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The Obama PhenomenonToward a Multiracial Democracy$
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Charles P. Henry, Robert L. Allen, and Robert Chrisman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036453

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036453.001.0001

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Dead Certain

Dead Certain

The Election of Barack Obama and Its Implications for Racial Politics

(p.60) Three Dead Certain
The Obama Phenomenon

Hanes Walton

Josephine A. V. Allen

Sherman C. Puckett

Donald R. Deskins

University of Illinois Press

This chapter demonstrates how the common assumptions of many political scientists and pundits were found to be false during Senator Obama's campaign. It identifies one link and commonality that few observers have acknowledged or even delineated, and that is the African American electorate as voters. Most observers either overstated and/or overdemonstrated via statistical voting models a single characteristic of African American voters, their heavy Democratic voting, to the exclusion of all other characteristics such as turnout, the increase of which in this election proved to be decisive. In this election, the African American voter characteristics have had to take an epistemic back seat to an endless emphasis on either the nation's clamor for change or a biracial and post-civil rights candidate, an emphasis that rarely acknowledged or spoke to this community, their political issues, or their progressive public policy concerns. Barely anything was said about turnout.

Keywords:   Democratic Party, Republican Party, Barack Obama, African American electorate, voter turnout

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