There wasn't a great deal of news to celebrate when the latest jobs numbers were released just after the 4th of July holiday, but for African-Americans the news was particularly grim. While overall unemployment continues to hover around 8.2 percent, among African-Americans the number increased from an already discouraging 13.6 percent in May, to an alarming 14.4 percent. These numbers are not only cause for concern for those Americans currently out of work, but for the White House. No incumbent president has been re-elected with an unemployment rate above 7.2 percent.
While the Obama administration has some time before the November election, it does not have much, particularly in terms of black Americans, which presents a potential landmine for the Obama campaign. Black voters were crucial to President Obama's election in 2008, with black women representing the highest turnout of any demographic for the first time in history. Black voters made the difference in key swing states like North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana. Now a landmark coalition of black civic, entertainment and media organizations are partnering on a poll to examine the impact of the current economic climate, and other hot button issues, on likely minority voter turnout.
Led for the second year by Loop21.com, one of the fastest growing minority digital outlets in the country, the coalition seeks to engage its membership and grassroots networks in mounting one of the largest national surveys ever to poll the political attitudes and engagement of black Americans. The State of the Black Economy (SOBE) survey will be distributed by a coalition that includes:
LA Urban League Young Professionals
National Bar Association
National Black Law Students Association
National Black MBA - NY Chapter
National Black MBA - Dallas Chapter
National Black MBA - Miami Chapter
National Action Network
Young Professionals United for Change
The Boss Network
Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network
The survey will go live Monday, July 9, 2012 and conclude Friday, July 27, with early results available Monday, August 6, and final results available to the public Wednesday, August 8. The research will be helmed by former Gallup pollster David C. Wilson, Ph.D. The poll was conceived by Loop21 publisher, and nationally recognized economist, Darrell Williams, Ph.D. after growing frustration with the underrepresentation of minorities in traditional polling samples. "In our multicultural society, we should evaluate the strength of the U.S. economy based on the economic well being of all its citizens not just some," Williams said. "But we can only do that if we fully engage all Americans in research efforts, and that often isn't done in polling and we hope to change that."
For more information on taking or distributing the SOBE Survey please check it out here.
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