*NOTE: a recent Washington Post poll shows Bowser with a 12 point lead.
As the only African American Democrat in the District’s mayoral race, Bowser is counting on resounding support from black voters, who account for nearly half the city’s population. Just last week, President Obama, the country’s highest-ranking Democrat and preeminent black politician, endorsed her campaign.
Yet as the race hurtles into its final days, interviews with Democratic activists, community leaders and voters suggest that the city’s African American electorate is far more fragmented than in previous elections, when it largely coalesced around a single candidate.
With polls suggesting a tightened race, the consequences of that splintering could be crucial, particularly for Bowser, who is also vying with Catania and Schwartz for white votes.