Less-Than-Precious Metal


The Weekly Standard's Sonny "Honey" Bunch reports from Maryland, where he saw Michael Steele—a black Republican seen as the GOP's last, best hope of scoring an upset Senate seat win today—get an ugly reception from similarly-hued voters.

"Anyone who's with Bush is not with me," proclaimed one black woman as she crossed paths with Steele in a hallway. There were other remarks in the same vein. While being interviewed in the polling place, another African-American voter stated that she couldn't support someone who still believed in "a false war based on lies."

Standing in line to vote with his wife, the pair wearing matching blue Under Armour windbreakers, Steele was surrounded by folks who clearly had no desire to vote for him. They made snide comments behind his back. "They're just trying to trick us, but we know better," exclaimed one elderly woman. She went on to explain that Steele's great "trick" was not cutting to the front, but instead choosing to stand in line like everyone else.

For all the hype Steele (and fellow black Republicans Lynn Swann and Ken Blackwell) have received, the best case scenario they can hope for is to lose the black vote, but by a little instead of a lot. Steele's campaign raged against a Democratic survey that suggested the party should negatively attack Steele to prevent him from pulling a big black vote. But even that poll showed Steele maxing out at 44 percent of the vote, which is 10-15 points higher than his campaign actually expects to score. If Steele is making "historic gains," he'll still lose black voters by 2-1 to the extremely white Ben Cardin. A couple weeks back I attempted to grok why black Republicans are going to fall short again this year for Radar.