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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Aaron Henry, April 2, 1974. Interview A-0107. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Moderate politics fail to energize voters

Henry describes an election where neither candidate played the race card and the turnout was low, especially among black voters. Henry thinks that people vote against candidates they don't like, so a moderate incumbent who does not rile his constituents is unlikely to lose his seat.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Aaron Henry, April 2, 1974. Interview A-0107. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACK BASS:
Do you feel that blacks basically voted in the second primary or that more boycotted in respect to that recommendation. I was looking at some voting statistics, just in the counties that had more than 50% black registration, and the majority of them voted less than 50%.
AARON HENRY:
Sure, sure, right. As regards to what the white percentage was. You'll find that the voting percentage throughout America is something like 36%. For everybody who's registered. . . .
JACK BASS:
It was a fall off in black, heavy black counties.
AARON HENRY:
I'd say probably so but I would think it would be because neither man—you know, both men were somewhat moderate in their approach and neither man really turned the black community on or off. And you'll find people generally vote their dislikes, vote the cat out, you know, rather than vote the man in. And since Bill and Charlie, neither one played the race issue hardly at all, you know, in the campaign. There was really no villian for the black community to attack.