaningful being done this year.
The voting blocs Obama is addressing in his quote were critical to is success in ’08. With this down economy and the facts above arrayed against them, they’re very aware of their problems. As a White House press office official said:
“The President’s view is that good policy is good politics.”
But as Ron Bonjean adds:
Failed promises to pass policies to create conditions for higher income, more jobs, and better health care coverage will likely lead to a massive failure of turnout for Democrats at the polls.
And at the moment, the Democrats are knee deep in failed promises – a condition that usually seriously dampens voting ardor.