The Black Vote

Where Should It Go?

any of the current administration’s policies.
Vote: Kerry
Why: “I’m not voting for Bush based on his track record,” she says. “I don’t feel that he is a president for all the people.” Smith says neither candidate has fully addressed issues related to healthcare, education, and job creation.

Bush Camp: We should vote for our candidates as individuals. As the Bible says, ‘By their fruits we should know them, not by their labels.’ With the prospect of far worse threats than September 11 against our country, we want to make sure we don’t put people in the White House that are half-hearted.” –Senate Candidate Alan Keyes
Kerry Camp: They have to convince us by standing up and stressing our issues and not hiding the race issues. George Bush hasn’t met with the Congressional Black Caucus but once since he was president. He never met with the NAACP, and he never met with other civil rights groups.” –Rev. Al Sharpton

Age: 34 (Both), Location: Atlanta, Occupation: He’s a custodian; she’s an operations specialist with SunTrust Bank
Issue: “Bush can’t budget money,” says Mark, who wants to start his own janitorial/cleaning service business. “This is the worst budget deficit in presidential history, and America is in a hole
so deep that we can’t climb out of it.” Mark also says Bush’s economic policies favor one class over the other: “If you’re rich, you’re rich. If you’re poor, you’re poor. Bush is helping the rich.”
Although Sabrina says an end to the war in Iraq and tax issues are pressing, the mother of two says her biggest concern is education reform.
Favored Policy: She’s a fan of the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind Act. The school their 7-year-old daughter, Taylor, attends received federal funds under the Reading Excellence Act, which helps teach children to read by the end of the third grade, and Tutorial Assistance, which provides one-on-one tutoring for students.
Vote: Undecided.
Why: Sabrina points to the political mudslinging during prime-time television commercials as a source of their frustration: “They are trying to see who is making the other look the worst, and that’s getting under my skin.”

The Economy:
Bush Camp: I know Republicans don’t have the best image in the black community, but when you get down to where the rubber meets the road, this president has performed well. The black community is 50% more likely to start a new business than whites or Hispanics, and Sen. Kerry literally voted against (tax relief).” –Former Rep. J.C. Watts
Kerry Camp: The big issue is going to be the economy… it has not recovered. Clearly, Iraq will be there somewhere, healthcare will be there somewhere, but I think the fact that people feel economically unstable is going to be a huge factor in this election.” –Rev. Al Sharpton

Age: He’s 43; she’s 45, Location: Phoenix, Occupation: He’s a plastic surgeon in private practice; she’s CFO of his company
Issue: One of about 45 African American board-certified plastic surgeons nationwide, Larry takes issue with Democratic vice presidential candidate John

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