Ballot Box

Clinton campaign predicts highest voter turnout ever

Hillary Clinton's campaign manager on Thursday pointed to early voting increases among African-Americans, Hispanics and women as driving what he predicts will be the largest voter turnout in American history. 

"We've been very confident since the time we saw the very first numbers on day one that we would see the largest turnout in American history. We will see more ballots cast in this election than any presidential election than ever before," Robby Mook said on a conference call with reporters.

"We are starting to see true indications of enthusiasm in this election, and they are pretty indisputable."

The message comes as strategists wonder whether the slide in Republican nominee Donald Trump's poll numbers will dampen Democratic turnout on Election Day, with people staying home because they think their vote isn't needed. Reports have indicated that the Trump campaign is now banking on that scenario.

Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri told reporters on Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Time, that the strategy won't work. She said Trump's rhetoric will only draw more people to the polls. 

During the Thursday call, Mook specifically celebrated the uptick in early voting in North Carolina and Florida.

"The overall picture in large part increased intensity on our side and really strong turnout numbers, particularly in comparison to 2012, among core Democratic constituencies," he said. 

In Florida, Mook said Hispanic turnout is "set to break records," adding that 1 in 3 absentee ballot requests over the past week were from African-American or Hispanic voters. 

And while voting by mail only makes up a small portion of the vote in North Carolina, Mook said mail-in ballot requests from Hispanics have jumped a "jaw-dropping" 33 percent, while requests from Asian-Americans have jumped 40 percent. 

While African-American requests are up just 3 percent from 2012, Mook pointed to the slight increase as proof that the enthusiasm isn't flagging without President Obama on the ticket. By comparison, requests from white voters are down 8 percent. 

Both parties have repeatedly touted their early vote totals in the hopes of portraying dominance. Last week, Republican National Committee political director Chris Carr told reporters he was confident in the early vote totals and needled Democrats for "concerning trends" in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Iowa, Nevada and Florida. 

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