Irish American voters will be turning out in high numbers on Election Day, according to prominent GOP and Democratic supporters.
“Whether you’re GOP or Democrat, Irish Americans are going to come out and vote,” Stella O’Leary, president of the Irish American Democrats told the Irish Voice.
Speaking ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina this week, O’Leary said that Irish American voters take polling day very seriously.
“One of the reasons why the Irish are great voters is that you can rely on them to vote when others won’t come out,” O’Leary said.
“The Irish sense of politics is very strong and definitely written into our genes. I think historically, it was passed down to us, the notion of having control over your own country. It’s in our blood.”
Thousands of Democrats are expected to cheer on President Barack Obama at the Bank of America football stadium during his convention speech this Thursday.
Irish American Democrats will honor Obama’s Irish and Kenyan ancestry. As well as the organization’s convention party on Wednesday evening, both Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Collins and Elkanah Odembo, the ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to the U.S, will celebrate Obama's ancestry during a private event on Thursday.
In comparison to the 2008 election, O’Leary says there is not the same enthusiasm among voters.
“But this lack of enthusiasm, does not apply to the Irish,” she added.
"Irish American middle class concerns include the economy and jobs," O'Leary said.
Voters consistently sway towards the candidate promising job creation and a solid plan for economic growth, O'Leary added.
During the convention, Irish American Democrats will be promoting their new super PAC called McBLACKPAC. The new committee will lobby for the shared interests of both Irish Americans and African Americans.
“Since Obama’s Ireland trip, we have been talking to the African community about our dual ancestry and common agenda,” O’Leary said.
“Our biggest goal is to elect more African Americans and Irish Americans to Congress.”
The Irish American Democrats had originally planned to launch the action committee during the convention. Instead, O'Leary said they were simply introducing the concept during the convention and will launch the committee at a later date.
Meanwhile Jeff Cleary, head of Irish American Republicans, criticized Obama's economic policies ahead of the convention.
"He does not have a comprehensive plan,” Cleary told the Irish Voice on Tuesday.
“The policies he has implemented have failed. We have seen his complete failure to appoint a special economic envoy to Northern Ireland."
Cleary described Clint Eastwood's controversial GOP convention speech, where the Hollywood star addressed a chair where an imaginary Obama sat, as “absolutely terrific.”
"I marvel at the left wing, trying to depict it otherwise," he said.
"There was 20,000 plus in that arena and no one was complaining," he said. "They were laughing very hard."
He also predicted that Irish Americans would come out and vote in large numbers.
In the last election, Barack Obama shaded it over John McCain with Catholic voters thanks to a Hispanic boost.
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