Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s tours of soul food restaurants and black churches to court black voters in recent weeks doesn’t seem to be paying off.
The turnout of black voters is down in many areas compared to 2012, including key battleground states, providing the latest evidence that the former first lady’s campaign may be circling the drain.
“As tens of millions of Americans cast ballots in what will be the largest-ever mobilization of early voters in a presidential election, the numbers have started to point toward a slump that many Democrats feared might materialize without the nation’s first black president on the ticket,” the New York Times reports.
The black voter turnout in the key state of North Carolina is down 16 percent in early voting. It’s a similar situation in Florida, where black voters heading to the polls in person has decreased from 25 percent in 2012 to a current rate of 15 percent, despite expanded early voting opportunities.
Also in Ohio, the early voting turnout is down and Trump is outperforming 2012 GOP candidate Mitt Romney at the same point in the election, the Toledo Blade reports.
“Polling shows Mr. Trump with a slight lead over Mrs. Clinton in Ohio – and outperforming Republican Mitt Romney four years ago. At this point in 2012, President Obama was leading Mr. Romney in the RealClearPolitics.com average of polls by 47.9 percent to 45.8 percent,” the site reports.
“At the same point in 2016, Mr. Trump is ahead in the average of polls by 46.2 percent to 45.2 percent.”
The apparent trend of unenthusiastic black voters comes despite Clinton’s pandering to the constituency through repeated visits to soul food restaurants and black churches in those key states.
On Halloween, Clinton visited Angie’s Soul Café in Cleveland ahead of a rally at Kent State University, where she was joined for a photo opportunity by U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge and Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson before taking her order to go, Cleveland.com reports.
The day before, Clinton was at Betty’s Soul Food in Fort Lauderdale and spoke briefly with the owner before posing for pictures with several black patrons.
“I gonna take a picture with Betty and her employees,” Clinton said in a video of the stop posted to YouTube. “We got to get a picture in front of your restaurant, with the sign or by the window.”
Earlier this month, the Democratic candidate attended a service at the predominantly black Little Rock AME Zion Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she appeared on stage with a 9-year-old girl who recently address the city council about ongoing violence, the Daily Mail reports.
At that event, Clinton spoke about the privileges afforded to her child and grandchildren because of their race and Clinton’s political status, and dismissed the notion promoted by Trump that the nation is in need of law and order.
“I wouldn’t be able to stand it if my grandchildren had to be scared and worried the way too many children across our country feel right now. But because my grandchildren are white, because they are the grandchildren of a former president and secretary of state, let’s be honest here, they won’t face the kind of fear that we heard from the children testifying before the council,” Clinton said.
“There are some out there who … want to exploit people’s fears even though it means tearing our nation even further apart,” she said. “They say that all of our problems would be solved simply by more law and order. As if the system racism plaguing our country doesn’t exist.”
Donald Trump, meanwhile, seems to be simply out working his opponent.
The Toledo Blade pointed out, for example, that Trump held 15 public campaign events in Ohio versus only nine for Clinton, though the Democratic candidate is expected to deploy her biggest asset with black voters – President Obama – in the state in the coming days.