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African-American Vote Could Be Pivotal In Mid-Term Elections

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – President Obama has been campaigning hard in heavily democratic cities like Philadelphia. He told supporters three weeks ago, at a rally in Germantown, that he desperately needed their votes. He’s likely to make the same plea when he returns to Philadelphia this weekend.

“Our job is not done and the success of our mission is at stake right now,” said President Obama.

Some think those at risk of losing big, are African-Americans. It’s a group the Mr. Obama is relying on, says Philadelphia’s NAACP President Jerry Mondesire.


“The African-American vote is going to be pivotal across the country from California to New York,” said Mondesire.

This week representatives with the Democratic National Committee say they released a radio ad with singer John Legend urging African Americans, to vote. Several mailings, from the NAACP were also sent out targeting black voters to head to the polls and vote on behalf of the President.

“Everyone that stuck with Obama is still sticking with him,” said voter Carol Bolar. “They can see he’s doing what he can.”

84-year-Nathan Thomas, who works as a committee person in the 17th Ward, calls this one of the most important elections he’s ever worked on.

“The democratic party must not loose any seats,” said Thomas.

Black voters we spoke to named healthcare, education and jobs are they’re top concerns.

“That’s very important in the black community because we’re the ones that are not getting hired right away,” said Diane Duncan.

Nationally the unemployment rate is 9.6 % but for Blacks in 16.1% according to the Philadelphia unemployment project.

“We estimate the unemployment rate for black men is probably about 30% in most inner cities all across the country,” said Mondesire.

A sobering statistic, Mondesire believes can only improve if democrats support candidates who support the President.

Reported By: Jericka Duncan, CBS 3

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