Hip-Hop Political Support

For Obama, celebrity endorsements can boost or back-fire

somehow turn divisive.”

The Obama campaign handled the Ludacris situation effectively, King adds, since its goal is to be perceived as a candidate for all people, not just black people or those in the hip-hop generation.

“I think one of the reasons why Obama is so popular among white America is that he’s not running as a black candidate. He’s just running as himself and people recognize that all sorts of people are going to support you whether you like them or not,” King says.

It’s also worth noting that balancing the ideologies of different groups is not unique to Obama, King says. “I’m sure it’s the same for the McCain team when the religious right has their registration drives,” he adds.

Even so, the vast majority of organized efforts to reach the hip-hop generation of voters is more focused on getting young people to take part in the political process than pushing a specific candidate, and by early indications, the voter registration drives are making a difference, activists say.

“I think you can definitely expect to see huge turnouts in November of those who would be considered members of the hip-hop community,” Noble says. “In states where it might have been a close call, I think that’s going to make a difference. The hip-hop community’s vote has got huge spoiler potential.”

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