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Salena Zito: Hillary Bringing Out Big Guns to Secure Black Vote

Image: Salena Zito: Hillary Bringing Out Big Guns to Secure Black Vote

Hillary Clinton (AP Photo)

By    |   Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 04:50 PM

Democrats have placed their focus on bringing in top surrogates to Pennsylvania's colleges and black neighborhoods in an effort to motivate these key demographics to show up to vote for Hillary Clinton in the same numbers they supported Barack Obama.

"Clinton so far has shown she is lagging in inspiring these voters – that is why you see (first lady) Michelle Obama at two universities in Pennsylvania Wednesday, Hillary herself in a black neighborhood and with plenty of plans for both [President Barack] Obama and Bill Clinton to do the same thing," said Terry Madonna, political science professor at Franklin and Marshall College.

How she is doing in Pennsylvania is a microcosm of how she is doing with these same voting blocs in the country as a whole, he said.

"Our demographics are roughly the same as the nation, the national turnout of blacks, millennials and Hispanics in 2012 mirrored our own give or take a percentage point," Madonna asserted.

Madonna said the Clinton campaign has been transmitting through the non-stop visits of surrogates to Philly and college towns that they are not where they need to be in engagement with blacks and millennials.

"The one problem with going to a college to get kids to vote, many of them vote from their hometown and home states, which is unlikely in the same city they are attending school," he said.

The rise of the rural voter for Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, has led Clinton supporters to worry that their turnout could offset her wins in Philadelphia – if her numbers are more like John Kerry's in 2004 or Al Gore's in 2000 and the rural voter is higher, she could be in trouble.

In short, as Pennsylvania goes, so goes the nation.

In Pennsylvania, Obama earned 93 percent of the black vote, according to exit polls, per Madonna.

"That is a tough act to follow for Clinton, not because she won't get the same percentage share, but because she does not seem to be earning the same amount of support he did," he said.

"In other words, if blacks do not turn out with the same intensity that they did in 2012 for Obama those are likely problems that are not just in Pennsylvania but in other key battleground states like Florida," he said.

"Clinton just can't lose both states' big electoral votes."

A long-time Philadelphia Democratic political insider who is working outside of the national campaign infrastructure to do all of the things necessary to get these voters out – canvassing, voter contact, etc. – said he was concerned by the lack of motivation of voters toward her he sees out in the field.

"It's a bit alarming, but we still have a few weeks to go, ask me a week before."

Clinton faces a similar potential problem with millennial voters, Madonna said.

"Right now about 20 percent of them that voted for Obama are leaning towards Libertarian Gary Johnson or Jill Stein of the Green Party," he said.

"They were the voters who loved Bernie Sanders and do not connect with her inside the Beltway reputation," said Madonna.

They seem to be willing to settle for Stein or Johnson or, worse yet, might not vote at all, he said.

Clinton is holding on to just under a 2-point lead if you look at the averages of recent Pennsylvania state polls, and "that is down a remarkable 10 points from the beginning of September," Madonna said.

Michelle Obama went on the attack Wednesday in both of her Philadelphia and Pittsburgh university stops. Skipping over using Trump's name, she blasted his "erratic" behavior and how he raised doubts for years over her husband's place of birth.

The first lady spoke at La Salle University in Philadelphia, saying, "If you vote for someone other than Hillary or don't vote at all, you are helping to elect Hillary's opponent.

"And the stakes of taking that chance are too high."

She also spoke at the University of Pittsburgh.

"I expect you will see them (Clinton surrogates) tripping over each other between now and election day with these kind of messages," Madonna said, adding:

"They have to. If she is having a hard time getting blacks to turn out here, and millennials as well, then she is likely having the same problem across the country."

Salena Zito covers national politics for Newsmax.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
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Democrats have placed their focus on bringing in top surrogates to Pennsylvania's colleges and black neighborhoods in an effort to motivate these key demographics to show up to vote for Hillary Clinton in the same numbers they supported Barack Obama.
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2016-50-28
Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 04:50 PM
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