Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Why Did Black Voters Flee The Republican Party In The 1960s?
Vincent Hutchings, a political scientist who studies voter patterns at the University of Michigan, says the first major shift in black party affiliation away from the Republican Party happened during the Depression. Franklin Roosevelt's second administration — led by the New Deal — made the Democrats a beacon for black Americans deeply affected by the crushing poverty that was plaguing the country.
But many black voters stuck with the party of Lincoln.
"The data suggests that even as late as 1960, only about two-thirds of African-Americans were identified with the Democratic Party," he says. "Now, two-thirds is a pretty big number. But when you compare it to today, that number hovers at about 90 percent."
Ninety percent. So what happened?
Well, according to Hutchings and to Tufts University historian Peniel Joseph, Barry Goldwater happened.
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