Black millennials who don’t vote could end up helping Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump win the general election, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) said Tuesday.
“If they decide to give the one-finger salute and to stay home ... then the consequences of that will be a Trump presidency,” the Congressional Black Caucus member told reporters on a call to mark National Voter Registration Day. “It’s important for them to know that they are the election.”
Black voters overall heavily favor Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Trump. However, black millennials have a lower level of loyalty to the candidate, leading to concerns about getting them to the polls on Election Day. Moore and the other Congressional Black Caucus members are trying to combat that enthusiasm gap and encourage people to take advantage of their right to vote.
Moore acknowledged there are some struggles involved. Millennials “have been inundated with the lies of the Republican Party” about Democratic politicians failing them, and might not know enough about the party or Clinton’s history of fighting for social justice, she said.
“It’s really important for us ... to reintroduce them to Hillary Clinton, who was just like them at their age and fought the same battle,” Moore said. “She was fighting black lives matter before they were even born. She was fighting for social and economic justice before they were born.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said on the same call that she didn’t register to vote as a young person until she started supporting the campaign of Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-Calif.), the first African-American woman in Congress and the first woman to run for president for a major political party.
Up until then, Lee said she hadn’t seen candidates who addressed “what I thought would really bring change into my life and into dealing with the real systemic issues that we have to address.”
Today’s millennials need to learn more about Clinton’s positions, Lee said.
Congressional Black Caucus members are planning more get-out-the-vote events in the coming weeks.
President Barack Obama is also pushing for high turnout from black voters this year.
“I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election,” he said at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation conference earlier this month. “You want to give me a good send-off? Go vote.”