CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller reports that, historically, the unemployment rate for African Americans has always been higher than the national average. However, now it's at Depression-era levels. The most recent figures show African American joblessness at 16.2 percent. For black males, it's at 17.5 percent; And for black teens, it's nearly 41 percent.
It may not be a deal breaker for Obama but it would be hard to argue that the black vote is not very important to his re-election chances.
Further, I don't think the black vote will run in droves to the GOP.
What do you think will happen though if these numbers stay as they are now?
George Bush, not wildly popular among black voters, collected about 10 - 11% of their vote in 2000 and 2004.
Obama took 96% of the black vote in 2008.
The black vote works out to be about 12% of the vote in a Presidential election.
If the next GOP candidate took back 5% points of the vote Bush got this would be about a half a percent of the electorate or roughly 500,000 votes.
Realize this is not a loss of 500,000 votes - it's a million vote swing, a 500,000 vote loss for Obama and a corresponding 500,000 vote gain for the GOP candidate.
Think that will matter in what is likely going to be a close election?
The more likely scenario is that a significant portion of the black vote could stay home. Not traditionally a reliable vote, their peak was in 2008 when almost 13% or 13 million blacks voted. Of these 13 million, 96% were for Obama.
If 10% of these voters are unhappy and stay home it's a loss of in the neighborhood of one and a quarter million votes for Obama.
Again, close election.
Add to this the following
-Many conservatives stayed home in 2008 to "protest" John McCain (don't even get me started on this). These people have come to their senses after the wild success of their plan in 2008 and will actually vote this time.
-Obama is losing the independent vote, an important part of his victory in 2008
-Hispanics on the left are not happy with Obama over his lack of immigration "reform". They are not any happier with the GOP but many of them will stay home nonetheless
-White liberals are unhappy because (pick one) we do not have abortion shops on every corner fully funded by the government, we are not the communist utopia he promised, people are still expected to work for what they want, we have not destroyed our national energy apparatus to finally get that damned polar bear off of that ice floe we keep seeing the picture of, we have not fully embraced sharia law, wealthy people still have money (with the obvious exemption for George Soros), Fox News is still on the air spreading
the truth their lies, we still have a standing military, the country still exists.
I'm telling you folks, this election is not near over yet.