As the race for Virginia’s governor heats up between Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II and Terry McAuliffe, Democrats are pulling out all the stops to lure African Americans and young voters to the polls, the Washington Post reports.
McAuliffe has taken to an Obama secret weapon, the “pledge card,” a promissory note that serves as a commitment to cast a ballot during the election and was hugely successful in the president’s 2012 re-election bid. McAuliffe has also been pushing black businesses to display his campaign sign. He has added to his standard stump speech the fact that he supports restoring voter rights to prisoners who have served their time, the Post reports.
Cuccinelli, however, is sticking firm to his Republican talking points, targeting young voters with Obamacare rates and the idea that young people will be the hardest hit by the new law.
In recent nonpresidential election years, turnout by African Americans and young voters has fluctuated wildly from election to election.
According to the Washington Post and calculations of census data by Michael P. McDonald, a George Mason University professor and expert on voter turnout, African-American voters in Virginia cast ballots at a rate of 79 percent in 2008 and 44 percent in 2010. For younger voters — 18 to 28 — the turnout rates for those elections were 69 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
The 2009 gubernatorial election exit poll that year showed that African Americans made up 16 percent of the state’s electorate and young voters 10 percent, compared with 20 percent and 19 percent, respectively, in the 2012 exit poll, the Washington Post reports.
Read more at the Washington Post.