From reading our comments, as well as other online sources, it seems clear that Baker supporters take the exclusion of Freedmen voters as a bad sign and a blow to Baker’s campaign. We can only speculate that a) Baker people know who their buddies are and b) that Freedmen must be supporting Baker. However, we’ve never seen any indication that Baker particularly favors the Freedmen, but it's apparent many Freedmen seem to place the blame for their former (and current) lack of citizenship on Chad Smith personally.
Now, we all know Smith didn’t amend the constitution by himself, and that the Cherokee people voted overwhelmingly in 2007 that you have to be Indian (Cherokee, Shawnee or Delaware) to be part of the Cherokee Nation.
We’re not here to focus on how this all happened, though. We’re more interested in the perception that Baker is supported by the Freedmen. To our knowledge, Baker has never spoken out publicly in their defense, so what gives? And how does his support from Freedmen impact his other support? After all, four years ago, the Cherokee people voted to kick folks out of the tribe who don't have Indian-blood by an almost 80% margin.
So, it looks like Bill John Baker carries the endorsement of a group of people who have actively tried to terminate the Cherokee Nation both in court and in Congress (and might still try again). And that's kinda like getting Nancy Pelosi or President Obama's endorsement in the race for say, Oklahoma Governor-- an endorsement that might hurt more than it helps.