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Why some blacks still might not vote for Obama

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Here's the point that's often missed: Blacks aren't and never have been of one mind on anything, nor should they be. Blacks are as varied and diverse in their social and political views as any other demographic, and that includes embracing conservative social and religious positions.

This was plainly evident in the presidential battle in Ohio and Florida in 2004. Bush racked up double digit vote percentages among black voters. He did it by shrewdly appealing to the hard opposition of many blacks to abortion, gay marriage, and their support of school vouchers.

Polls have also shown that a significant number of blacks oppose welfare, back the death penalty, and support black anti-affirmative crusader Ward Connerly's state initiatives banning affirmative action programs in public hiring. To many socially conservative blacks, Obama is simply a too-liberal, tax-and-spend-Democrat for their tastes.

But while conservatives are still a very distinct minority of black voters, it doesn't mean that all blacks will instinctively back a black candidate. Nowhere was that more apparent than the 2006 midterm elections.

Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, pro football great Lynn Swann in Pennsylvania, and Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele – all Republicans – banked heavily on getting black voter support. In fact, none of the three black Republicans came anywhere close to getting a majority of the black vote. This was not an aberration.

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