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Reported by Camilo H. Smith for NewsOne

NEW YORK — Former presidential senior advisor David Axelrod implored Black Americans to “mobilize” for Obama in 2012 in a presentation today at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention.

Raising the Black vote turnout, Axelrod said, was “one of our great tasks for 2012,” repeating the phrase “registration mobilization”  in reference to the large numbers of young Black and Hispanic voters who remain unregistered.

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Garnering votes from the multicultural base is critical to keeping Barack Obama in the White House for a second term. In 2008, Axelrod said, 26 percent of the total votes were cast by minority Americans. In 2010, that number was 22 percent. That four percent drop-off was costly to the Democratic party.

“People stayed home and it made a difference,” Axelrod told a packed convention crowd.

Getting those potential voters involved in the process, he said, is “Job #1” as the Obama campaign gets underway. Axelrod mentioned the obstacles in the way of upping voter turnout, such as the Republican backed bill that blocks same-day voter registration. He calls the bills’ passage a result of the 2010 mid-term elections. Axelrod said the answer to growing the electorate in the 2012 election is “action at the grass roots.”

“We believe that campaigns begin not from the top down, but from the bottom up.”

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