Obama battles to shore up support among black voters

(AFP) Charles Bailey, an African American voter and long-time Democratic supporter, wants President Barack Obama to know he’s angry. He’s 70, but he can’t afford to retire on his Social Security checks.

Bailey, a home improvement contractor, says jobs in his field are scarce in this university town, of Charlottesville, Virginia — once home to two US presidents, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.

“I’m just barely getting by. I voted for him not because he’s black but because he was for change,” said Bailey. “That’s the change? I want to work. I get so emotional. They don’t understand how I feel.”

It’s that kind of mood among black voters — traditionally Democratic supporters — that is making Obama and his party nervous about the mid-term congressional election on November 2.

They expect to lose seats in the House and Senate, but are battling to maintain control of Congress.

In key races across the country African Americans can stop the bleeding, experts say, if they turn out and vote in large numbers like in 2008 when America made history and elected its first black president.

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