Voter turnout ‘explodes’ among Hispanics and blacks
VOTER turnout among African Americans and Hispanics is surging, and this swell of minority participation could spell trouble for Donald Trump’s White House hopes.
On November 6, hundreds of people attended “Souls to the Polls” events, aimed at encouraging churchgoers to vote across the key swing state of Florida.
Some came straight from morning worship, wearing three-piece suits and dresses as they made their way past dozens of campaigners hoisting signs for local candidates and urging support for solar energy and education issues.
At one event in central Miami, people held hands and prayed outside an early voting site, while at another in Miami-Dade County, about 20 African American men rolled in together on motorcycles.
For some, the vote they cast was as much for Democrat Hillary Clinton as it was against her Republican billionaire challenger.
Hispanics make up a powerful voting bloc in the battleground state of Florida, and are widely expected to lean toward Ms Clinton, particularly since Mr Trump has described Mexicans as rapists, repeatedly vowed to build a border wall and promised to deport masses of illegal immigrants.
As of November 5, 565,000 Hispanics have voted in person in Florida, a 100 percent increase over the close of early voting in 2012.
In another sign of voter enthusiasm, of the 911,000 Hispanics who have already voted – whether in person or by mail – 36pc did not vote in the last presidential election.
Nationwide, about 12pc of voters are Hispanic, or about 27.3 million people, according to Pew Research Centre projections.
Four million more Hispanics are eligible to vote this year compared to 2012, and high turnout has been seen in other states such as Nevada.
Early last week, the black turnout was lacklustre – at about 14pc of early voters - compared to 26pc in 2012, the last time President Barack Obama was elected.
But that changed, after Mr Obama made a series of appeals for black voters to support Ms Clinton, who herself appeared at a campaign event with Beyonce and Jay-Z.
A total of 777,000 blacks have already voted in Florida. And more are coming to vote in person – 25,000 more as of November 5, compared to all eight days of early voting in 2012. –
People attend an event in Cutler Bay, Florida, on November 6 which aimed to encourage minority voter turnout in the key swing state.