Are black people supporting Obama mainly because he's black? If race is just one factor in blacks' support of Obama, does that make them racist? Can blacks' support for Obama be compared with white voters who may favor his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, because he's white?
These questions have long animated conservatives who are frustrated by claims that white people who oppose Obama's policies are racist.
Yeah, sure, Obama got an astounding 95 percent of the black vote in 2008. But John Kerry got 88 percent of the black vote in 2004, and Al Gore got 90 percent in 2000. So experience strongly suggests that black people overwhelmingly support Barack Obama because he's a Democrat. (Hint: it has something to do with the historical shift that took place when President Johnson made the Democrats the party of civil rights, and Richard Nixon cynically responded by pursuing a racially divisive Southern Strategy.)
Republicans are free to argue all they want about whether Democratic policies hurt or help the black community, but to kid themselves into thinking the homogeneity of the black vote has to do with anything but policy (and the rhetoric used on its behalf) is self-defeating. Kind of like believing that adding a vagina onto the ticket in 2008 could somehow close the gender gap. It didn't.
Simply asking the question about whether black people vote for Obama because he's black shows how clueless conservatives are.
The reason white voters don't vote in a block the way black voters do is not because we're less racist, but because we're more economically, socially, and ethnically diverse. Besides, the real political divide in America isn't along racial lines, but along urban/rural lines and all the suburban/exurban shades in between.