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Obama admits black turnout for Clinton is lagging

Amid signs that black voters aren’t fired up about Hillary Clinton, President Obama urged blacks Wednesday to go to the polls and acknowledged that turnout in early-voting states “is not as solid as it needs to be.”

Speaking on the Tom Joyner Morning show, Mr. Obama sounded the alarm as he prepared to travel to North Carolina to rally the Democratic base.

“I’m going to be honest with you right now, because we track, we’ve got early voting, we’ve got all kinds of metrics to see what’s going on, and right now, the Latino vote is up. Overall vote is up,” Mr. Obama said. “But the African-American vote right now is not as solid as it needs to be.”

The radio show has a largely black audience.

Early voting among African-Americans is down about 16 percent in North Carolina compared with 2012, when Mr. Obama lost the state narrowly to Republican Mitt Romney. The state is a must-win for Republican nominee Donald Trump, and the New York Times reported that early voting among white voters is up 15 percent from four years ago.

Early voting by blacks in the crucial swing state of Florida also is estimated to be down about 10 percent from 2012. The president has campaigned there twice in the past two weeks and will return later this week.

The president said black voters must turn out at the polls for Mrs. Clinton the same way they did for him. In 2012, 93 percent of black voters sided with Mr. Obama.

“I know that a lot of people in the barber shops and the beauty salons and, you know, in the neighborhoods who are saying to themselves, ‘well you know, we love Barack. We especially love Michelle. And so it was exciting and now we’re not excited as much,’” the president told Mr. Joyner. “You know what, I need everybody to understand that everything we’ve done is dependent on me being able to pass the baton to somebody who believes in the same things that I believe in. So if you really care about my presidency and what we’ve accomplished, then you are going to go and vote.”

He said if Mr. Trump is elected, he will “reverse everything I’ve done over the last eight years, reverse everything Michelle’s done over the last eight years.”

“Right away, I guarantee you they’ll dig up Michelle’s garden” at the White House, the president said.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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