The Spectacle Blog

Democrats’ Worst Nightmare

By on 4.6.06 | 2:13PM

It's blacks voting Republican, of course, and Michael Steele has them sweating:

An internal document prepared by a top Democratic strategist warns that a majority of African American voters in Maryland are open to supporting Republican Senate candidate Michael S. Steele and advises the party not to wait to "knock Steele down."

The 37-page report says a sizable segment of likely black voters -- as much as 44 percent -- would readily abandon their historic Democratic allegiances "after hearing Steele's messaging."

"Governor Ehrlich and [Lt. Gov.] Michael Steele have a clear ability to break through the Democratic stronghold among African American voters in Maryland," says the March 27 report by Cornell Belcher, polling consultant for the Democratic National Committee, which bases its findings on a survey of 489 black voters in Maryland conducted last month.

Drudge has a copy of the report's key findings, which note that "Steele's messaging to the African American community has clearly had a positive affect [sic] - with many voters reciting his campaign slogans and his advertising."

Also notable is the reaction of Democrats vying to run against Steele:

In a statement yesterday, an aide to Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin said he found "no surprises in this poll."

"Like the vast majority of Marylanders, African Americans know that the Bush-Steele agenda is wrong for our state and our nation," said Oren Shur, the Cardin campaign spokesman.

[Kweisi] Mfume advisers, however, said the survey should sound alarms.

"There's significance there," said Mfume strategist Walter Ludwig. "Everybody up and down the ticket needs to make sure African Americans don't feel like they're being taken for granted."

Ludwig seems to be implying that Democrats should nominate Mfume to shore up black support (Mfume is black, Cardin is not). But Cardin is polling much better against Steele than Mfume is.
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