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Trends show black early voting lagging in Florida

By
Eric DuVall
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets supporters after her early voting rally in Lake Worth, Fla., last week. The share of early voters who are black is down significantly from four years ago, new data show. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets supporters after her early voting rally in Lake Worth, Fla., last week. The share of early voters who are black is down significantly from four years ago, new data show. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Nov. 1 (UPI) -- After nearly a week of early voting in Florida, the share of African Americans, a group that supports Hillary Clinton, was much smaller than it was in 2012.

Early voting began in Florida on Oct. 24.

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Blacks have so far made up about 15 percent of the early vote, compared with nearly 25 percent in 2012, when President Barack Obama was on the ballot.

Conversely, the portion of Hispanic and white voters as an overall percentage of the early vote pie has increased. Hispanics are 4 points higher in the early voting totals than the last election; white voters are 5 points higher.

The figures have prominent Florida Democrats expressing public worry that Clinton's campaign is not doing enough to turn out the black vote.

"They're not doing enough in the black community. I have been screaming for months about this and nothing changed and now look what's happening," Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings, who represents many of the majority black areas of Broward and Palm Beach counties in Florida, told Politico.

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African Americans have a long history of participating in early voting. So-called "souls to the polls" events traditionally have members of black churches bused to early polling places after attending church on Sunday.

The early voting numbers were compiled by Daniel Smith, a political science professor at the University of Florida.

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