Democrats are increasingly concerned that Black voter turnout will fall in the upcoming midterm elections as polling shows lukewarm enthusiasm for the party in power, according to Politico.
“If Black turnout were to fall this year, it would seriously complicate — if not eviscerate — Democrats’ path to victory in hotly contested gubernatorial and Senate races across the country, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin,” Holly Otterbein and Elena Schneider wrote.
A Politico-Morning Consult poll released last week revealed that only 25% of Black registered voters were “extremely enthusiastic” about voting in the upcoming election, compared to 35% of Hispanic voters and 37% of White voters.
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As Black Americans typically vote for Democrats at higher rates than any other racial group, Democratic strategists interviewed by Politico were particularly worried about a lack of enthusiasm among young Black people and Black men of all age groups.
Strategists revealed that a lack of enthusiasm stems from frustration among Black voters who feel that not enough has changed since Joe Biden was elected president regarding the economy, voting rights, criminal justice reform and gun violence.
Cyrus Garrett, the African-American political director for the Democratic National Committee, told Politico that Black Democrats are concerned that the party has relied too heavily on abortion rights to bring in voters. She said such a focus is “tone-deaf” to Black men, whose concerns point elsewhere.
Other strategists claimed that shifting to a focus on threats to democracy would drive up Black enthusiasm in elections across the country.
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Democratic polling firm Impact Research president Molly Murphy put this theory to a test in Pennsylvania, with a poll that included an oversampling of Black voters wary of voting. She found that messages that stressed former President Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election, and that voting Republican would signal to Trump he could ignore the rule of law, registered best with the demographic.
A 73-page autopsy of the 2020 elections compiled by three pro-Democratic groups – the Third Way, a centrist think tank; the Collective PAC, which supports Black candidates; and the Latino Victory Fund, which promotes Hispanic candidates – spotlights that many House and some Senate Democrats underperformed at the ballot box because they failed to match now-President Biden’s support with voters of color, who despised then-President Trump but who also had reservations about the Democratic Party.
The analysis – which was first reported by The New York Times – points to specific electoral setbacks with Spanish-speaking voters in Florida and Texas, Black voters in North Carolina, and Asian-American voters in California, as it argues that Democrats failed to convey a consistent core message on the economy last year and “leaned too heavily on ‘anti-Trump’ rhetoric.”
The autopsy added that unless the party does a better job pushing back against GOP attacks comparing Democrats to socialists, they could see further erosion of support among minority voters in the future.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.