African American Voting Patterns in the Democratic Primary Process

On February 3, 2004, seven states held either a Presidential primary or caucus. The states of Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and North Dakota provided the nation with a more representative snapshot of the nation’s population. For first time in Democratic Presidential nomination process, African Americans and Hispanics Democratic voters cast their votes in primaries or caucuses that has given each constituent group a significant voice to help decide the Democratic Presidential nominee. In South Carolina, African Americans made up of close to 48 percent of the Democratic voters in the South Carolina Democratic Presidential primary, while in the Missouri and Delaware Democratic Presidential primaries, African American voters were approximately 15 percent of the Democratic primary voters. As for Presidential candidate preference, in South Carolina Senator John Edwards edged out Senator John Kerry – 37 percent to 34 percent with Reverend Al Sharpton garnering 17 percent of the African American vote. In Delaware, Senator John Kerry led the pack by 14 percentage points at 44 percent of the African American Democratic primary vote to Reverend Al Sharpton’s 30 percent. In Missouri Senator John Kerry received an overwhelming 53 percent of the African American Democratic primary vote to his closest rivals’ Senator John Edwards and Reverend Al Sharpton received 16 percent each of the African American Democratic primary vote.
African American Presidential Preferences in the Delaware Presidential Primary 2004 Clark Dean Edwards Kerry Kucinich Lieberman Sharpton 3% 9% 6% 44% 0% 8% 30% African American Presidential Preferences in the Missouri Presidential Primary 2004 Clark Dean Edwards Gephardt Kerry Kucinich Lieberman Sharpton Uncommitted 3% 5% 16% 4% 53% 0% 1% 16% 2% African American Presidential Preferences in the S. Carolina Presidential Primary 2004 Clark Dean Edwards Kerry Kucinich Lieberman Sharpton 6% 4% 37% 34% 0% 1% 17%

After February 10, six more states will hold contests in February, including: primaries in Wisconsin and Utah and caucuses in the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho and Utah. These contests and the ones that came earlier are the perfect set-up for Super Tuesday on March 2 with primaries and caucuses in 10 states – including California, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Ohio. One week after that the race continues in the South with voters in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas all making their voices heard.

Many have heard DNC Chairman McAuliffe say that by Mach 10 the Party will have a presumptive nominee to rally and unify behind. With over 70% of the pledged delegates allocated by March 9, more than likely one candidate will have the momentum and the mathematics on his side to claim the nomination. After that it is all our responsibility to come together as one Party and stand strong and united in our fight to take back the White House. People are energized like never before and are focused on our number one goal: sending George Bush back to Texas in November.