Yesterday, Democrats slammed New Jersey Chris Christie’s decision to hold a special election in October to fill the seat of Sen. Frank Lautenberg who passed away this week at age 89.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes categorized the move in a video op piece as “fear of the black electorate.”
Hayes suggested since it would cost the state $12 million dollars to hold a special election three weeks before the general elections in November, it would make sense for him to hold it at the same time as the general. Hayes made the point that Christie feared the black electorate that would come out in droves if Newark Mayor Cory Booker was on the November ballot.
Those voters, who vote Democrat at a rate of 90%, could tip the balance against Christie. The claim Hayes and other Democrats have made is that Christie was hedging bets that the blacks who showed up in October to potentially put Booker in the Senate seat to be the first African American to represent the state in the Senate wouldn’t bother heading back to the polls in November during the general elections.
It is likely that the Black vote may not have enough to pull to cause Christie to lose his governorship although it could cause him to barely beat out any Democrat opponent. But the word on the street is that Christie wants a substantial win to elevate his stature for the 2016 US Presidential elections given that he is considering making a run for the Presidency.
Given that Black turnout has been known to be needed to secure a win for Democrats on the ballot in particular races, one can see why the governor could have been concerned, if that was indeed the impetus for his decision.
Christie refuted the claims echoed by others today by pointing out that limits of New Jersey law forces his hands to have the elections in October or 2014. He said it would be unfair to the voters to have an appointed Senator in office for an entire year.
That excuse may hold water for now, but in the near future may not matter.
According to a new Census Bureau report, “in 2012, blacks voted at a higher rate (66.2%) than non-Hispanic whites (64.1%) for the first time since the Census Bureau started publishing voting rates by the eligible citizenship population in 1996.”
A November 2012 PEW Research Hispanic Center report noted that 40% of the US population growth between then and 2030 would be Hispanic, 21% Black, 15% Asian-American and only 23% White. Also consider that 50,000 Latinos turning 18 every month for the next 20 years. Further, that 50.4% of the births in the months ending July 2011 were minorities and 49.5 % among non-Hispanic Whites.
Christie and other Republicans will soon have just have to change policies or do something else to appeal to those large Democratic-leaning voting blocs.
The changing population of America could possibly soon make political calculations and maneuvering very difficult especially when the majority of voters are minorities anyway.
Soon running away from the Black & Hispanic vote will be impossible.