Ashton Woods, a community activist with Black Lives Matter Houston and a candidate for Texas House District 146, joined Radio Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Wednesday to discuss Super Tuesday and provide insight into the Texas electorate.
Woods told hosts Bob Schlehuber and Jamarl Thomas that he was not surprised by the results in his state of Texas, where Biden won, because he was personally aware of “a lot of black folk and brown folk who were supporting Biden and who were supporting Bloomberg” and longed for a return of an administration comparable to that of former President Barack Obama.
The activist argued that the right questions were not asked of the voting public leading up to the Texas primary. Instead of simply focusing on what candidates voters were supporting, pollsters should have asked citizens about the main issues they take into account when selecting a nominee for their party, according to Woods.
He pointed out that although Biden has been gaining steam on the campaign trail, it is important to make sure that Democrats do not disenfranchise those who may have voted for Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) or Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Prior to the first polls closing on Super Tuesday, NBC News’ Shannon Pettypiece asserted in a viral tweet that “young people still don’t vote,” citing an NBC exit poll poll which showed that voters between the ages of 18 and 29 cast only 13% of ballots in Democratic Super Tuesday races.
Woods noted that Houston in particular has the “youngest population in the state,” with the average age being somewhere between 27 and 30 years old.
“We showed up,” he said, referring to the younger voters.
While former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has since dropped out of the Democratic presidential race and endorsed Biden, he did manage to win around 15% of the vote and five delegates in the state of Texas.
Woods explained that there are a significant amount of black and brown voters in Texas who would refer to themselves as conservative Democrats, but would not vote Republican.
“I don’t mean to sound rude, but a lot of these people who turned out for Bloomberg and turned out for Biden basically were the same people who would have been supporting Hillary Clinton and her ‘superpredator’ comment,” he said. “A lot of black folks [were] supporting that crime bill in ‘93, and those are the same people who are voting now.”
There’s also a lot to be said for those who do not necessarily engage in politics online, watch the debates or turn to social media for the latest updates on the candidates or responses to a recent gaffe, Woods argued.
“We’re talking about people … work three jobs, have got children and live everyday life and probably don’t ever watch the news, except for when hear a hurricane is coming,” Woods said. “And they heard Bloomberg’s voice, and they heard Biden’s voice,” because they’re listening to the radio rather than ad-free versions of Spotify, Pandora or other related platforms.