With national polls tightening, and Election Projection’s electoral vote count following suit, the race for the White House is shaping up to be just that – a race. Some claim, not entirely without rationale, that the last couple weeks have been more of a blip than a trend. However, over at the Cook Political Report, a wonderful resource for the politically-and-election-obsessed, Amy Walter highlights deeper concerns with Clinton’s campaign that may indicate a true shift is occurring.
There is continued disquiet among many Democrats that Clinton’s troubles are more than just surface wounds. New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin reported this week on focus groups conducted by progressive groups showing Clinton struggling to motivate young African American voters. For a party that has depended on a strong showing by non-white and young voters in the last two presidential elections, this was a disquieting discovery.Another top Democratic strategist I spoke with recently had a similar take on Clinton’s challenges with these so-called Obama coalition voters. “Clinton has actually said the right things about racial justice, and the DNC convention hit the right notes,” he told me. “The problem is motivating people who mistrust the electoral process – politicians can’t do that. If there is a problem in Brooklyn [the HQ of the Clinton campaign] it would be depending on too great a turnout from African American voters in their calculations about everything from her schedule to their ads. She seems to be more interested in getting endorsements from Generals and establishment Republicans than the leaders of Black Lives Matter or other people who speak to young people today.”
From primary results and southern state polling, I actually find the idea that Clinton is having trouble with minorities to be strange. She performed best in primaries in the south – in Louisiana, in fact, more Democrats voted than Republicans, and Hillary won that state going away. Moreover, her polling numbers in places like Georgia and even South Carolina and Mississippi hardly suggest she’s having difficulties getting the support of blacks. That said, perhaps her difficulties will lie with transferring their support into votes come Election Day.