GOP Gaining Ground With Black Voters? Hardly

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies released survey results today that show how popular Hillary Clinton is among African-Americans. Really, really, popular -- slightly moreso than Barack Obama. John Edwards also rates well. Republicans not so much -- all four Republican Presidential candidates included in the survey received more unfavorable ratings than favorables. (And a whopping 58% gave Bush a "poor" rating, the lowest assessment offered. Just 11 percent say he's doing a good or excellent job.)

But the antipathy toward the GOP runs much deeper, and belies the theory that the party might have an opening to start loosening the Democrats' hold on black voters. To hear some GOP optimists tell it, African-Americans A) strongly oppose illegal immigration, which they believe takes away jobs and drives down wages; B) strongly oppose gay marriage and other aspects of secular liberalism, due to their strong religious (and particularly evangelical) views; and C) have begun moving up the economic ladders of success (at least some of them), and thus have more conservative views on government and taxes.

If so, the Joint Center failed to find it. Almost none of the survey's respondents cited taxes, immigration, moral values, or even terrorism as the most important issue facing the country. Instead, they said the Iraq War, health care, the economy, and education.

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