Can Obama scare supporters to the polls?
By Chris Stirewalt
Published April 14, 2014
CAN OBAMA SCARE SUPPORTERS TO THE POLLS?
MSNBC host Al Sharpton is back at the White House today, this time for a Holy Week prayer breakfast with President Obama and dozens of faith leaders. Sharpton’s arrival comes just two days after Obama embraced the controversial activist and former FBI informant at a New York event hosted by the liberal broadcaster. Obama used the Sharpton event to accuse Republicans of trying to reverse the 1965 Voting Rights Act and intentionally suppress black voters with state laws requiring voters to show identification. “The real voter fraud is those that try to deny our rights by making arguments about voter fraud.” Obama compared the ID laws to the Jim Crow restrictions of the segregated South and cast himself as a modern-day civil rights leader. It may not wash with most voters, but will it be enough to frighten the Democratic base into action?
[WSJ: “[A blueprint first sketched out by a Yale University law student four years ago], which seized on a mostly ignored provision of the 1965 [Voting Rights] law, has become the government's strategy for challenging states it believes are enacting discriminatory voting laws, including North Carolina and Texas.”]
It worked before - While liberals may be enthused that the president is back to attacking Republicans on matters of race, it’s not a risk-free path. The administration discovered the dangers of ham-handed outreach last week with a botched effort to alarm the single, female voters on whom Democrats rely. After getting pasted over their pay-equity gambit, though, the Obama Democrats are showing no reticence about applying blunt political force to sensitive topics, this time on race. But as campaign watchers learned in 2012, audacious negativity is not something of which Team Obama is afraid. In fact, the forecast for the coming election is increasingly negative and hostile. Remember, whatever was said about Obama’s unprecedentedly negative re-election campaign, it certainly worked.