tv Campaign 2018 Minority Voter Turnout During Midterm Elections CSPAN November 2, 2018 12:21am-1:28am EDT
kindly covering this event this afternoon. i'm a fellow in the center for technology which is in our government studies department here at things. it's much more of a timely topic today than ever before. doctor harris is a nonresident fellow at things but also most importantly the dean of social science and political science at columbia university. he also serves as the director of the center on african american politics and society.
it supported by the southern political science association and the best book award by the society for the studyhe of religious and the best book award by the conference of political scientists. he's also the co-author of the countervailing forces in the civic activism 1973 to 1994 which received the book award from the national conference of black political scientists and the american political science association. the most prominent book the price of the ticket with obama and thdebacle, andthe rising clk politics and beyond discrimination, racial inequality in a post-racial era both written in 2012 respectively 2012 and 2013 have received numerous awards. the price of the ticket for
nonfiction. he's also a regular contributor to publications that include the ddissent society sold in the "washington post." i also know doctor harris from a previous life we both went to grad school together so he's much older than i. [laughter] with that i and humbled to have her with us to kick off this wonderful event. join me in welcoming doctor fred harris to the stage.
[applause] >> welcome, everyone. this is a very crucial moment in american political life where we are facing a midterm, one that we haven't seen for at least more than aea generation and as you know they are a referendum on the policy of the president. the trump presidency has engendered a sense of divided the country and so today we are going to explore or to what extent we will hear the minority places when it comes to the elections next tuesday.
so, we have a preeminent panel with us. i have to say the chief operating officer was scheduled to be with us today and unfortunately her schedule would not allow us to peer. to my left is the chief washington reporter and columnist for the boston herald where she focuses on the coverage on the white house, congress and the supreme court. she's a reoccurring guest for c-span morning call-in show washington journal where she interviews lawmakers, public policy experts and journalists about the issues on capitol hill. and the founding executive
director of asian and pacific votes known as api a. of th the organization's efforts have strengthened the local grassroots programs by reaching out and mobilizing the asian-american and pacific voters tond the polls. for more than two decades of experience in organizing and advocating on issues such as immigration, hate crimes, action, racial profiling voting rights and election reforms.
the. specifically around the participation of the associate professor of political science and director of graduate studies in political science department at howard university where he teachess courses on african american politics come interestt groups, the presidency and political parties. he served as a civil rights analyst at the u.s. commission on civil rights where he conducted research on such issues such as fair housing and is the author of thee republicas vote that analyzes the historical relationship between african-americans and the gop. i want to start with this general question. after two years of the trump presidency.
the country is divided and many see that as an upcoming status of the question i want to start with is the question whether they will contribute to the so-called blue wave. the midterms are coming at a time that we had two years as he was head of the president trump was proven to be the most polarizing figure. the minority voters have to have an impact and using the minority
voters authorized and a lot of different groups galvanized in a way that you haven't seen previously that started the day after president trump was elected which was the biggest political event in my lifetime here in washington but you see a same motivation when it comes to tople of color, but at the same time you have a recent state in the last decade or so that disproportionately affect people of color particularly people of colo who are poor but have a disproportionate effect, so you have these growing computing things happening in the midterm
elections. you have a lot of important house and senate races. as a whole that's one of the things we are going to be looking at is what role they play and it's hard to tell from the polling with minority voters but i think a lot of us, i think about the day after when i was looking at the exit poll data first thing that morning, a lot of people were surprised that he won the clear majority of the voters for example. i think looking at how they turned out and reacted.
they can't afford to ignore people of color and including the simple fact of looking at the growth of the population everyone's been asking suddenly we are hearing about asian-americaof asian-americanve last decade there's been tremendous growth in the states where there are tight races. we've conducted this once every two years and it's one that a few of the polling is done on ithe voters. i emphasize the language because there are differences in terms of those but go ahead and take it in english versus another language and from our survey in september, we have 76 had 76% we
planning on voting if it is actually even higher for some ethnic committees. also i think democrats right now going into this have been catering to the voters because according to the polling, they also havee an advantage when it comes to the issues and also in the senate races they have 50% of the voters that our survey of looking at the democrats and then around the same amounts for the congressional races as well. i have to emphasize that a quarter of them are still undecided whether or so even undecided voters going into th
this. they've been doing voter registration and we sent out bet over half a million mailers who is translated to 21 different states for following up with phone calls some t of them are even saying how did you get my phone number or address so that has helped me. no one ever tried to persuade them to vote for their particular candidate. >> the specifics that you gave that up to 50% of one particular party is worthy to note. what do you have to say?
should. we are perhaps in the first election in which they determine some big questions and so theree are some things that stick out to me. at least in terms of african-american voters, there is high energy around for country. at the ballot box we don't quite know yet until after and it's also existing in the environment that is concerned about the voter suppression, voting ashamed concerns and issues and
some coming up in texas there are those early voting that we may have a serious problem in terms of the electoral administration. and then last, i teach undergraduate and graduate students and my freshman were 8-years-old when barack obama was elected president and so they're sort of understanding of american politics is not in any way connecte connected with a hy of american politics had been. it's a bit of a reckoning and this way we are discussing it is largely driven in many ways by younger voters who by the way are the most unreliable voters so there's a lot going on to
suggest there will be a blue wave that many of the but many s turn that claimed over and are concerned about whether it would actually materialize. >> they suggested there's a great deal of mobilization or connection and perhaps this blue wave that many are predicting may actually be closer than many of us think because of this engagement. are there any thoughts about that potential closeness of this
election? >> i think it will be a lot closer than we are believing. they are harder to reach in the polls and so we don't know those that we are seeing if it is undercounting these voters or being inaccurate, so i think that is a really big concern for trying to figure out what's happened. president trump has been campaigning almost continuously so with regards to the sort of keeping connections to the base the other side of that is all you have is a hammer and everything looks like a nail.
if he can keep control of the house and the senate he will keep getting what he wants to do. i understand and we will see of course on tuesday. >> the different policies and proposals for the affirmative action and the census no one actually took a break. so all the different advocacy organizations and their members have been constantly busy whether it's participating in rallies, elected officials. but i see that people have continued to learn and the more
sophisticated about who are your volunteers and arresting for two years or four years, they've continued to build super is also the infrastructure leading into this but we haven't seen. one great example of storage isa because the cut of primaries. primaries but didn't get 50% said they had another and are now going to the midterm. there are more vigorous political infrastructures in georgia then we have ever seen because of continue the continud activity. and so it is whether it is nonpartisan groups to the politicalvi organizations. you have been watching with a wide lens is going on bu that ii want you to focus in on what is happening with latino voters particularly around the sense that the rhetoric around
they can make a bid for asylum in the united states knowing that the majority of them won't get it but it's worth taking the trip anyway. there've now been recent reports not only questioning everything from the birthright citizenship he's promised troops at the border and it's already more than the american troops that we have fighting crisis and if they send 15,000 votes mor 15,000 bie have in afghanistan when there is a federal law that prohibits. so that is serving to galvanize the base and primarily those who
supported him. now it is the latino population in the united states threatening that are watching for voter fraud. you will be subject to penalties both civil and criminal designed to put fear into latino americans who can vote somehow if they do engage in government that could put perhaps other people and their family who are legal residents or who are not legal residents in some sort of danger. they have had historically low turnout for a lot of reasons including voter suppression
efforts i can get into bleecker and the same kind of fear engaging in things like voting and that they have a right to do could somehow backfire on them and the lack of political infrastructure built by either party to engage these voters generally speaking when it comes to canvassing it rarely reaches those in the country when it comes to the polling that to everybody focuses on and it's almost a foregone conclusion until nobody pays attention to them. it's been to counter donald trump and it seems to have been a bit over th all over the place
they started saying they are disillusioned with the democratic party when that is a very tiny contingent of the population and then when you talk to the voters, their number one issues are not crying or immigration, it is things like healthcare and the economy and education. these are the things that motivate them the most. now they are back focused on donald trump, democrats are opposing this message. in a lot of ways, they just get left out and when you see it again he's saying all these things but we didn't see the turnout beo expected, these are the reasons why.
>> we still have some questions to get through as the paradox that asian americans on average have higher levels of a education but among the groups that are the least likely to comeg out and vote could you say something about that and if you think that this will be different than it has been in the past. >> there is a reason why the numbers were lower because you have to realize they couldn't even immigrate and become citizens in large numbers only starting in 1965 when the immigration laws changed and it takes a while to get someone to build these organizations. even nonprofit organizations.
we were established in 2007 and only then we started reaching out to the local nonprofits to help us convince them that they are allowed to even do this work and to change the culture or understanding. like when you become a citizen would've the meaning of what is go vote so like toha you have a lot of issues with regards to education and their perception of what the voting is like. we know in every single state the law ad ther gather may be le issues so that's why we provide a hotline during this period because a lot of them are asking questions in language about the elections. >> can you say more about the
so there are similarities but once again it's not enough of the political campaigns reaching out to these voters. we are starting to see changes like northern virginia nevada every cycle it's such a close race both republicans and democrats according to the asian-american specialty to asin american especially the filipino food in nevada and then we are also seeking investment firm she's a republican but she's had a long history of developing relationships in the community that the race is going to be very tight. then in houston texas, he went ahead and established a fuel program in different languages
the other part of it is a function of who you are running again. both georgia and florida they are running against extremely dislikable communities and people go to vote for the candidates so you may see some of that as well. i think that they will have it great impact and if they could have a cascading effect we could wake up on wednesday with a whole bunch of firsts.
it could be a really big day in terms of generating enthusiasm but remember this is important we are hearing stories about early voting and a tremendous voting but we are fortunate to get 50 to 51%. >> both the sort of reaction of many conservative white voters and we are going to talk about the voter suppression in a moment and the opportunities for the candidates of color to be
the nominee, the viable nominees candidates to be the governor of georgia and south carolina and maryland it's something we haven't seen in quite some time. >> you raise a very interesting point because as you recall the aftermath of the campaign they revolted in a whole bunch being elected in ways we haven't seen and the wilder of virginia and norm in seattle on. so perhaps what we are seeingo s
a staple to what we saw in that period added some of whom are seeing cut from the obama cloth if you go and have taken the baton in new directions we hadn't previously seen. >> are we seeing more asian american or latino voters and one thing not to mention there's an intersectional connection and have issues regarding women in politics which is also a response to the presidency of donald trump and the marches so we are seeing women of color also emerge in your town of boston there was a breakthrough. democratic incumbents, any thoughts on that releasing the future or is it sort of
temporary. before this panel of men in the senate judiciary with a lot of women to congress including dianne feinstein these things are cyclical. they defeated the incumbent democrat who was popular in boston. nobody disliked him in boston, the eight it was the states only majority minority district and on the issues they were exactly the same, but it was a matter of who did this district wants to see go to washington to
represent them. she had the energy and she was a black woman and that was a phase thephasethey wanted to send to . i think we are seeing some of that even in the races that don't involve the candidates of color we are seeing the power of the minority vote particularly. they were horrified at the idea of the issue i think people are understanding the power of the voters in a way that they've haneglected in the past. on the other hand when you talk about the low turnout among the people of color that is also a problem because one complaint i hear from voters of color is you
are not coming and reaching out to us but they come to us when you need us but in a crisis we come through for you but all the rest of the time when therees is no into political crisis, you don't and that is a big factor that keeps people away from the pole and it's a lack of engagement that it's not going to matter so why bother. >> there is a change because we are seeing a lot more women and also keep coming running for office and there is also locations where you don't think there's a sizable population like a filipina in texas and san antonio. it's about building a coalition and reaching out to a diverse group of voters but we also have a number of obama appointees to
court. >> what impact has there been allowing voter suppression and what kind of evidence do we see currently? and what would these tactics have been outcome? . >> we are seeing a lot of the evidence when it comes to the midterms that decision was handed down 2013 were the supreme court struck down a portion of the voting rightsti act that dealt with ee coverage formula so what determines when the justice department had to pretty clear certain districts that had a history of voter suppression. they had to be cleared before they could be implemented in these districts so in the commonwealth of virginia so it
is interesting now there's two new justices that now roberts is now the new swing voter justice so he may be the one that could be swayed that he was the author of the shelby county decision in describing this preclearance formula set up to decide how thiset would happen the racial disparity in those numbers was compelling evidence to justify the coverage formula there is no longer such a disparity. [laughter] but since then and that five years there has been hundred suppressed voter laws passed
in nearly half of the states in the united states this is happening all over and they have been challenged by many have been upheld like voter id laws the most pervasive and they have been upheld butom even more so in north dakota where it is very close senate race taking place to have a street address in order to vote now thousands of native americans that live in rural communities that our off the grid and essentially this disenfranchises all of them. coincidentally enough right after heidi hide camp won herp election that was seen as an
unexpectedhe victory and then purging laws where you lose your rights those are being challenged like in the georgia race your name has to match on your ideas the voter rolls and i can tell you from experience with a clerical error misspelled my middle name and it took months with me writing checks to two differentks states to get certified copy of my birth certificate to get it corrected how big of a problem that could be. of course, that disproportionately affects communities of color they are more likely to have a name that may get confused or a typo just leaving off one metal one - - one letter of my middle name but if you live in
a rural area or no access to the resources to pay two more fees just to get that personal information through no fault of your own you can understand how that would be a burden or proof of citizenship requirement. as you know, the short-lived chairman of the president on voter fraud. and the chief architect of voter suppression across the country. literally hundreds of laws right now there are tens of thousands that are challenging talking about thousands of votes that are at stake where the margins will be really
small. >> even for those that don't have a voter id to see an increase of latino and asian voters they are asking specifically for id so if you live in that district but i have to reemphasize they are not used to seeing these names or even with those clerical mistakes of the asian communities my chinese name also looking at the volunteers make sure the last name is a last name of the first name is the first name when they register.
. >> 55000 voters and roughly 70 percent allow african-americans so that will have a big impact and the secretary of state running for governor with no particular incentive to do this but another one which is really egregiousee may be voter location voting places but now historically and in the past the federal district court of dc would not be clear that. there is no real way to engage in that so that suppression is
somewhere between 30 and 40 seats and they needed 23 to regain control of the senate is more difficult because they have the momentum going in with heidi hide camp at the polls and that may have may have been tougher to take but toto reemphasize pulling is horrible at a national level so it is really difficult to know and there will be a lot of surprises. >> you are a political scientis scientist.
terms of democrats. with a large population the democrats have the advantage. >> that is a paradox i thought enit was much more divided between republicans and democrats and i thought that because the breakthrough of politics and as governors of southern states on the republican side. >> it goes back to those issues of 9/11 and also the indian south asian community that's very diverse as well. . >> i have not voted on a
regular election day since the first obama i have done early voting ever since i don't know why everybody doesn't do it. do you have the feel how that is doing in that communities? is at higher than normal? . >> from what we have seen across the board the turnout has been higher than past election years which shows the base is galvanized early voters tend to be politically active the minds are made up early but so far have been higher numbers but you cannot
tell yet if that will equal overall higher turnouts. >> and it has just came out they have already exceeded their numbers i'm sorry. i do work on this at the national education association 12 states have already exceeded total early voting numbers for 2014 but like you said it hasn't aggregated itself. >>.
>> i remind myself voter suppression is historical it happened to my ancestors and many of the ancestors here. the response of the civil rights movement as a large extent to ameliorate the situation what will that take now? i don't see to address this issue but clearly that depends on voter suppression in that state. >> that is an important issue talk about motivating voters and fighting back on the state level without republican-led legislature if you want to try to reverse.
there's also a law that was signed for automatic voter registration but in terms of that messaging you could invoke the civil rights movement and talk about the fight that was waged and how people died even before they were able to vote that's not for the right and the importance of it. when it comes to asian or latinono voters especially those that are citizens of the country since then so you don't have that message so that is what you need to teach people to understand this is why it impacts your community
that is a responsibility not just for yourself the past and future generations. >> even among the black voters you have heard that in 2016 as if your life depended on it and john lewis and despite that. >> so on the surface it should easily resonate with african-americans but if you play the historical card with millennial's who don't have any type of historical context, it falls flat so that messaging has to reach them in a different way. in terms of a coherent strategy you may see that outside the groups but even
that is not as coherent or targeted as it should be. >> i would like to get your opinion. latino voters typically skewed to more average voters rather than pro- democratic liberal skus. and i am wondering with historically low voter turnout. this election is framed as a referendum on trump so will that get us over the barrier because there is antipathy?
which way that will skew to draw out the voters? . >> i am not an expert but we have seen a lot of different voters in different parts of the country who vote in a lot of different ways like cuban-americans to be far more conservative to be moved on issues regarding reversing the policy on cuba they could be motivated by the issue of south americans and the messaging by president trump like the economy or education or affordability. it isay tough to say. i wouldn't put a broad umbrella it is very complex
the voter of puerto we can dissent will go one - - will vote differently than california of african descent. . >> to what extent where those efforts are high will people we permitted to vote provisionally in a state like georgia? so is that message getting out? if they say i will not vote because they will not cast my vote? . >> my understanding is that you can cast a provisional ballot but it can be counted
until after the election only if it counts or if it matters. and i will be honest how this plays out what the rules allow but to cast a provisional ballot and that has to let the voters know. >> so that campaign to make sure people know allne those numbers so when they turn away they understand what they can do. >> one more quick question. >> good afternoon.
currently a student at howard university and one of the major issues is that many who apply absentee ballots do not get them in time. atdi that point to get back to the county or clerk's office to be counted so with those suppression s? . >> we work with a broad coalition one of the things i know early on is to register with your address on campus so
that is oneg thing. so to make sure they know with the polling locations are there have been some other issues around that because the early voting locations where the lines have been too long so with those tactics are happening that way unfortunately. >> we are out of time. and to see how all of this will turn out but thank you to our panelist for participating in this great discussion. [applause] 's b5.