Dexter Yarbrough on Barack Obama’s Waning Support
By Dexter Yarbrough. President Barack Obama needs to face some hard political facts – he is losing support from his most loyal base. With black unemployment hovering at 16.2 percent (and much higher for black males), President Obama needs to refocus and start paying more attention to those that worked hard to elect him.
President Obama once enjoyed poll numbers of 95 percent approval ratings among black voters. Those numbers have now dropped to 81 percent approval. The economy has hit blacks especially hard and many feel he has not been proactive on the unemployment crises. Recently, Congressional Black Caucus member Elijah Cummings, D-MD, said the president needs to fight harder for job because the black voters he has talked with are “totally frustrated.”
This is just the beginning of the criticism. A number of black leaders and politicians have become more vocally critical of President Obama. Last week, Maxine Waters, D-CA, blasted President Obama for ignoring black communities during his bus tour through the Midwest.
“We don’t know why on this trip that he’s in the United States now, he’s not in any black community,” she said. “We want to give him every opportunity, but our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don’t know what the strategy is,” she continued. “We’re supportive of the president, but we getting tired, y’all, getting tired.”
Tavis Smiley and Cornel West have been the President’s biggest antagonists. However, Rep. John Conyers, D-MI, has also been critical of the President as of late. Last month during the Congressional Black Caucus’ “Out of Poverty Caucus,” Conyers said “I’ve got nothing from the White House,” and that “We want him to know … we’ve had it. We want him to come out on our side and advocate.”
In many parts of the country, it seems as if black’s have not so much lost love for President Obama but the love is waning. People are concerned with the realities of their everyday living as opposed to politics. Many black’s continue to defend the president, but mostly they care about surviving.
It’s not just black’s that are upset with President Obama. Latinos are upset with his deportation and immigration policies and liberals are dissatisfied with his compromising with the Republicans and Tea Party.
The problem for President Obama is that in some black circles, he’s losing the debate in places like barber shops and beauty salons across America where he is counting on votes in large numbers. Some of those voters are lost forever. Many plan to sit out the 2012 elections. President Obama has sent out senior White House advisors to black communities to share how his administration is working to improve the quality of life for blacks.
President Obama’s outreach may not be enough to satisfy the frustration among black voters. Talk-show host Tavis Smiley, during a recent interview with The Huffington Post, expanded on this idea. “Black folks are the most loyal constituency in his base. The question now is not so much if the black folks who do turn up will vote for him, the question is, ‘How many black people will turn out?'”
Smiley added, “When black people are catching the kind of hell that they are catching, no wonder Obama’s ratings slipped from a 97 percent approval rating after he was elected to the 80s now.”
President Obama has a lot of work to do to shore up his loyal base. The concern is whether he will get the same support he did in 2008. Currently, it does not bode well for him. He has a lot of work ahead of him. You can check out my profile at Dexter Yarbrough BrandYourself.
Update: It is now April 2012. The race is shaping up as one between Obama and Mitt Romney. We will continue to keep an eye on the race.