Posted Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, at 1:30 PM
Oh, he's losing overall, and I'm not trying to hide that with the headline, but the racial crosstab is what really jumps out to me from the new Civitas poll in North Carolina. Civitas polled 600 voters, of whom 126 were black. That's a decent-sizes sample. Obama easily crushes Cain with those voters, carrying blacks 86 percent to 6 percent. (Only 8 black voters in this sample said they'd vote for Cain.) John McCain only got 5 percent of the black vote here in 2008 -- Cain barely improves on it!
What explains this? When I was writing this piece about Cain and Tea Partiers, I spent some time on black news sites, seeing what was being written about the surprise Republican frontrunner. It was overwhelmingly negative. If you were to get all of your info on Cain from black news sites, you'd mostly learn that the guy didn't participate in the Civil Rights movement, wasn't immediately offended by Rick Perry's "Niggerhead" rock, and wanted the Secret Service to call him "cornbread." Just yesterday, Toure spat out a remarkable amount of bile in a piece explaining why, as a black voter, he despises Cain.
Cain is a clown. You see it in the way he constantly mollifies white audiences with self-effacing, racialized comedy that borders on minstrelsy (referring to himself as “black-walnut ice cream” or suggesting that the Secret Service call him “Cornbread”)... Cain is what I long imagined the first Black President would be like: a Republican who many Blacks find unctuous.
Toure could have continued on with the central liberal complaint about black conservatives -- that they are used to appeal to guilty-feeling whites, not to do anything for blacks. If anyone was actually naive enough to think a Cain surge would heal some racial attitudes, well...