Democratic presidential hopefuls are working to connect with black voters ahead of the debate in South Carolina, home to the “First in the South” primary. Nathan Frandino reports.
The African-American vote in South Carolina
Just ahead of Democratic presidential debate in Charleston, African-American voters are weighing their options.
Abe Jenkins worked on the Barack Obama campaign in 2008. His decision was clear then, but he’s undecided.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ABE JENKINS, CHARLESTON RESIDENT AND 2008 FIELD ORGANIZER FOR OBAMA CAMPAIGN, SAYING:
“If you have a track record of showing that you’ve been active in the African-American community, if you had either voted for or you have done some things that you can put up on the table that I have successfully done X, Y, Z, then that’s proof for me.”
South Carolina is the first in the south primary and the first state with substantial African-American population.
At the Charity Missionary Baptist Church, Reverend Nelson B Rivers, a National Action Network leader, says the candidates will have to prove they’ll do right by his community.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) REVEREND NELSON B. RIVERS III, PASTOR AT CHARITY MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH AND VICE PRESIDENT OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS AT NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK, SAYING:
“If you articulate and support the policy issues that are fair to African-Americans, you will get their vote.”
Those policy issues also include gun control, healthcare and a myriad others.
At a restaurant popular among African-Americans in Charleston, locals say there’s a lot of issues their votes will depend on.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) MARQUETTE MAPP, LONGSHOREMAN, SAYING:
“I’m tired of coming home everyday and seeing another child, another father, another mother being killed because of a gun, so that would be a number one reason for me, gun violence.”
(SOUNDBITE) (English) HILLERY DOUGLAS, RETIRED FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE, SAYING:
“My thing, though, is to be sure that we get somebody elected who is concerned with the welfare of the average American, the working man.”
The Democrats will have to address these issues soon, as the Democratic primary will be here before they know it.