President Carter now begins what his advisers acknowledge to be the difficult road back to regaining the black support that was so important to his victory in 1976.
In Philadelphia Sept. 3, Mr. Carter is scheduled to speak at a black church where he will:
* Stress his new economic program and particularly his tax cut proposal, which he aimed at giving special relief to taxpayers in the lower income brackets.
He also will emphasize his tax credits program, which is directed at saving deserving businesses and, at the same time, providing new jobs.
* Point out that he has appointed far more blacks to key federal jobs -- and particularly to judgeships -- than any other president.
* Mention his support of black movements seeking independence in Africa.
The President's main theme will center on his plans for revitalizing the economy.
He will tell the blacks -- as he will tell all citizens, for that matter -- that recovery must come by way of his own gradual approach, which ensures that needed revenues to the federal government will continue to flow in, rather than by way of what he calls Ronald Reagan's "quick fix," which, he alleges, would deprive the government of such revenues.
Carter also will be speaking to elderly blacks (as well as to all senior citizens) of his plan to subsidize social security out of general tax funds and thereby ensure the future of the program.
In addition, the President will be telling blacks that the Reagan tax cuts are targeted toward helping people in the upper brackets as much as those with lower incomes.
His own tax reductions, Carter will be saying, are directed mainly toward helping the needy.
While in Philadelphia the President also was to travel by motorcade to the city's famous Italian market for a walking tour as well as to meet privately with key Democratic politicians at lunch.
With much of his attention now centered on black and ethnic voters, the President used his Labor Day visit to Tuscumbia, Ala., to hail the courage of workers in Poland who had won major concessions from the government as a result of their 18-day strike.
Carter, in referring to the Polish workers, stressed his own human-rights theme, saying that critics of that policy should take a look at those, like the Poles, who live under tyranny. Said Carter: "The working men and women of Poland have set an example for all those who cherish freedom and human difficulty. We are pleased at what has happened in Poland, and we wish them Godspeed and a future of prosperity, peace, and freedom."
The President now is well embarked on his first week of "official" fall campaigning. Polls continue to show him trailing Mr. Reagan. But the gap is closing -- to a point where Carter aides now are saying they believe the race will soon be about even.