Michael O'Hare, writing at Mark Kleiman's place, makes a good point about Romney but misses a point about Obama:
I heard a usually reasonable black commentator suggest that blacks had some obligation to vote for Obama a couple of days ago, and couldn't believe that someone else on the program didn't call him on it: am I under a duty to even tilt toward Edwards, as the only white male high in the polls? If Mitt is getting "Mormon votes" because he's a Mormon, the whole LDS operation has some serious work do to among the faithful.
No. Blacks might want to consider voting for the black guy because virtually every politician for whom they've voted for generations has screwed them. This is a misplaced stereotype of racism, that we should/shouldn't vote for 'our kind'. And Michael, smart guy that he is, misses this point, that the entire world economic system is for and about white guys. And while wondering about the differences between Mormon Romney and Methodist Edwards is interesting, blacks certainly can wonder whether any white candidate understands their issues.
And wondering whether he should vote for Edwards as the leading white male candidate really misses this point. For the first time ever, we have a black person and a woman high in the polls. Will the woman have women's issues in mind should she become elected? Perhaps. But she's still white. And in this country, even today, that's a long way from black.