Over at RealClearPolitics, Sean Trende examines a Survey USA poll that shows Virginia’s Republican candidate for governor winning an eye-popping 31 percent of the black vote. I’ve often found Survey USA’s numbers for black support of the GOP a little high, probably due to small sample sizes. But Trende makes the case for and against taking this figure seriously:
(1) In 2006, George Allen came about as close as he could have come to dropping an “n-bomb” on a person of color without actually saying that particular word. Throughout the campaign, Democrats consistently brought up racial incidents in Allen’s past. And the Republican label was radioactive nationally. Allen still got 15% of the black vote.
(2) Doug Wilder’s (Virginia’s first black governor and former mayor of Richmond) non-endorsement of Deeds has received a ton of attention.
(3) McDonnell has been competing quietly for the black vote in his commercials. One advertisement has featured businesswoman Sheila Johnson, a Democrat who endorsed McDonnell, while another features numerous African American Deputy and Assistant Attorneys General.
I’ll be surprised if McDonnell gets much more than 20 percent of the black vote — which would itself be a fairly strong result — but we’ll soon see.