Hillary Clinton may be facing a problem among young black voters in South Carolina, which would hurt her chances of beating Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) decisively in the state’s Democratic primary later this month.
Increasingly, young, black college-aged voters are turning lukewarm on Clinton. At a gathering of University of South Carolina College Democrats this week, a group watching the results come in from New Hampshire was split fairly evenly between Sanders and Clinton supporters. … Young black voters in South Carolina who spoke with NPR say when they look into Clinton’s record, they don’t like all they’ve seen. At another Clinton rally featuring campaign surrogate Angela Bassett, this time at South Carolina State University, student Taylor Honore had some tough questions on Clinton’s record. “I did my background research on what Hillary has really done for the black community,” Honore told NPR, “and it kind of concerned me.”
Among her concerns, Honore listed Bill Clinton’s 1994 crime bill, which is criticized by many for increasing the number of blacks incarcerated nationwide. Another student cited Bill Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform measures as reason to question his wife’s commitment to helping the black community.
Other students, while planning to vote for Clinton, indicated that their support was wavering.
While surveys indicate that Clinton will dominate in South Carolina–she leads Sanders there 62 percent to 33 percent, according to a Real Clear Politics average of polls–Sanders’ especial success among young voters in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary has given Clinton pause.
During her speech Tuesday night conceding the New Hampshire race to Sanders, Clinton remarked that she has “work to do” among young voters. Sanders beat Clinton 84 percent to 15 percent among Democratic voters under the age of 30 in the state. He triumphed over the former secretary of state by 22 points overall.
A week before the South Carolina Democratic primary takes place on February 27, Clinton and Sanders will meet in the Nevada Democratic caucus.