Early voting has already commenced last weekend but the weak turnout among members of the black community in Florida could seriously hurt Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates’ chances of winning the election.
Ever since her campaign for president started, Clinton has targeted the support of African-Americans. She and her fellow party members are hoping that this demographic would give them the much needed push to maintain their momentum during the election period.
However, after the early voting closed on Sunday night in Florida, polls showed that the voter turnout among African-Americans was at its lowest. According to Politico, the in-person ballots submitted by black voters only accounted for 16 percent. This is significantly lower than the in-person turnout in 2012, which was around 25%.
Representative Alcee Hastings said that this reflects the lack of effort from the Democratic Party to reach out to the black communities in a more effective manner.
“They’re not doing enough in the black community,” Hastings said. “I have been screaming for months about this and nothing changed and now look what’s happening.”
The U.S. Representative noted that he urged John Podesta, Clinton’s top chief, that they need to increase the campaign budget in the state in order reach out to more individuals. However, Hastings did not receive a response from Podesta nor Clinton’s other staff members.
In terms of campaign funds alone, it seems the Clinton camp did not fall short on their budget for the campaign in Florida since it reportedly spent around $57 million for television ads in the state. But, as noted by Hastings, this was the wrong approach in reaching out to the black community.
Instead of spending so much on commercials, he noted that the campaign should have focused more on in-person efforts in reaching out to black voters.
Since Clinton’s party has been pretty confident that they will win the support of black voters in various states, this weak voter turnout could seriously affect her chances of being elected into office. This could also serve as an opportunity for Republican candidate Donald Trump to take the lead from Clinton.