Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said he believes President Barack Obama can count on another historic turnout of black voters in 2012, despite flagging enthusiasm for his presidency among some liberal groups.
Black voters "feel that the president is going up a mountain of ice. They feel that he has done miraculous things under the greatest of opposition," Cummings said. "They will want him to serve another term. Because I think most of them realize this is probably a once-in-a-lifetime situation," Cummings said.
"And to be frank with you, you know, for African-American people, this president, President Obama winning means so much more than most people can even imagine."
Since Obama's inauguration, the black community has begun to see significant transformations, Cummings explained. Prior to his election, the presidency was not something black men and women viewed as an achievable goal for themselves or their children.
But now, Cummings said, "We notice an interesting thing in Baltimore where the drop-out rate among African-American males has gone down — in other words, it's much better now. And it's significantly better, and when I talk to the kids, they now see this guy who looks like them and they are saying, 'We have no excuses, we can do this.'"
Black voters have also become significantly more engaged in the political process generally, which should help Obama, Cummings said.
"You have my mother, who [is] 85, never watched CNN or MSNBC, and she is calling me every other day. 'Make sure you look out for the president.' 'You know you better vote for that thing ...' I didn't even know my mother watched CNN. Next thing she'll be reading Roll Call," he joked.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.