The Buzz

June 25, 2013

Why are Kansas Democrats in trouble? Census figures suggest one explanation

A little more than half of eligible black voters cast ballots in the state in 2012, one of the worst rates in the nation.

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

On the day the Supreme Court said the Voting Rights Act unconstitutionally requires some states to submit voting changes to the Justice Department

, new attention is focusing on the actual voting records of minorities in the states.

And that data may explain one reason Kansas Democrats are struggling. African-Americans typically vote for Democrats, in overwhelming numbers.

But in 2012, only 51.4% of blacks in Kansas cast ballots, according to the Census Bureau. (See

this NY Times chart for a clear view of the figures

.)

The Missouri black turnout was 64.7%.

The Kansas black turnout was among the worst in the nation, and far worse than any state subject to preclearance requirements under the VRA except for Arizona (which the Times chart says had the worst black turnout in the country.)

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