Lincoln has the backing of President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton. She’s counting on Clinton to work what’s left of his magic to motivate black voters.
Davis ran away from black voters and they, in turn, ran away from him.
The Harvard Law School grad, who also graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, lost to state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, 62 percent to 38 percent.
Davis won only two of the 11 counties in Alabama where African-American voters are a majority and lost some counties in the rural Black Belt by huge, double-digit margins. In Lowndes County, where 70 percent of the population is black, Sparks, who is white, won by 29 points. In Perry County, with a 67 percent black population, his victory margin was 44 percent.
Overall, Democratic turnout was down 32 points since the 2006 midterm elections, suggesting that the presence of an African-American candidate on the ballot did little to rev up the party’s base. In the few African-American-heavy counties where turnout increased since the 2008 presidential race – Barbour, Bullock and Lowndes Counties – Davis lost resoundingly to Sparks.
Davis had hoped to make history as Alabama’s first black governor governor who, er, happened to be black.
He arrogantly thought he could ignore African American leaders, vote against healthcare reform, but blacks would vote for him out of racial solidarity.
Black voters have been there, done that. They got the T-shirts, hats, bumper stickers, mugs, posters, commemorative plates and assorted campaign memorabilia from the history-making run of another Harvard-educated lawyer.
George Mason University Prof. Michael Fauntroy writes:
While Congressman Artur Davis’s stunning loss in his quest to win the Alabama Democratic Gubernatorial nomination was a sad turn for one Black man, it was a great moment for Black voters. It revealed a heightened level of political sophistication among Black primary voters who rejected Davis’s “I-don’t-need-to-spend-time-on-them-‘cause-I-know-they’ll-be-with-me” approach to campaigning. Black Alabamians did not simply genuflect before a polished Black candidate. He gave them nothing; they returned the favor. Davis has ambitiously positioned himself for higher office for some time. In so doing, he took his base for granted. That’s the best way to lose an election.
Indeed. As TV One’s Roland Martin observed:
Don’t you have to secure the nomination first before you start running a general election campaign?
Davis, an educated fool, made his move too soon.