Senator John Kerry has appointed Rev. Jessie Jackson as Senioradvisor to his presidential campaign. With general elections amonth away, the race is squaring off and Jessie Jackson couldpossibly aid Kerry in acquiring more Black votes.
A recent poll conducted by the Pew ResearchCenter for the People & the Press announced that AfricanAmerican support for President Bush has doubled. Jackson has notallowed the recent poll results to discourage Kerry. He expressedthat the poll reflects the responses of “likely” voters and notthose who have already made up their mind.
Jackson said “The polls are closer than peoplethink, come Election Day Black Americans will show up for Kerry inforce.” He is convinced that Black voters are aware that the agendaof the Republican Party doesn’t include issues that directly affectAfrican Americans and other minorities. This is one of Kerry’sstrong points.
Both Jackson and Kerry are now focused onwinning the battleground states of Pennsylvania, and Ohio and arediligently working to acquire the support of undecided voters.Black votes within these states are crucial and could possiblydetermine whether or not Sen. Kerry wins the seat in the WhiteHouse.
In Philadelphia, Kerry recently met withreligious leaders from Ohio and Pennsylvania. It is reported thatleaders asked Kerry for increased influence in his administration,which he agreed to. Sen. Kerry has solid support amongst Blackvoters, but not as strong as Al Gore during the 2000 campaign. Thecurrent margin of Black support for Kerry measures 8-1.
Jackson assures the African American communitythat Kerry is not only a firm supporter of civil rights, economicopportunity, education, healthcare, but that he has committedhimself to improve the country as a whole. He claims that votersare paying close attention to President Bush’s record and thisalone will end his presidency.
Jackson said in addition to Bush’s closed-doorpolicy in regards to Black issues “The president will be judged onhis false premise for war and the costs of lives and money.”
This is not the first time Rev. Jackson hasbeen called on by Democratic Presidential Candidates. In 1992 hehelped Bill Clinton gain 80 percent of the Black vote. Also in 2000the respected leader was influential in increasing Black voters forAl Gore.
Black voters who support Kerry’s campaign needto be re-energized. Jackson also said, “You have to earn votes, youhave to touch the leaders, and you have to lay out issues thatinspire them. It’s time for a change.”