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Renee Ellmers: Black North Carolina voters not excited about Clinton

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File photo: UNITED STATES - JANUARY 27: Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., speaks during a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on legislation to end human trafficking, January 27, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

WASHINGTON — Rep. Renee Ellmers said Friday that North Carolina’s black voters are not excited about Hillary Clinton, despite polls showing the Democratic presidential nominee overwhelmingly has their support.

“I am not seeing any of the excitement for Hillary Clinton in our African-American population here in North Carolina,” the Republican congresswoman told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.”

Early voting among black voters in North Carolina is down by about 5% compared to 2012, according to Catalist, a data company that works with progressive candidates and groups on early voting data.

African-Americans have dropped as a share of the early voter electorate from 28% in 2012 to about 23% this cycle. As more polling stations open this week, their turnout might improve. A majority of African-Americans who voted already in North Carolina were also registered

Excited or not, 94% of North Carolina’s black voters are backing Clinton, according to the most recent NBC/WSJ/Marist poll.

Ellmers also challenged President Barack Obama’s efforts to help black voters overcome poverty, she said.

“No matter how many times President Obama comes and speaks to the African-American population or millennials, he cannot overcome the fact that there are millions more in poverty today,” she said of the President, who spoke Wednesday in Chapel Hill at the University of North Carolina.

“The greatest number of those are the African-American population,” Ellmers added. “That’s what those good people know and understand.”

Ellmers, a supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, said poverty in the black community is worse in 2016 than when Obama took office.

“It’s worse off than when Barack Obama took office. Millions more are in poverty today than when Barack Obama took office eight years ago,” Ellmers added.

While the poverty rate among blacks is higher than the national average, it has declined from its high in recent years.

The poverty rate for African-Americans hit 27.6% in 2011, almost 2 percentage points higher than when Obama took office. But the current rate is 26.2%, based on US census data.