Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Monday, September 5th, 2016.

Phyllis Schlafly, 1924-2016


General merriment is allowed.

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Obama Administration

Now the Dems are worried that Hillary Clinton may not have as strong a lock on the “black vote” as they had assumed. Especially the younger “black vote.”

Young African-Americans, like all voters their age, are typically far harder to drive to the polls than middle-aged and older Americans. Yet with just over two months until Election Day, many Democrats are expressing alarm at the lack of enthusiasm, and in some cases outright resistance, some black millennials feel toward Mrs. Clinton.

Now they notice.  Especially after the early southern primaries in which African American voters gave Hillary Clinton what would prove to be an insurmountable advantage in the pledged delegate count, establishment Democrats have assumed African American voters were safely locked in the “we’re with her” box.

Indeed, for a time we who supported Sanders were jeered at as letting our “white privilege” show, because if we really cared about African American issues we’d support Hillary, for some reason that was never clear to me. And no other politician on earth beside Hillary Clinton could be counted on to defeat Donald Trump, we were told.

Of course, those early southern primaries were held before voters had had much of a chance to know who Bernie Sanders even was.

A Gallup poll back in February showed a whopping 31 percent of black Democrats polled didn’t even have an opinion of Sanders yet, while only eight percent had no opinion in regards to Clinton. Obviously Clinton had much more name recognition than Sanders, but 1/3 of the voters of an entire race is a staggering number—and one that could clearly cost a candidate dearly.

And I’m sure Sanders regrets not working harder to make himself known. But it still stinks.

Sanders enjoyed a the support of a majority of black millennial voters, a point usually buried deeply in the few news stories that mentioned it at all. But now the Clinton campaign is in general election mode, and to their consternation they are realizing they can’t count on the black millennial vote. And this could cost them some swing states.

The question of just how many young African-Americans will show up to vote carries profound implications for this election. Mrs. Clinton is sure to dominate Mr. Trump among black voters, but her overwhelming margin could ultimately matter less than the total number of blacks who show up to vote.

To replicate President Obama’s success in crucial states such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, she cannot afford to let the percentage of the electorate that is black slip far below what it was in 2012. And while a modest drop-off of black votes may not imperil Mrs. Clinton’s prospects, given Mr. Trump’s unpopularity among upscale white voters, it could undermine Democrats’ effort to capture control of the Senate and win other down-ballot elections.

The real problem is that Democratic elites cleared the field for Clinton before the primaries even started to be sure she’d be the nominee. They had persuaded themselves from polls that the Democratic base adored her and would support her candidacy with wild enthusiasm. But the same polls taken at the same point in the election cycle showed exactly the same thing in 2007, as well. The truth is that a big chunk of the Democratic base has been lukewarm, at most, to her all along. And independent voters are not even lukewarm.

With the DNC’s partisan help, and with no real competition in the primaries other than an aging socialist, she prevailed. IMO if Joe Biden or Sherrod Brown or Liz Warren or a number of other well-known Dems had challenged her, she probably would have lost the nomination again. Hence, the field had to be cleared. The elites seem to have missed the part about how an astroturf candidate might be weak in the general election.

Mrs. Clinton’s difficulties with young African-Americans were laid bare in four focus groups conducted in Cleveland and Jacksonville, Fla., for a handful of progressive organizations spending millions on the election: the service employees union, a joint “super PAC” between organized labor and the billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, and a progressive group called Project New America. The results were outlined in a 25-page presentation by Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster, and shared with The New York Times by another party strategist who wanted to draw attention to Mrs. Clinton’s difficulties in hopes that the campaign would move more aggressively to address the matter.

The only message that Clinton is getting out is that she’s not Donald Trump, and that ought to be enough to win the election, because Trump is horrible. But one does wonder what she’s raising money for.

Clinton is beginning September with $68 million in her campaign coffers. The hefty war chest means the Democratic White House hopeful has the resources to continue an expensive ad blitz against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, while also investing in an expansive field operation.

The only Clinton television ad I’ve seen more than once is one in which Trump is on a television talk show showing off his ties made in China. The black millennials (and white ones, also) want to know what she plans to do about systemic racism, including mass incarceration and police conduct. She’s issued statements about these things, her campaign says.

Do you know what those statements are? This information is sorta kinda on  her website, if you want to read about it, but I haven’t seen anything in news media. And yes, Trump is sucking all the air out of news coverage. But Clinton hasn’t held a splashy public event in several weeks. She’s been busy raising money.  That field operation she’s investing in must be something.

There’s still the debates, and I still expect her to win. But she’s still a terrible candidate.

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