Valerie Jarrett, a senior strategist for the Obama campaign, isn’t paying much attention to the bombardment of media polls seven days before Election Day.

What she does care about, Jarrett explained, is voter turnout on Nov. 6 – and the momentum that’s building in the African-American community.

“I believe we will surpass the African-American turnout [from 2008] in 2012,” Jarrett said in an interview with “There’s a real fear that the hands of time will be turned back if we elect Mitt Romney.”

“People are genuinely scared about the dramatic and draconian cuts to important programs like education,” Jarrett said. “The 2008 election was historic but this time the stakes are much higher in this race.”

With millions of Americans expected to vote early in this election, Jarrett said Obama made history last week in Chicago.

“President Obama is the first president to vote early in a presidential election,” Jarrett said.

Early voting is a key part of the Obama campaign’s strategy – and it appears to be working. Most major polls, for example, show Obama leading Romney in Ohio by five points, in large part because of voters going to the polls early.

Ohio is a critical battleground state – and a must-win for Romney. No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio. Republicans dismiss media polls saying Romney is poised to win Ohio because their internal surveys show that Romney is well within striking distance.

So can Obama win Ohio?

“Yes,” Jarrett said. “I have a high degree of confidence about the tidal wave of early voting. People are motivated to vote and they feel a sense of empowerment.”

Jarrett’s appeal for early voting comes as an Associated Press poll shows that racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the nation elected its first black president.

A slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not, the poll said.  In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey, according to the poll.

“As much as we’d hope the impact of race would decline over time … it appears the impact of anti-black sentiment on voting is about the same as it was four years ago,” said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor who worked with AP to develop the survey.

Meanwhile, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told reporters that most new voter registrants over the past three months are under 30, and nearly all—four in five—are youth, women, African-American or Latino.

“These are all groups that strongly support the President’s re-election,” Messina said. “Voter registration has increased most among Latinos and African-Americans, and two-thirds of those who have already voted are women, youth, African-Americans or Latinos.”

“In-person, early vote is especially popular among African-American voters, and early voting among African-Americans has increased since 2008 in North Carolina and Virginia,” he added.

In a recent conference call with reporters, Jeremy Bird, the Obama campaign’s national field director, said Democrats are building on the historic organization that was put in place in Ohio in 2008, which included 125 Obama campaign offices in every corner of the state.

According to Bird, all public polling shows that the president has a double-digit lead among those who have voted:

•         Survey USA found that Obama leads by 19 points (57/38) among those who have voted already.

•         Rasmussen, a Republican pollster, found that Obama leads by 29 points (63/34) among those who have voted already.

•         The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that Obama leads by 26 points (63/37) among those who have voted already.

•         PPP found that Obama leads by 52 points (76/24) among those who have voted already.

“We have a grassroots campaign, a network of supporters on the ground talking to friends, making phone calls, knocking on doors,” Jarrett said. “They [Romney campaign] don’t have the relationships that we have on the ground. In these final days, turnout will make the difference in this election.”

To build on the president’s message of hope for black Americans, the Obama campaign released a new video last week that features Eric Smalls, an African-American student, who thanks to Pell Grants, is the first in his family to attend college.

The video reminds voters that President Obama doubled funding for Pell Grants and increased the number of recipients by over 50 percent, from 6 million students in 2008 to nearly 10 million students today.

“As a result, millions of students are able to better afford college than when the President took office after scholarships and deductions,” according to the Obama campaign.

Many Democrats are concerned that Romney will slash funding to Pell Grants, which millions of African-American students rely on for their college education.

Jarrett, who campaigned in five cities in five days last week, spoke at a senior citizen’s center in Rocky Mount, North Carolina where she learned that some seniors walked two blocks to vote early. In Cincinnati, Jarrett said, many voters spent the night in front of a polling place to be the first group of people to vote.

“In 2008, President Obama won North Carolina by 14,000 votes,” Jarrett recalled. “So when people ask ‘will my vote really count?’ yes it will. And we don’t take a single vote for granted.”

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6 thoughts on “ANALYSIS: Valerie Jarrett Ignores Polls, Stresses Voter Turnout

  1. navi12 on said:

    Our men need to stop trying to pry the legs of sisters open. It takes two to tango. Doggone, rusty, dusty, crusty grown behind men acting like they are players or macks from the 1970’s. When we start businesses, we need to support and patronize each other. Obama had nothing to do with free phones, that was some capitalist cashing in on those among us who had the least and are unfamiliar with how the system works. We have been voting by the quality of the person since the Voting Rights Act was passed. It’s called choosing the lesser of the two evils. It used to be the Irish, Italians & the Jews, they sold their businesses to the Asian and the Pakistani or the Indians from India. That dog won’t hunt………. about Massa romney being some kind of improvement. Who is he going to model himself after? Rutherford B. Hayes?

  2. Afrikaan Amerikaan on said:

    obama will lose because instead of helping people, he just enslaved more of us. Free phones, more food stamps, higher unemployment, more disability, none of this helps our people. It just makes us slaves to a different master. We will not be free until we learn from the Irish, Italians & Jews from the early 20th Century. We need to work our behinds off & start businesses & work to be free instead of taking handouts. We need to have our brothers take responsibility for the children they create, and our sisters need to close their legs. Get married, create families not breed. We need to vote by the quality of the person, not the color of their skin. Are we this stupid? Break the chains of economic slavery & vote for the person that will give us a leg up, not a handout. And btw, Valerie Jarrett is Iranian so we know where her priorities are. Do we want to live under Sharia Law in the future? Good luck with that! Can’t wait for the yelling & screaming that will follow. Go ahead, act like sheep to the slaughter. Keep voting for your Massa obama, get in line for more hand outs to keep you quiet & unmotivated.

  3. TigreNoir on said:

    Romney’s facade was stripped away months ago but he will still get the anti-Obama vote. Racist America prefers deceitfulness over progress, especially when progress comes at the hands of an African-American. If President Obama wins, it will be great for America and the world. If the president loses it will be a wake-up call for African-Americans – who will be forced by Romney to get off of their assets and do for themselves. Until Black America throw off the shackles of cocaine, pot and welfare checks the future looks bleak no matter who wins the election. Look at the voting lines. Where are the black males 18-50? The American female will decide this election. Get out there sisters!

  4. africanwarrior on said:

    I fully agree with You. Maybe a we need to quit depending on Democrats Or Republicans to solve our problems . For more than 100 Yrs we had the Democrats and Republicans running America. They all promise to end poverty ,give better medical benifits etc…Jobs etc….. on amd on
    includin 40 Acres & A Mule ….. Blah Blah promises promises , Obama & Romney are no different. I will vote Obama because he is the less of the Two evils.

  5. FTSMITH on said:

    I look at the decent White voters that have elderly parents, young children, relatives in the military and other factors that affects the 99%, that will vote for MY President.

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