African-American voters see court fight as affront to Obama

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Watching the fight unfold between President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans over who should choose the next Supreme Court justice, Michael A. Bowden got angry at what he saw at the latest affront to the first black president.

And then his thoughts turned from Washington to his own state.

Obama won't be on the ballot this fall, but Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Pat Toomey will — and Bowden has made defeating him in November a priority.

"This kind of thing really burns me to the core," said Bowden, a 56-year-old Air Force veteran from Philadelphia. "I've already started planting the seed in people's heads that Sen. Toomey is one of those people in lockstep with the Republicans. This could give him a wake-up call that he could be vulnerable as well."

Democrats are pressuring senators in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, Illinois and Wisconsin to back down from their refusal to confirm or even consider Obama's nominee to succeed the late Antonin Scalia or face the consequences in November. In some states, they may get help from African-Americans who see the court battle as the latest GOP snub of Obama — one rooted in racism, which could galvanize a crucial component of the Democratic voting bloc.

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