WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will lose a huge percentage of the African-American vote in his bid for re-election because he said he now supports full marriage equality, says GOP Congressman Allen West, (R-Fla.) a member of the House Tea Party Caucus.
West told ABC News on Thursday that Obama’s announcement is “going to cause an incredible discussion in the black community, because, as you know, on Sundays in the black community the most conservative people in America are in those black churches.”
“I think it may have been a huge miscalculation, especially when you have 41 states that recognize marriage between one man and one woman, and you just came off an incredible loss to them. Sixty-nine percent voted for [the recent same-sex marriage ban] in North Carolina, which is a key swing state he barely won last time,” West said.
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The congressman noted that even as a considerable number of African Americans voters overwhelmingly supported the president in his first run for the office in 2008, that same year a ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage was passed in his home state of Florida and Proposition 8 passed in California — both measures receiving wide-spread support from black churches and the black communities.
According to an ABC News-Washington Post poll taken in March, African Americans oppose same-sex marriage 55 percent to 41 percent, while all poll respondents support it 52 percent to 43 percent. While 94 percent of black voters in California supported Obama in 2008, 70 percent also supported the Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage, according to exit polls.
Nationwide, 95 percent of African American voters supported Obama, according to exit polls, comprising 13 percent of the national electorate.
West is one of the Obama’s harshest critics, and he took the President to task for his same-sex marriage reversal, tweeting Wednesday, “Pres failures are masked by irrelevant pandering as a collectivist who does not respect individual sovereignty.”
ABC News also reported that the West said same-sex marriage will not be the prime driver of African American discontent with Obama in November.
“The most important statistic in the African American community is 13 percent unemployment,” West said.