The news that Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan dated a black woman at school before his marriage to a white woman has shaken Democratic party strategists. Their consensus is that this can only help Ryan and his running mate, Mitt Romney, among black voters in this year’s presidential election.
It had generally been agreed that President Obama, who is half-black, would carry 95 percent of all black votes in this year’s election, and that in certain precincts of his home town, Chicago, he would win at least 110 percent of the black vote.
In the wake of the stunning news about Ryan’s early dating habits, however, the Democrats are estimating that Obama’s percentage among black voters could slip to 94.9 percent from 95.0. The rule-of-thumb estimate is that the Romney-Ryan ticket could attract 15,000 to 20,000 black voters who had not previously planned to vote Republican.
That may seem like a trivial total, spread out nationwide, but as everyone knows there are bound to be close races – no pun intended – in several so-called swing states. A slippage of even one black vote could make the difference is such closely contested states as Ohio or Colorado.
The Chicago Democratic organization has quietly promised President Obama that it will try to offset the black-girlfriend effect by paying black voters to vote four times during the election, up from the customary three. But this is seen strictly as a symbolic gesture, because Obama seems certain to win the state of Illinois by a wide margin, no matter what.
The more effective tactic, the strategists agree, is to retroactively link the Democratic candidates to every known ethnic, racial and religious group in the United States.
It is already well-known that President Obama dated white women during his bachelor days, although there is some disagreement as to whether this makes any difference among the electorate, considering that Obama himself is half-white.
It also has been pointed out that some white voters do not take kindly to the fact that a black man dated white women. It might be best, most campaign strategists agree, to soft-pedal Obama’s dating history, and to let Vice President Biden take on the burden of demonstrating romantic diversity.
Biden already has thumbed through the dog-eared black book from his high school and college days, trying to jog his memory about the demographic backgrounds of his many female companions.
An operative from Biden campaign headquarters confides that Biden seems to have dated at least twelve black women, seven American Indian women, eleven Asians, four native Hawaiians or others from the Pacific Islands, thirteen Hispanics, five women of mixed races and twenty-two whites. The Biden operative said that the Veep’s girlfriends represented every religious group in the world, “in exact proportion to their presence in the American electorate.”
“They were all fantastic babes,” Biden is said to have remarked. “I dearly love every one of those groups — I mean women.”
The Biden operative said the vice president is prepared to state that he dated gay men too if there is any indication that this group might stray from its traditional allegiance to the Democratic party.
The source said that Biden’s white wife, after reading a preliminary press release based on the dating disclosures, has “temporarily” moved into a hotel in Wilmington, DE.