In a statement on Thursday, Al Sharpton said Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton need to motivate African-American voters to turn out to the polls in November’s election. Sharpton noted that Clinton has a slight advantage over Sanders in this regard, highlighting the fact that Sanders has failed to draw large crowds at events in African American communities.
“The problem with Sanders’ side is that he has to make a case,” Sharpton said. He added that the best Sanders has done with the black vote is 30% so far in the primaries. Sharpton’s National Action Network convention will host Senator Sanders’ address on Thursday evening.
Sanders’ rallied 27,000 in Washington Square Park Wednesday evening, with three overflow crowds bringing the total to at least 40,000, according to NYPD. Sharpton acknowledged that Sanders is resonating in some places, but not doing so well in others. His event in Harlem on Sunday, he noted, was less impressive.
“They’ve got to make a case on why I need to come out,” Sharpton said.
While Sanders may have a disadvantage in this regard, Clinton also has some work to do. Sharpton said Clinton will need to make her pitch to African-American voters, too. He noted that she’s made progress with black voters, but both Clinton and Sanders need to generate excitement.
He remarked that this is a “peculiar” time in American history for African-American and white voters because the general election will determine which “white will replace a black president.” Sharpton called the election a “sensitive” one, and is an issue that the media is overlooking.