(UPI) — Speaking on a program geared to African-American listeners, President Barack Obama sounded the alarm about lower early voter turnout among black people in key battleground states.
Speaking on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Obama said he is troubled by the potential dip in black turnout for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton despite other groups showing up to vote early in record numbers.
“I’m going to be honest with you right now. The Latino vote is up. The overall vote is up. But the African-American vote, right now, is not as solid as it needs to be,” Obama said.
Data show black turnout thus far in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio is down from the historic levels Obama achieved in 2008 and 2012. The president rallied voters in Ohio on Tuesday and will make two campaign stops each in North Carolina and Florida before Election Day in an all-out blitz by Clinton’s campaign to run up a flagging black vote compared with four years ago.
“If you really care about my presidency and what we’ve accomplished, then you are going to go and vote,” he said, casting the matter as a personal one.
Tell your friends I “personally asked you to vote,” Obama said.
“It’s not that hard, and I know it’s not that hard because we’ve done it before.”