Leaders say Black voter turnout could determine 2020 election

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- For the first time, an African American woman will introduce herself to most of the nation as the vice presidential nominee of a major party.

Senator Harris taking the stage Wednesday night, Aug. 19, is a historic moment, and it's one that Democrats hope mobilizes Black voters in particular, to get out and vote.

All eyes are on Sen. Harris Wednesday as she accepts the vice presidential nomination. 

"Make no mistake about it, in a moment when the nation is confronting issues of racial and gender justice, it will mean something that the vice president of the United States is a woman of color," said Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees.

During a meeting of the Black Caucus Wednesday, leaders said a Biden-Harris win will require Black voters to turn out.

"We've got some work to do these next 11 weeks to make it happen," said Saunders. "And I think we all know that for the Biden-Harris ticket to win, it will require 2008 levels of African American turnout."

Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson says he believes Sen. Harris can bring the same relatability as President Obama.

"This time around, now you have an African American woman to move forward in a similar fashion, galvanizing the vote and helping to turn out the vote," he said.

And Johnson says there may be no city more important than Milwaukee, where turning out the Black vote could win the state, and ultimately the election.

"As we lead into November, I have no doubt that the campaign and Sen. Harris herself are going to make their way to Milwaukee."

Johnson says he believes those in-person visits will be crucial for the state after Clinton skipped Wisconsin in 2016.

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