Hillary Clinton Might Have a Black Voter Problem

African-Americans aren't turning out for early voting like they were in 2012
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2016 4:26 PM CDT
Hillary Clinton Might Have a Black Voter Problem
North Carolina voters line up for early voting last month in North Carolina, where black voter turnout is down by 16% since 2012.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

No one really expected Hillary Clinton to be able to match the historic levels of black voter turnout seen by President Obama in 2008 and 2012, but that doesn't mean it's going to be less of a problem for her in some important states, the New York Times reports. Black turnout in Florida went from 25% in 2012 to just 15% so far this year. "They’re not doing enough in the black community," US Rep. Alcee Hastings tells Politico. "I have been screaming for months about this and nothing changed and now look what’s happening." But there's a much more troubling reason for the low voter turnout among African-Americans than just a lack of enthusiasm for Clinton.

Black voter turnout is down 16% in North Carolina, which a federal court has said purposefully sought to make it harder for African-Americans to vote. The same is happening in Ohio, which decreased early voting popular with black voters. North Carolina and Ohio are two of the five states where federal lawsuits have been filed alleging illegal purging of thousands of black voters from registration lists, Salon reports. Despite all this, Democrats still have reason for optimism. Clinton holds an edge in early voting in North Carolina, though not by as wide a margin as expected. And higher turnout from Hispanics and college-educated women could make up the difference elsewhere. (More Election 2016 stories.)

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