The short answer to why conservative blacks vote Democrat is racism. The Midwest Political Science Association began Thursday with a discussion on "Racial Identity and Political Attitudes". A panel at the event concluded that conservative black voters identify with the Democratic party and support President Obama.
The Midwest Political Science Association is a conference of political scholars from around the country. The conference is held in Chicago and spans four days. The topic of Mitt Romney and the black vote came up the very first day during a discussion of "More than Meets the Eye: The Nature of Black Conservatism" by Tasha Philpot of the University of Texas in Austin.
Philpot's studies conclude that more and more blacks are moving to conservatism, yet they identify with the Democrats and vote for Democrats. Whereas, whites moving to call themselves conservatives also call themselves Republicans.
According to Philpot: "If you want blacks, you have to deal with the image of the Republicans as associated with racism. They're ripe for the pickings if Republicans would ease up on that part of their image."
Another political scientist, Gary Segura of Stanford University, added "Race is so embedded in the Republican Party, an appeal to blacks would then hurt it with its working class whites."
This is a group of political scientist, all from universities. The world of academia isn't exactly like every-day life. How accurate could the assessments of political scientists shielded by academic life be? The Ron Paul newsletters and the statements made by Gingrich and Santorum on the campaign trail indicate that the study is accurate on the racism in the Republican Party.
Can Mitt Romney change the Republican image and win over the conservative blacks?