Politicians Wary Of Reaction To Ferguson Turmoil

It’s the question that might explain, so far, President Obama’s conspicuously calibrated comments, the public cautiousness of many Congressional leaders and why the presumptive Democratic nominee for 2016, Hillary Clinton, hasn’t said anything to date: Will Ferguson, along with the myriad of complex issues surrounding it, have an impact on the midterm elections?

The answer to that is still a bit foggy. But it doesn’t go unnoticed that the rather tight Congressional midterm elections are now just two months away, with the fate of Democratic control of the Senate hanging in the balance.

What is apparent is that observers, strategists and pundits are beginning to ask the question, which means it’s being factored into a crisp calculus on heated Senate races. The discussion is there, polls are being taken and one could take a bird’s-eye view of the present political landscape and find indications that what’s happened on the ground in Ferguson is influencing what will take shape in 10 weeks.

But the question about how the Ferguson situation influences voters in November may have more to do with the reaction of the African-American electorate to what are perceived as President Obama’s lukewarm response to the issue than with how Caucasian voters view the president. Some observers wonder if disappointment at the absence of a much stronger, personal reflection from the president will somehow depress Black voter turnout when it’s needed the most.

“It’s about whether or not Black voters are satisfied with his response,” said CivicForum PAC founder Ford O’Connell. “There is no defining issue in 2014.  This is a base election. But will this situation tamp down the Black vote in 2014?”

Read more from Charles Ellison at The Philadelphia Tribune

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Analysis & Political Strategy