Mrs. Clinton’s difficulties with young African-Americans were laid bare in four focus groups conducted in Cleveland and Jacksonville, Fla., for a handful of progressive organizations spending millions on the election: the service employees union, a joint “super PAC” between organized labor and the billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, and a progressive group called Project New America. The results were outlined in a 25-page presentation by Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster, and shared with The New York Times by another party strategist who wanted to draw attention to Mrs. Clinton’s difficulties in hopes that the campaign would move more aggressively to address the matter....And that is how Hillary loses the election, isn't it? Those are the swing states, and she needs the black vote to which her party feels entitled.
[According to a poll from earlier in the summer:] In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, 70 percent of African-Americans under 35 said they were backing Mrs. Clinton, 8 percent indicated support for Mr. Trump and 18 percent said they were backing another candidate or did not know whom they would support. In 2012, Mr. Obama won 92 percent of black voters under 45 nationally, according to exit polling.
Part of Mrs. Clinton’s problem, said Symone Sanders, a former top aide to Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign, is that the candidate is overly cautious and is conducting an outdated style of black outreach. Ms. Sanders has begun taking matters into her own hands. She said she was working with other young activists to recruit black celebrities for a millennial mobilization tour through Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.When I first read that, I thought there was a plan to get Hillary Clinton into those places, but it's only a voter registration effort. (By the way, isn't that list of 4 places to find black people a little disrespectful?) Sanders — Symone, the former aide to Bernie — seems to be talking about Clinton herself getting out "on the streets" where she is not "comfortable." When is the last time Clinton went somewhere where she's uncomfortable? I'm sure part of the rising panic in her campaign lies in the suspicion that if she were to go where she isn't comfortable, she'd only make it worse.
“Black churches and an H.B.C.U. tour is just not going to cut it in 2016,” said Ms. Sanders, referring to historically black colleges and universities. “The Clinton campaign has to be willing to get out of what’s comfortable and get on the streets.”
[Addisu Demissie, Mrs. Clinton’s voter outreach and mobilization director,] said the Clinton campaign’s efforts were more expansive, pointing to voter registration efforts already underway in barbershops and salons as well as sneaker and video game stores.
Today’s young African-American voters are less likely to be found in black churches and more likely to be found in schools, loosely organized activist groups and online....Not sneaker and video game stores?!
Not only are younger black activists reached in different ways, they also have far higher expectations on leaders, dismissing boilerplate pleas for racial equality and justice as insufficient.She has that and the contention that Donald Trump is a racist. Meanwhile, Trump has his "What do you have to lose?" approach. The NYT article quotes a Democratic politician who calls that question "disrespectful to the black community" but then tells us that the millennials in the focus groups did not respond to a photo of Trump with the line "We have to beat the racists." So the Clinton campaign knows it needs to come up with something better... and that the election depends upon it.