Nervous that a weak mid-term election turnout could lead to a total Republican takeover of Congress, Democrats and progressives are focusing on get-out-the-vote efforts this fall.
There’s plenty of cause for concern. Voter turnout, in general, is lower for mid-terms than it is in presidential election years, but the trend is even more pronounced for minorities, who skew Democratic. As the Washington Post reported last week:
In past midterm elections, there has been a sharp drop in voter turnout among Blacks and Hispanics from presidential-election years. The black turnout in the 2010 midterms was 44 percent, down 21 percentage points from the 2008 presidential election. Hispanic turnout was even lower: 31 percent cast ballots in 2010, down 19 points from 2008.
With this trend in mind, Black lawmakers and Democrats are spearheading a multi-state voter campaign to get African Americans to the polls in November, according to The Hill.
The national drive will focus on battleground states — including North Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas and Kentucky — where Democratic victories could prove pivotal if the party is to retain control of the Senate in the final two years of President Obama‘s tenure….
Donna Brazile, a longtime Democratic strategist and vice chairwoman of voter participation for the DNC, said the campaign will target eight competitive Senate races where black voters can swing the outcome.
“The African-American vote is crucial — crucial — for the Democratic successes all across the country,” Brazile said. “This is a year like no other. … We’ve been able to target the kind of vote that we need to win.”
The effort kicked off Sept. 21 with “Freedom Sunday,” a nonpartisan voter registration and education drive that was to involve 3,000 churches around the nation. The Congressional Black Caucus put its weight behind the campaign, which included giving pastors “toolkits” to help them educate congregants about the voting process.
Separately, Tuesday, Sept. 23 is National Voter Registration Day, an effort which NewsOne is supporting and which is backed by a broad coalition of over 2,000 groups, including non-profits, labor unions, voter leagues, colleges, black fraternities and sororities, and other community organizations.
A press release for the event calls it “the largest single-day effort of the year to register voters and involve them in the American political process,” adding, “Now in its third year, more than 350,000 voters have registered on National Voter Registration Day through field and online efforts by thousands of partners and supporters.”
Speaking during a presser at the Democratic National Committee headquarters Friday in Washington, D.C., Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), head of the CBC, stressed the importance of showing up at the polls this November. As The Hill reported:
Fudge warned that, if the Republicans take the Senate, GOP leaders would focus on impeaching the president, cutting entitlement benefits and pushing other policy changes harmful to black communities.
“They will make our lives miserable for the next two years,” she said.
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WATCH NOW: Should Black Americans Vote at All?