Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders Seek Minority Votes in Massachusetts - NECN
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Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders Seek Minority Votes in Massachusetts

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    Clinton, Sanders Seek Mass. Minority Vote

    The two Democratic presidential candidates are working to gain the support of minority voters in the Bay State. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016)

    The two Democratic presidential candidates are working to gain the support of minority voters.

    "I am indeed a Latina for Bernie Sanders," Elena Letona of the group, "Latinos for Bernie Sanders," said on the steps of the Massachusetts State House Wednesday.

    Community leaders endorsed Sanders and kick off their grass-roots organizing effort aimed at reaching Spanish-speaking voters before the March 1 primary.

    "He is specifically speaking to us," said Lawrence City Councilor Kendrys Vasquez. "To the students, to the immigrant famlies to the hard workers."

    Just an hour earlier, it was a different message coming from the exact same spot on Beacon Hill, delivered by a mostly African American coalition.

    "Hillary Clinton deserves our vote because she has earned it," Andrea Cabral said.

    Clinton' supporters quickly organized a news conference of their own to pre-empt Sanders' and send their own loud message.

    "She knows that plans without price tags are simply pandering," Ayanna Pressley said.

    Massachusetts has a long history of being Clinton country. In the 90s, President Bill Clinton won by big margins. In 2008, Hillary Clinton soundly beat Barack Obama in Massachusetts. She won with large margins of female and minority voters.

    But the latest Massachusetts primary poll shows Clinton may not be as popular as she once was - Bernie Sanders is up by seven points, 49 percent to 42.

    "He has the most progressive, pro-black stance," said Kevin Peterson.

    For Peterson, it is a vote for a bolder Democratic voice. For others, it is frustration with Clinton.

    "A few years ago, she actually said publicly that she was supporting the deportation of mothers and children," said Patricia Montes.

    "Hillary Clinton was once on the board of Walmart," said Gabriel Comacho. "Yes, that massive behemoth, multinational corporation that has been responsible for destroying local economies, mom-and-pop organizations."

    "I don't think Hillary Clinton ever saw herself as the inevitable candidate," said Cabral. "I don't think she's every taken any of this for granted."

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