Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have been fighting fiercely to appeal to the Black vote ahead of New York’s primary contests on April 19, and the results seem pretty cloudy.
No matter who ends up on the ballot come November 2016, the Democratic party will have to both entice and inspire the Black voter in order to secure another term in the White House, a crucial reality that both candidates are fiercely trying to conquer.
The layout of both Sanders’ and Clinton’s popularity with African-Americans has remained virtually the same, with current polls showing Sanders lagging behind Clinton by a margin of more than 30 points.
Nevertheless, both candidates have showed up and executed their own forms of showing out to secure the Black vote in New York, a state in which African-Americans make up one out of every five Democratic voters.
Speaking at a National Action Network convention in New York City led by Reverend Al Sharpton, Hillary Clinton made a point to delineate her dedication to African-Americans.
“I believe that Democrats have a special obligation. If we’re going to ask African-Americans to vote for us, we cannot take you, or your vote for granted,” Clinton said to the majority Black audience. “We can’t just show up at election time and say the right things and think that’s enough.”
Sanders, scheduled to speak on the NAN stage today, arrived in Washington Square Park yesterday [April 13, 2016] to make his case before a crowd in Washington Square Park, focusing on a message of unification.
“Understanding that when we stand together–Black and white and Latino and Native American–when we do not allow the Donald Trumps of the world to divide us up, there is nothing we cannot accomplish,” Sanders said to the sea of nearly 30,000 attendees.
Sanders’s recent slew of victories might have given him an edge in momentum against Clinton, but all that could very well be cut short when he enters the minority-heavy Empire State, where about a third of Democratic voters identify as nonwhite. A fact that Sanders knows well. Yet, his optimism hold strong heading into the primary.
“It’s going to be a tough primary for us,” he said, predicting a victory. “When I look out at the thousands of people here tonight–I think we’ve got a surprise for the establishment.”