President Obama is spending this week making the case for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whose election he sees as holding the future of his legacy. He’ll make campaign stops in Florida and North Carolina leading up to Election Day, following a raucous stop in Ohio on Tuesday. All the while, the president is making appeals to the voters who backed him in 2008 and 2012 through radio and social media interviews.
While early voting data shows that 24.4 million people have already cast ballots, but in Florida, North Carolina and Georgia the black vote in particular is down from where it was in 2008 and 2012. In a radio interview that aired on Wednesday, Obama admitted that the black vote is “not where it needs to be” just a week out from Election Day.
“Right now the Latino vote is up, the overall vote is up, but the African American vote right now is not where it needs to be,” the president said on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.
Obama was elected in large part due to high turnout among African Americans, many of whom saw his candidacy as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In 2008 and 2012, black women had some of the highest percentages of eligible voter turnout and the black vote overall was on par with white voter turnout for the first time in history. During his interview on the Tom Joyner show, a nationally syndicated black radio show, recognized that his candidacy was in many ways the reason for the bump in black vote, but tried to convince voters that if they fail to elect Clinton his legacy would falter.
“If you really care about my presidency and what we’ve accomplished, you are going to go and vote,” Obama said. “If we let this thing slip and I’ve got a situation where my last two months in office are preparing for a transition to Donald Trump, whose staff people have said that their primary agenda is, to have him, in the first couple of weeks, sit in the Oval Office and reverse every single thing that we’ve done.”
The interview was one of several the president conducted during a stop in Ohio on Tuesday, where he made a spirited case for Clinton just days before the general election. President Obama will be on air with the Willie Moore Jr Show, another syndicated black radio show, Wednesday afternoon. Campaigns often use advertisements on black radio networks to target the voting bloc. According to Nielsen, about 31.3 million African Americans listen to the radio each week and blacks and Hispanics spend more time listening to the radio than any other group.
President Obama will also appeal to millennial voters, another group whose support helped carry him to the White House, via the social news network NowThisNews. Clips president’s discussion with NowThisNews will be released throughout the week. In it, Obama made his first public comments on the FBI’s recent revelations about Clinton’s emails and the the Dakota Access Pipeline.