<<There are places where Obama won less than 10 percent of the vote. In King County, Texas, he won exactly five votes to Romney’s 135. But nowhere was Obama’s loss among white voters as stark as Romney’s loss among urban blacks.
Why process that information and assume—immediately—that the cause was fraud? Republicans made no serious effort to peel urban black votes away from the Democrats. In Pennsylvania, Romney’s final (and only) ad buy was an appeal to voters worried about coal jobs, something literally zero Philadelphia black voters might care about.
When the Obama campaign responded to that ad buy, it targeted Philly with a more specific ad: “537 votes.” In it, a series of grim images replayed the 2000 election and the Florida count. In one frame, a sea of black protesters—some with NAACP gear—held “Count Every Vote” signs. I saw this ad in south Florida, too. It was used in places with lots of potential black voters, and lots of anger at voting restrictions that had been passed by Republicans and held up in court.
Conservatives have an urban problem, and some in the party have been sweating it for years. They don’t take urbanites—especially black urbanites—seriously enough to win their votes. They view those votes as impediments to be overcome by ballots from soccer moms and angry coal miners. In Oshkosh, Wisc., a few months before the vote, I saw a charticle in a Republican campaign office that listed the poorest cities in America and the last time that they’d elected GOP mayors. It was grim, but not as grim as the illustration that accompanied it: Barack Obama waving in front of a burning “Mad Max” landscape. When you’re this dismissive of a voting bloc, you can’t understand why it evades you.>>