The Nation: Mobilizing the Black Bloc

Black Americans, one of the last solid voting blocs hi the nation, gave almost 90% of their ballots to George McGovern in 1972. That translated into an estimated 6 million votes, or 20% of his total at the polls. For all their potential muscle, however, blacks have felt themselves out in the political cold for years —ignored since 1968 by Republican Washington and slighted in Democratic councils since McGovern's defeat.

With 14 million blacks eligible to vote (about half of them are registered), black leaders this year are determined to barter their influence with...

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