November 30th, 2007
11:01 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama and black women voters

CNN's Chris Lawrence takes a look at Obama's effort to court black women voters.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Why is Sen. Clinton leading Sen. Obama among black women voters? Chris Lawrence looks at Obama's plan to fight back.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Mindy Black, Chicago, IL

    Once again the media tries to determine black Americans agenda and who is the right leader for us. Clinton might get 5% of black women votes because these type of women feels comfortable with anything other than black leadership. It's a the same type of slave thinking that it's better white.

    November 30, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Jackie Beadle, Dayton, Nj

    I think it is ignorant for the media to believe that the primary reason Black women would support Obama is because is Black. As much as I may like the Clintons I just feel it is time for our government to move in a new direction. Seems that BOTH the Democratic and Republican parties are more interested in keeping their respective parties in power rather than serving for the good of the American people. How ironic that we criticize the government of Iraq for not finding ways to reconcile with the differing religious groups. Look at how divided our own country and government is. If Obama is sincere about bringing our country together and addressing issues faced by the average person, then that will persuade me to give him my support much more than the color of his skin.

    November 30, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Tevin, Raleigh NC

    I support Obama because his Judgement is unmatched. He is change. I cannot vote for someone who blindly supported the war in Iraq. Hillary didn't even read the intelligence report before giving Mr. Bush the right to occupy Iraq. Is that what comes from her "experience"? How can anyone vote for someone who didn't take it seriously enough to read the intelligence report? Yet, she has support as if she's going to change anything. Is that what you want in the White House? I think a lot of people are giving her support based on her Celebrity and her Husband. It's interesting that in polls of people with higher education, Obama crushes everyone! Be intelligent! Vote Intelligently! Don't vote for dishonesty and the status quo! And remember, Bill Clinton is not running for President. Leave his experience out of it!

    November 30, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. dt, niagara falls,ny

    This election race is definitely black man vs white lady. All these movie stars standing behind the candidates should go back to work and out of the political limelight. Let the candidates debate the issues. Obama must be frightened.... so Oprah to his call for help. Give me a break

    November 30, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. PJP Springfield, Illinois

    I am not a black woman, I am a white man. And I don't see any reason why gender or race should factor into anyone's reasoning for supporting a candidate. Although Hillary is certainly more qualified on a number of levels, let's face it – she is more polarizing than any other candidate in the race. People where I live HATE her for no good reason. Sure it's unfair, but we need someone who is electable. I can tell you – the good ol' boys in the small towns around here are listening to Obama and liking what they hear. I can also tell you, that when he lived here in Springfield for 8 years as a nobody, he was always polite, respectful, a very good tipper at restaurants and an all-around nice guy. And everyone also loved Michelle his wife. If he can win the hearts of rural Illinoisans, who have a deep-seeded suspicion of anything coming from Chicago (or other large urban areas), he can win anywhere.

    November 30, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. Mia, Stafford, VA

    Celebrities have a RIGHT to VOICE their opinion and GIVE their SUPPORT to whomever they PLEASE.

    What is wrong with you people that think because someone is a celebrity they don't have the same right that you have. You chose to BLOG they chose to go out and campaign!

    Lastly,Barack will have PLENTY OF SUPPORT FROM EVERY RACE AND EVERY GENDER AS WELL AS REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRAT & INDEPENDENT!!!!! Hillary can't get one Republican to vote for her. We need someone with BROAD APPEAL across the board, no longer this RED STATE BLUE STATE DIVIDE!!!

    November 30, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. Hillarylover in SA

    I am not an african american woman, but I can say why I am not voting for Obama – he is not ready. Monte Brown couldn't have said it better. Don't worry sir – you were right on the money. And they all know it. ALL.

    November 30, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Zeke Tustin, CA

    Hey CNN perhaps you guys could actually interview on camera these so-called anti-Obama African-Americans females your referring to and ask them face to face in front of America. But oh! that could never be done. Until you do this perhaps your accessment could be wrong.

    This probably will get cut from comments which would prove my point.

    November 30, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  9. Marie, Los Angeles, CA

    I feel sorry for anyone of any nationality, race or anything else that votes for a candidate simply because they are black (in the case of Obama) or a woman (in the case of Hillary). If voters do not get smart and vote for experience that Hillary has for example, and Obama does not... it is just simply just a shame to vote then. Vote with brains and not whether someone is black. Color or nationality does not under any circumstances make that person the best person for the job. Oprah's support is shallow...wonder if she would put a person with only a couple of scant years experience to run her magazine – I think not!

    November 30, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. Dan, TX

    I'm also white, I support Obama because he is ready to lead now, from day 1. Clinton's time has come and gone. We need a new direction with a leader who knows how to get us there.

    Look at this health care issue. Obama has the better plan. Clinton's plan will not cover everyone. In fact, no one except Kucinich proposes universal health care.

    However, Obama's plan, by virtue of not being mandated, could receive some level of bipartisan support, where a mandated plan surely will not.

    The comment earlier is the same as I hear all the time down here in Texas. Clinton, for whatever reason, is hated as a candidate for president. Maybe no democrat can win Texas, but I think Obama might have a chance.

    December 1, 2007 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  11. Dan, TX

    Hillary's argument on experience doesn't hold water. Biden, Richardson, Dodd, and Kucinich run circles around Clinton and Obama on experience. So, it isn't experience that is the issue. The issue is leadership and judgment.

    Obama is winning on the issues, on electability, and on character and judgment. That's why he's moving up in the polls.

    If what the Clinton supporters here say is true, Obama shouldn't have more than 5% of the vote. He shouldn't have $80 million in campaign funds from many, many, more different people than Clinton has. Obama is the real deal, and Clinton is taking a losing approach at the moment. So Hillary, keep doing what you're doing and keep dropping in the polls!

    Most of us can figure out who she is and what she stands for. We don't like it.

    Obama or bust.

    December 1, 2007 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  12. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Marie, Michigan, I love your comment. Ginny, Byron, CA, there are two different level of black women. First class black women are pure, smart and honest, they love Hillary because they believe Hillary will lead our Country to the right direction. Second class black women think Obama will change their lives if he is in the Office, it is mistjudgement, anyway Obama will not make even VP, we know he lies like a rug, his wife is not qualified for White House because she is mean and goofy as he is.

    December 1, 2007 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  13. David, Dallas Tx

    Is it really true that black women identify more with Hillary than Barak because Hillary has a philandering husband, as CNN suggests?

    Is that the basis for electing a president? Because they have an unfaithful husband?

    While Hillary was getting rich practicing law with the elite of society, Barak was in the trenches working with the poor and disenfranchised of all races to improve their lives.

    That's why Hillary's war chest is funded by Big Money, and Obama's comes from the grass roots. It's where each comes from, where each is most successful operating.

    So if you're a rich black woman, sure, you can identify with Clinton and she can probably identify with you. But if you're not in the elite, Obama doesn’t need a cheating spouse to understand you and your situation.

    December 1, 2007 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  14. Jim, Irmo, SC

    Everyone gets to vote once. No one's vote counts more than anyone else's.

    December 1, 2007 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  15. fair,washington,dc

    At the end of the day it looks like Hillary or Obama will win the Democratic nomination. I am a Hillary supporter so I will be disappointed if she doesn't win, but I will regroup and back whoever the Democratic candidate is and I hope all Democrats will do the same when the time comes. I say this after watching the Senate race in Md where five African American Democratic elected officials right beore the election had a press conference and came out endorsing the Republican African American candidate and their reasoning was they were showing their displeasure that the Md democratic party didn't get behind Kweisi Mfume ( because he was African American according to their logic) who ran in the primary and lost to caucasian Jim Webb. It was one of the most distasteful things I've seen in politics and I hope if any of them run for re-election the MD voters remember that atrocity and vote them out of office. This 08 election isn't about race, gender or anything else other then putting our best candidate forward and hoping we get a Dem in the WH. Yes I posted this in other places because I think this is very important, although Jim Webb did eventually win , the race was so close there was talk of a recount, we've seen close races in the general election enough now that we should realize every vote counts.

    December 1, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. PW Va

    TO PJP Springfield, Illinois

    I am a black woman from a very small, but friendly town in VA and I whole-heartedly agree with your post. I'm totally amazed when I'm in discussion with older white co-workers (from an era when the very thought of someone like Senator Obama running for the highest position in the land was unprecedented) and they're extremely excited about voting for Senator Obama next year. If he's elected, it clearly gives us all hope that we can once again regain some of the greatness this country has stood for on the world stage. And to those of you in opposition of Senator Obama...if not now...WHEN????

    December 1, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Ann, IL

    He is trying hard now to get women voters by invoking his 'biography' (again?).. Raised by a "single mother"? Wasn't his mother remarried with that Indonesian Muslim guy? She divorced from Obama's natural father when he was 2 yo, and they all moved to Jakarta when he was 6yo. Even if she raised her child alone during those 4 years (actually they were in Honolulu with the grandparents, right?), this is hardly a 'single mother' profile. Another attempt by Obama to raise sympathy among voters!

    I know what being a single mother means! its much harder than that.

    I have no problem with a man or a woman of any race as president. But not this good-speaker-otherwise-empty individual.

    December 1, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. RuthieM

    Where are the numbers? How much is she 'leading'?

    December 1, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. O.A.

    Monte Brown (and other Clinton followers)
    I do like your questions, but I take issue with your answers.
    (1) Who are Obama’s and Hillary’s endorsers (particularly the black endorsers) and why are they endorsing those candidates? I do acknowledge that there are a number of black endorsers supporting Clinton over Barack. At first I was shocked but I then realized the reasons. People like Maya Angelo, and Quincy Jones they all have had a long and personal relationship with the clinton's. It is this more than principle as to why they support Clinton. Maya Angelo read her poem at Bill Clinton's inauguration for goodness sake. You think she would dare resist the Clintons when they come at her looking for an endorsement. Obama has many blacks supporting him not because of a relationship but more on principle, like Oprah, Alice Walker, etc etc.

    (2) Who can BEAT THE REPUBLICANS? You should look at actual facts rather than hang on to this defeatest attitude unfortunately prevalent among many among African Americans that America won't elect a black man. Hillary is polling at an unfavorable rating of 50% among Americans in general meaning 50% will never vote for her in this country, including yours truly. No one has ever won with such a high unfavorable rating. Barack Obama has an unfavorable rating of only 35%. That means 65% are open to voting for him possibly as opposed to only 50% for Hillary.

    (3) Which candidate is READY TO LEAD ON DAY ONE? I am an African American male, well educated in his 20's, and an ardent Obama supporter (of course). I recently had a conversation with one of my lovely black female friends about this last question. She told me she supported Hillary because she had more experience, it was then I realized that its possible that many black women may actually support Hillary. We then had a discussion about the fact that Obama foresaw the disaster in Iraq and spoke up against it while Hillary blindly followed Bush to war. Obama also has access and the endorsement of many experts in national security namely Richard Clark who criticized Bush on his policies. But more important is the fact that Scandal and Conflict follows the Clintons and this fact alone will do more to damage their ability to get anything done if they were to make it back office. I really can go on and on about this but I'll keep it short. Recently Hillary has been attacking Obama over his health care plan for not covering every single American. In truth neither plans would be able to do that, but Clinton refuses to admit this. Obama wants to decrease the premiums by $2500/year for everyone that wants it. This will allow more people to afford it and get it. Hillary's plan costs 2-3 X the amount of Obama's and she wants to force everyone to get health care. Which do you want a choice to buy health care when it becomes more affordable under Obama, or to be forced into buying health care no matter what the cost under Hillary. A radical system like Hillary’s will never see the light of day anyway because you’ll need some Republican cooperation to bring any plan to pass which will be less likely with her. I hope CNN posts this and drops the Clinton News Network Distinction.

    December 1, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. Jerry Eversole Rogers, AR

    Most of these comments are "Scarry". They seem to be voting for the color of a persons skin rather than ability to be President of Our Country and restore us as the Leader of the Free World. It's going to take at least 2 or 3 Dem. Presidents to clean up Bush made problems.

    December 2, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  21. dmw, roeland park, ks

    I am a black educated woman, and I am voting for Hillary. She has worked in the public section for many years. She has always thought about the well being of women and children. She is intelligent, smart, and I like her poise while the media and Obama try to pile up on her for months now. She bends but does not break. She will make an excellent President.

    Obama and his Audacity of Hope turned into criticize Hillary at all costs. He is not well versed in the needs of the Country and is promising everything to everyone.

    Yet, when he alluded to the fact that the baby-boomers need to step aside, he got really silly by trying to use ageism as tool for his purposes. The baby-boomers are the largest group of Americans and we do VOTE in large percentages. He is 46 and I am 50. I am a baby-boomer, his disrespect was insulting.

    December 3, 2007 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  22. vl Dallask TX

    A politician is a politician. In the past I have stated God has a special place for politicians and pedophiles (they both abuse the weak). I am ready for a change from the established leaders. Thus far I have not been happy with where I have been lead. We need a change now.

    January 4, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. Christina

    Hello everyone! I have not yet decided which candidate I will vote for; however, I have read a couple interesting comments that I want to address:
    1. Mr. Obama is too "green": To that I say – let's look at the credentials of our current POTUS ("elected" to serve 2 terms): he had no international experience, dodged the opportunity to serve in the armed forces/reserve, and questionably operated several businesses in the state of Texas.
    2. Mr. Obama is black: So what? Let's remember- HIS MOTHER IS WHITE. After his father returned to Kenya he was raised by his mom and step-father. He has been exposed to so many ethnic influences and I think this makes him better able to relate to so many different kinds of people.

    I think it is necessary to have an intelligent, consensus-building, optimist as our next president. Let's vote for this person...whomever this may be.

    January 7, 2008 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  24. Jason

    obama: Yes we can, because i am a black man, if i want to cheat my wife, Yes We can, because I am a black man, if I want to have a lot of kids don't pay child support, Yes we can because I am black man. If I want to beatup a white kid never get punishment, Yes we can, because I am a black man, if I dont want to work, government have to give me food staple, Yes We Can, BECAUSE I AM A BLACK MAN, Wake up America................

    January 9, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
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