In an earlier post, we asked the a question about how much of the white vote could Barack Obama take in November. The point of the post was that while Barack Obama doesn't have to take all of the white vote, he has to get a certain percentage of it in order to win the presidency. Indeed, implicit in the argument of the Clinton campaign about her "electability" in states like West Virginia is that Obama can't get enough of the white vote to win the presidency.
The flip side of that issue is by how much will Obama increase the black vote in November. The New York Times has an article about that in its May 16, 2008 edition. Here is a lead paragraph from the article:
The sharp surge in black turnout that Senator Barack Obama has helped to generate in recent primaries and Congressional races could signal a threat this fall to the longtime Republican dominance of the South, according to politicians and voting experts.
The article goes on to point out that while Obama probably won't carry states like Mississippi, he could make states like North Carolina and Virginia competitive. He could also carry states like Ohio and Pennsylvania with an energized vote from the African-American community.
If Obama could increase the African-American vote by 30% in November, he would handily win the presidency. He would carry states like Ohio and Pennsylvania and would be competitive in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. He would force McCain to spend a lot of money in states that Republicans normally take for granted. Given the fact that McCain will have to rely on Federal financing, that would make it much tougher for him to beat Obama.
Given how the GOP has worked to suppress the African-American vote in elections, ic would be only just if a huge increase in that vote elected Barack Obama.