May 17, 2010 – The African-American vote could be the decider in one the most closely watched primary races this political season.
Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter, a former Republican will face off against Rep. Joe Sestak (D) for the senate seat in Tuesday primary. Both candidates used the final week of campaigning to reach out to Black voters.
Sestak made a brief stop at Mount Ephraim Baptist Church where he waited patiently to make remarks to the congregation following the sermon. Sestak highlighted his Clinton connection and his military career and promised to work for issues important to the Black community.
The congregation was polite and gracious to Sestak but not nearly as welcoming as they had been an hour earlier for Specter. Specter greeted worshipers and received a standing ovation. He also made the “ask” for the Black vote, touting his seniority in the nation’s capital and endorsements from President Barack Obama and the Black Clergy of Philadelphia.
Black voter turnout could be just what each of these candidates needs to make a difference. My guess is the candidate who is able to deliver the best turnout among Black voters on Tuesday will win the primary by at least three percentage points.
Let’s see if African-American voters make their way to the polls on Tuesday and exercise their power