Welcome to McClatchy’s Voter Survival Guide, an interactive presentation of daily events from one of the strangest presidential campaigns in modern history.
African-American voters are reliable Democrats, a key part of the party’s base and a valuable constituency in swing states like North Carolina and Florida.
But they don’t appear to be turning out in high numbers during early voting, which could be bad news for Hillary Clinton.
Just 15 percent of the electorate in Florida so far is African-American, compared to 2012 when African-Americans comprised 25 percent of the electorate. Black turnout is down 16 percent in North Carolina. Democratic turnout is also low in majority black areas in Ohio.
African-American voters overwhelmingly supported Clinton in the Democratic primary.
Bernie Sanders supporters are hoping their long-shot bid for the presidency gets a jolt from Clinton’s recent email news.
Young evangelicals are caught between Trump and Clinton, two candidates that are unpalatable for different reasons.
A church was burned in Mississippi and pro-Trump graffiti was spotted.
The polls open nationally in 5 days. Let’s get started.
African-American turnout is down
Clinton needs a strong showing in battleground states like Florida, North Carolina and Ohio to propel her presidential bid. But African-American voters are turning out less than they did in 2012.
“We’ve had back-to-back elections in this country of high turnout where black voters have set the pace, and it’s going to be really interesting to see if that continues post-Obama,” said Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster. “That is the big X-factor. Can we disconnect our mobilization, our messaging from the cult of the candidate?”
The 2016 election could show what African-American turnout will look like with Obama off of the ballot but low turnout could also be a symptom of alleged voter suppression efforts in North Carolina by Republicans.
Sanders supporters have one last hope
The latest FBI email information gives hope to some die-hard supporters of Bernie Sanders, who continue to support the Vermont senator even though he is campaigning for Clinton to be president.
“We’re telling people that when you’re voting, there should be a better reason than just choosing the lesser evil,” said Jason Small, 46, who has been heading the effort in Los Angeles. “And this (latest FBI news) has absolutely re-energized our write-in campaign too.”
The Bernie organizers are based in California, where Sanders was approved as an official write-in candidate. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is the preferred pick for vice president although neither want the office.
Write-in votes for Sanders will count in California, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Iowa, Washington and Oregon.
Young evangelical voters have a tough choice to make
Religiously conservative young people are stuck with a tough choice for president, even though their parents and grandparents appear to be largely sticking with Trump.
“A subset of conservative evangelical students are disappointed that there isn’t a true pro-life candidate in the race,” UT Arlington Baptist ministry leader Gary Stidham said. “We meet a lot of students who like the idea mantra of Libertarians. A phrase I would hear a lot of people say is ‘I would support a pro-life Gary Johnson.’”
Former TCU faith leader Daniel Myers is at ease less than a week from Election Day, confident his faith will outweigh the negative outcomes of a Trump or Clinton presidency.
“When he said ‘Two Corinthians’ instead of Second Corinthians I’m kind of like ‘Oh my gosh, here we go,’ ” Myers said in reference to Trump flubbing the name of a book of the Bible during a speech at Liberty University.
“My more-Republican friends kind of stand where I am. It’s hard to favor someone who has said what he said and who has done what he has done.”
Links of note
Have a question about the candidates, the campaign, the process, the election itself? Ask us here.
- Map: How America votes
- Quiz: Pick a side
- Register to vote
- Deadlines by state
- Find your state’s election office
- Sample ballots by ZIP code