As the 2012 campaign enters its final stretch, candidates are trying to win the hearts and minds of several demographic groups that could swing the elusive “undecided” vote in their favor. And those potentially game-changing voting blocs are working to make sure the candidates speak to their agendas.
In a series of articles counting down to Election Day, we’ll examine several groups of constituents that candidates are trying to woo and look at how they relate to Black Americans.
By// Julius Rea
Women: irrefutably influential, ever expanding, continuously disenfranchised.
They are the strongest and most influential group for one reason: they encompass every minority and voting bloc. As Election Day quickly approaches, it’s clear that women voters will play an important in deciding the president; women represent over half of the 313 million Americans, according to the Census Bureau.
“I think that there is a real passion that we bring to the table that intensifies the concerns that we have,” Dr. Dezie Woods-Jones, Black Women Organized for Political Action president, says. “When women are committed to something, they vote.”
Elizabeth McNamara — the president of League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization that encourages political participation — says that women voters have always made an impact in elections and that voter turnout is higher for women than for men.
She says that this election is important for women because — along with policies that affects women only — a wide array of economic issues are on the table.
“The fact of the matter is that all of the issues involved in this election directly impact women because they directly impact our families and communities,” McNamara says. “I think women are integral to the health and well being of our communities and to our electorate. And I think we’ve been proving that for the past 92 years.