During an interview with a TV network whose target audience is African-American adults, first lady Michelle Obama said the black community should vote for Democrats.
"That's my message to voters. This isn't about Barack, it's not about the person on the ballot, it's about you," Obama told "NewsOne Now" host Roland Martin on TV One. "And for most of the people that we're talking to, a Democratic ticket is the clear ticket that we should be voting on, regardless of who said what or did this. That shouldn't even come into the equation."
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"Voting is critical no matter who's on the ballot," the first lady said. "And that's one of the things we have to continuously work on in our communities of new voters — folks who maybe voted for the first time because they voted for Barack Obama, young people who voted for the first time because they were inspired by this president."
With Democrats facing a real possibility of losing control of the Senate, the party has been targeting African-American voters for Tuesday's midterm elections. Several pollsters and experts have said that without a significant black vote, Democrats will see "crushing losses" at the polls.
"African-American surge voters came out in force in 2008 and 2012, but they are not well positioned to do so again in 2014," pollster Cornell Belcher wrote in a confidential memo last month that was obtained by The New York Times.
"In fact, over half aren't even sure when the midterm elections are taking place."
Belcher also predicted "crushing Democratic losses across the country" if the party did not do more to get out the black vote.
Democratic Rep. Marcia L. Fudge
of Ohio, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said that without the "black . . . and the brown vote," Democrats will lose.
"Anybody who looks at the data realizes that if the black vote, and the brown vote, doesn't turn out, we can't win. It's just that simple," Fudge said, referring to black and Latino voters. "If we don't turn out, we cannot hold the Senate."
Other experts say African-American voters
feel their issues have been pushed aside in favor of things such as gay marriage and immigration.
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