/‘It’ll be higher than Obama’ Mike Espy will benefit from record Black voter turnout in Mississippi

‘It’ll be higher than Obama’ Mike Espy will benefit from record Black voter turnout in Mississippi

According to several top Democratic insiders in the state, he will receive it. Charles Taylor, a political consultant and data analyst, said that he has looked at the data and believes that Black turnout in Mississippi this year will be higher than when President Obama was on the ballot. “Black voters have struggled for a long time in this country and this state. Taylor said that we will take every opportunity and chance to grow our collective power. Trump is one of the most divisive and worst presidents to people of color in recent history. You have a chance to get him out the White House. Espy is at the top of Mississippi’s ticket. There is an organic excitement I haven’t seen in Mississippi for a long while.” Black Mississippians account for 37% of the state’s voting-age population. They are Espy’s most important voting bloc this year, as he seeks the first Black senator elected to office by the popular vote. In the state’s history, no African American has won a statewide race. Espy, who was the first African American to be elected to Congress after Reconstruction, maintains that he will win as long as Black voters are at least 35.5%. The state’s 2012 election saw 36% of Black voters. This was the highest percentage in modern history. This was the year that President Barack Obama ran for re-election. According to political insiders, the 2020 record voter turnout would surpass this mark and exceed Espy’s target. Obama’s former vice-president Joe Biden, who is popular among Black Mississippians, is running for president against Trump. He’s also running with Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate, and would become the first Black vice president of the United States. Although not every Black Mississippian will vote next week, Espy’s name will be in the list. Espy won 95% of the African American vote in the 2018 U.S. Senate runoff. This was 32.5% of total electorate. Depending on which candidate, top-of-ticket Democratic candidates have received between 88% and 95% of the Black vote in Mississippi’s recent elections. According to Chism Strategies (a Mississippi-based political consultancy firm), Black Mississippi voters have accounted for 30% to 36% in the overall turnout since 2008. This is based on exit polls as well as commercial voter files. In 2014, the low mark was 30 percent and 2012 saw a high of 36%. The exact level of voter turnout in the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown. However, Mississippi continues to increase its record pace with absentee votes, which are often an indicator of in person turnout. On Tuesday, there were more than 190,000. This is compared to just 111,000 absentee ballots requested during the 2016 election. While racial inequalities have decreased as coronavirus cases have increased in rural areas, whites have been more affected than blacks. Many advocates expressed concern that voters who are not wearing masks might discourage Black voters from exercising their right of vote. Many have suggested that Mississippi’s Republican leaders chose not to expand early voting options in the wake of the pandemic. They also let a statewide mandate for masks expire despite COVID-19 cases rising. Not requiring masks at polling stations are examples voter suppression. It is voter suppression but it is also dumb,” stated Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the only African American elected official in Washington, who predicted a “tremendous” Black voter participation this year. “… Would you put your life at risk to vote if you were confident that all safety precautions were being taken? READ MORE: “Practices intended to suppress the vote”: Mississippi is not allowed to provide early voting for everyone during a pandemic. Some politicos fear that any attempt by Republicans to suppress the vote, by not expanding safe voting options during pandemic, could backfire. In a September interview with Mississippi Today Pam Shaw, a long-time political strategist from Mississippi, suggested that the pandemic could affect Black voter turnout, especially among older voters. However, she recently saw trends that have changed her mind. Shaw stated, “I have been pleasantly shocked over the past 30 days at how much energy I’m seeing and hearing from the Black community.” “… I believe you will have almost the same turnout in the Black community as Obama. Although it may not be quite as close, it is close. It’s a combination Kamala Harris, the pandemic, and just the energy. Shaw stated that she is seeing and hearing about older Black voters vote absentee. She also said, “I believe people are trying to work around the virus.” Recent COVID-19 cases have been driven by white Mississippians. In the past two months, white cases outnumbered black Mississippians by more than twice. However, Mississippi’s virus has been particularly devastating to Black women. They account for almost 30% of all cases in Mississippi where race is known but only 20% of the total population. Advocates are not surprised by the irony that these women have been driving the Democratic vote and voting rights campaigns for decades. Shaw stated that “People who were considered essential workers, who lived in multi-generational families… who have been affected by the virus, or know people who have, they lay it on Trump, lay him at his feet.” Shaw said that while there are strong anti-Trump sentiments among Black voters and excitement about Espy, they also see political strategy as a reason for record turnout. This year, Espy has raised over $9 million. It is the largest amount of money raised by a Democrat in state history. He has also strategically targeted Black voters through television, radio, digital advertising and in person outreach in recent weeks. Since September, a robust Democratic field strategy has placed paid canvassers across 52 counties. Many of these have been exclusively focused on Black voters. Taylor stated that Espy made a specific investment to reach Black voters and that he expects to get a return. He put his money where it was needed. This is the first time that we have seen someone trying to turn out Black voters for a presidential election cycle. Taylor said, “Win, lose, or draw, regardless of whether there’s immediate satisfaction at the numbers on Tuesday, Espy’s campaigns in 2018 or 2020 will leave an legacy and real infrastructure for Mississippi politics. His candidacy helped modernize the Democratic Party of Mississippi.” To continue this important work, support this work and make a regular donation today to celebrate our Spring Member Drive. 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