The LA Times has an interesting piece up today about the boost Obama may get from high black turnout:
Obama strategists believe they have identified a gold mine of new and potentially decisive Democratic voters in at least five battleground states -- voters who failed to turn out in the past but can be mobilized this time because Obama's candidacy is historic and his cash-rich campaign can afford the costly task of identifying and motivating such supporters.
In Florida alone, more than half a million black registered voters stayed home in 2004. Hundreds of thousands more African Americans are eligible to vote but not registered. And campaign analysts have identified similar potential in North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri and Ohio.
There's also this interesting, if potentially controversial, sidenote:
In a political twist, Democrats can thank a Republican for empowering one new group of voters: Florida felons. Gov. Charlie Crist last week announced that, thanks to a new rule he enacted, about 115,000 felons who had completed their sentences had become eligible under his administration to have their civil rights restored. Liberal groups such as People for the American Way hope to track down even more who could have their rights restored in time to permit them to register and vote in November.
Experts say felons are disproportionately black and, if they can be found, more likely to be Obama backers. This provides a huge potential; about 1.1 million felons in Florida were ineligible to vote in 2004, according to a 2006 book by sociologists Jeff Manza and Christopher Uggen. Here too the potential for gains has risk: It could open a door for Republicans to portray Democrats as soft on crime.
The push for new and nontraditional voters is so targeted and aggressive that an NAACP official in Ohio said her organization plans to pursue individuals who are incarcerated but who have not yet been tried or sentenced and, therefore, under state law, remain eligible to vote.
(Via The Page)