Multiple Romney sources buzzed about one number in particular: 15 percent. According to exit polls, that’s the share of African-Americans who voted in Ohio this year. In 2008, the black percentage of the electorate was 11 percent. In Virginia and Florida, exit polls showed the same share of African-Americans turned out as four years ago, something that GOP turnout models did not anticipate.
“We didn’t think they’d turn out more of their base vote than they did in 2008, but they smoked us,” said one Romney operative. “It’s unbelievable that that they turned out more from the African-American community than in 2008. Somehow they got ‘em to vote.”
African-Americans supported Obama nearly universally, but Obama still only won Ohio by 1.9 percent.
“We just didn’t see the enthusiasm with their base,” he added. “We had enthusiasm on our side. So we thought, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna win this.’ … We hit our numbers in rural areas. When Fox called it, we still thought we had a chance based on what we could figure was in and what was still out.”
As Dennis G says over at the Juice:
Mitt and the Wingnuts have run a four-year campaign that is only a blond hair’s width away from calling the President a n*gger every single day. They are focused like a laser beam on promoting white rage and using every dog whistle they can think of to get the message across. White folks heard them and so did people of color. Team Mitt is surprised that African-American turnout increased over 2008, but that is only because they are incapable of thinking of these folks as people.
Dennis is purely correct, but there's more to it. On top of that the aforementioned Jon Husted made a personal effort to specifically screw over black voters by limiting early voting for no other reason than to specifically screw over black voters. He made no effort to hide it. He made no effort to disguise the fact he was targeting early voting on weekends, and on Sundays especially to go after the Souls to the Polls effort in Ohio where black churches were organizing to get people to vote early. Then, when a judge forced him to have early voting on Sundays, Husted then limited the hours on Sunday specifically to take place after churches had let out by delaying the start of Sunday early voting until 1 PM in order to do as much damage to the effort by black churches to get out the vote as he possibly could.
And you know what? Black people figured that out. It was deliberate targeting and then in response, black voters turned out in record numbers and gave the state to Obama as a giant SCREW YOU to Republicans. We're used to the efforts to ping the ni-CLANG on the President. But Husted made it personal and deliberate not to go after Obama, but to go after African-American voters in Ohio.
You go after us, we come back after you. As a result, record turnout. Voting was indeed the best revenge.
If the Romney crew didn't see this coming as a result of Husted's months-long, national news-making effort to disenfranchise black voters, they're even more incompetent than I thought.