Without an enormous turnout of Hispanic and black voters, Hillary Clinton will have no shot of defeating Donald Trump on November 8. While it’s a matter of mathematical certainty that Hillary will dominate among minorities, she must do more than simply beat Trump in a game of percentages. Gross turnout matters, and right now, minority voters are not nearly as enthusiastic about Hillary as they were about Obama.
In places like Florida, the stakes couldn’t be higher. From Politico:
It’s not just Clinton’s margins with black voters that concerns Democrats. It’s whether African-American voters turn out in force for her in a pivotal state whose 29 electoral votes are essential to the GOP nominee’s path to an Electoral College victory. A loss in Florida all but guarantees a Trump defeat on Election Day.
Clinton faces a similar potential problem with Hispanic voters. Though Florida Hispanics back her by double-digit margins similar to the level of support Obama enjoyed, activists fear their turnout rate will be lower. Hispanics account for more than 15 percent of the Florida voter rolls and African-Americans are more than 13 percent. About 65 percent of registered voters are non-Hispanic white, and they heavily favor Trump.
Politico spoke with several prominent individuals involved in Florida’s Democratic Party, and they found deep worries about Hillary’s ability to bring black and Hispanic voters out in force.
“Hillary Clinton’s campaign is in panic mode. Full panic mode,” Leslie Wimes, president of the Democratic African-American Women Caucus, told the site. Wimes said that while many blacks were anti-Trump, few of them were pro-Hillary. This, she said, could be a problem on November 8. “In the end, we don’t vote against somebody. We vote for somebody.”
Henry Crespo, the president of the Florida Democratic Black Caucus, told the site that he had identical concerns about Hillary’s appeal among minority voters.
“No one is writing songs for Hillary. Obama had will.i.am. Hillary has nobody like that,” Crespo told Politico. “Right now, the vote is against Trump. It’s not for Hillary. I still think she’s going to win. But you want your people to be for your candidate, not just against the other guy.”
In a sense, this is Hillary Clinton’s problem writ small. She’s failing to garner excitement in the black community, but she’s also failing to excite hardcore liberals, millennials, and even third-wave feminists. As it pertains to the Obama gap, she could fairly be characterized as the very opposite of “hope and change.” And many black voters remember how viciously she went after Obama in 2008.
And even though no one within a thousand miles of the Democratic Party will admit it, Trump’s outreach to the black community has had an effect. He is the first mainstream conservative politician in ages to tell the plain truth about how that community has been betrayed by the Democrats, including the first black president. He’s gotten people to start questioning the old frameworks, and that’s very dangerous for Hillary.
Democratic leaders and liberal minority activists are panicking, but minority voters themselves – whether Republican or Democrat – should relax. If turnout for Hillary is abysmal and Trump wins, their lives will be vastly improved.