Ed Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania and a longtime Hillary Clinton ally, cautioned the Clinton campaign against declaring the election over, saying that it would depress voter turnout, particularly among black voters.
“I think there’s a hidden Donald Trump vote," Rendell told Philadelphia radio host Rich Zeoli Tuesday. "All this talk about it being over and now the real contest is the Senate is going to persuade a couple of Hillary Clinton voters and Democratic voters to say ‘Well, what do I have to stand on line for an hour [to vote] for?’"
Rendell added that "there a lot of things that are in motion that are favorable to Donald Trump. I wouldn’t say that it’s over then. The odds are that he’s going to lose, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it.”
Accepting a Clinton victory as inevitable risked lowering turnout among voters who were ambivalent about her candidacy, especially black voters, Rendell argued.
“If you’re an African-American voter and you like Hillary — because you’ve always liked the Clintons — but, you know, it’s not Barack Obama, and you read that Hillary’s got Pennsylvania locked up — the [Philadelphia] Inquirer said that the Trump team had conceded Pennsylvania this morning — you read that and you say she’s going to win anyway. 'What do I have to stand on line for an hour?' If I were the Clinton team, I would be desperately worried about that type of talk. Desperately worried."
As has poll numbers have fallen, Trump has also claimed that media pollsters were intentionally rigging polls to show him losing. Rendell pushed back against Trump, conceding, "The majority of the media’s against Donald Trump and favors Hillary Clinton," but that polls had not been intentionally skewed against him.
Nathaniel Meyersohn is a political reporting intern and is based in New York.
Contact Nathaniel Meyersohn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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