Since the beginning of the 2020 election season, one subject seems to pop up in political discussion again and again: the coveted black vote. Now, with the general election soon upon us, two liberal political action groups are joining forces and planning to launch a multimillion-dollar digital campaign targeting young black voters in an effort to dissuade them from voting either for President Trump or a third-party candidate.
From the Washington Post:
Priorities USA and Color of Change PAC intend to launch the effort in several key battleground states within the next few weeks, getting an early start at trying to convince skeptical or unenthusiastic black voters whose participation will be crucial if Democrats hope to limit Trump’s tenure to one term. Priorities has done online surveys over the past several months that indicate a larger share of young black men view Trump favorably than do African American women and older black male voters.
Since 2016, when Trump won a paltry eight percent of the black vote, there have been polls showing a slight uptick in black support for the president. Chairman of Priorities USA Guy Cecil points to growing “skepticism” towards the Democratic Party among young black men as well as “some sort of opening” to Trump who has touted himself as the prison reforming, unemployment decreasing white savior to the black community.
“We know it’s not enough just to talk about Donald Trump. We also must lay out a more proactive, forward-looking agenda about what we are going to do when we get in office,” Cecil said in a statement after noting that “among African Americans and Hispanics across all age groups, we’ve seen Donald Trump’s approval rating decline over the last three weeks.”
Arisha Hatch, director of Color of Change PAC, pointed to Democrats taking the black vote for granted while failing to address the concerns of black people as the reason a $3 million campaign is necessary to secure our votes in the general election.
“Democrats rely on the black vote, yet too often fail to speak to the specific needs of Black voters.” Hatch said in a statement citing “the highest rates of unemployment, even in good economic times, crushing incarceration rates, and structures of inequity at every possible turn.”
Hatch said that she is “thrilled to work with Priorities USA to dig into these needs and develop incisive messages to address them.”
As a Washington Post-Ipsos poll shows, Trump hasn’t actually gained much favorability among black voters with 9 in 10 disapproving of Trump’s job performance and 8 in 10 saying they believe he is a racist and has only exacerbated the issue of racism in America. But growing support for Trump isn’t the only hurdle Democrats face in the upcoming presidential race; low voter turnout is arguably an even bigger concern.
Yet, Cecil is confident that Priorities can help Democrats overcome this obstacle having already spent $4 million to boost participation for local elections in Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
“Just in running an online program that specifically communicated with infrequent voters about issues they care about, we were able to drive up turnout compared to places where we didn’t run the program,” Cecil said.
According to the Post, Priorities also has a whopping $17 million set aside to spend when the November election draws closer.