Black women candidates feel slighted by Democrats

Leave a comment

An illustration of a donkey blindfolded

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

There are at least 43 Democratic black women running as challengers for U.S. House seats, but only one — Lauren Underwood of Illinois — has the backing of the national campaign organization.

Why it matters: Black women are a powerful voting bloc for the Democratic Party as they work to capture the House and Senate. In 2016, 94% of black women voted for Clinton over Trump. In Alabama’s special election, they helped Doug Jones win — 98% of them voted for him, compared to just 34% of white women. Now they’re running for office in overwhelming numbers, but some feel the party isn’t investing in them.

Show less

The big picture: Right now, there are only 19 black women serving in Congress. Only 67 women of color overall have been members of Congress since 1964.

Be smart: The conversation about the party’s support of the black community — both as voters and candidates — is not going away any time soon. Just look at Cynthia Nixon’s gubernatorial campaign in New York, where she’s getting headlines like “Cynthia Nixon’s Political Run Should Be Taken Seriously Because She Takes Black Voters Seriously.”

Black women running say their enthusiasm isn’t matched by groups like the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Even the Congressional Black Caucus is backing Michael Capuano, the Democratic incumbent in Massachusetts’ 7th district, over his challenger Ayanna Pressley, who’s a black woman.

  • There’s been a focus on the progressive vs. moderate fight within the Democratic Party, making some feel overlooked. “I think some of the other groups [like progressives] have gotten more attention than any racial group,” Kimberly Hill Knott, who’s running for Congress in Michigan, told Axios. I don’t hear the national party talking about an urban agenda.”
  • But one progressive candidate who is also black, Kerri Harris, who’s running for U.S. Senate in Delaware, said she’s had no recognition from the party. “They can keep pretending like we don’t exist or come out against us as candidates, but they’ll realize the best way to uphold our Democracy is to encourage it.”

One big challenge: Politics is driven by money. If you’re not raising a lot of it, you’re viewed as unelectable. But raising money as a first-time candidate and a black woman is often half the battle, according to the candidates interviewed by Axios.

“These are organizations that are meant to help make sure black interests are represented and yet everybody is looking at who’s more electable based on money.”
— Alabama congressional candidate Audri Scott Williams

The other side: While some candidates want more from the national party, black women were praised at the DNC’s annual Women’s Leadership Forum this year, with Democrats like Rep. Maxine Waters and DNC Vice Chair Grace Meng calling them the “backbone” of the party.

  • The DNC’s Political and Organizing Director Amanda Brown Lierman said in a statement: “While the DNC does not endorse in contested primaries, we work with our state parties to make sure first-time candidates have the tools and information they need.” She added: “African-American women are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and we know we can’t take them for granted. That’s why we’ve made meaningful investments in our state parties in order to turn out and engage women of color.”
  • The DCCC didn’t address the number of black women on their Red to Blue list, but said they’ll keep working on diversity of candidates because it’s “crucial to winning back the House.” DCCC spokesman Kamau Marshall added: “The DCCC is proud to support the historic number of women and African American candidates running for Congress, who will bring a wealth of knowledge and cultural competence to the political table for Democrats.”

By the numbers: A recent collection of polls (from the Associated Press/NORC Center and CBS News) shows the diversity among black voters. Only 1% identify as Republicans, 92% disapprove of President Trump, and the 59% who identify as Democrats is smaller than the percentage of black voters who actually vote for Democratic candidates.

The bottom line: Black women candidates want more from the Democratic Party, but Democrats might not have to worry much about how they’ll vote in 2018 or 2020.

By Alexi McCammond/Axios

Posted by The NON-Conformist

 

Advertisements

 Are Black Voters Invisible to Democrats?

Leave a comment

High turnout among African Americans was crucial to Democratic victories in 2008 and 2012—so why are they being ignored this time around?

Voters arrive to cast early ballots in Davenport, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall, AP)

Sixty-four years after Ralph Ellison wrote his seminal novel, Invisible Man, about an African-American man who is consistently unnoticed by the powerful white people around him, it appears that black folks are still invisible to progressives and Democrats. Publicly announced political spending plans for the left this election cycle thus far reveal a gargantuan hole in terms of investing in the work necessary to turn out the voters most essential for any progressive victory in November—people of color, in general, and African Americans, in particular.

$200 MILLION SLATED—BUT NONE FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN MOBILIZATION

More from The Nation

Posted by The NON-Conformist

GOP Candidates Rally As Nevada Voters Head To Polls For Republican Caucus

1 Comment

Image: CBS New York

Donald Trump has his eye on the prize, while Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz prepare to battle it out for second place.

The Nevada Republican caucuses take place today — and after a big win in New Hampshire, Donald Trump has his eye on the prize, while Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz prepare to battle it out for second place.

On the eve of the state’s GOP caucuses the Republican front-runner did not hold back slamming a protester, saying: “I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you that.”

Trump also bashed rival Ted Cruz for what he called dishonest campaign ads, CBS2’s Don Champion reported.

“This guy is sick there’s something wrong with this guy,” Trump said.

In the days leading up to Tuesday’s Nevada caucuses, Marco Rubio’s campaign office in Las Vegas buzzed with activity.

More from CBS New York

Posted by Libergirl

 

Cruz tops Trump in Iowa; Clinton, Sanders too close to call

Leave a comment

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a fiery conservative loathed by his own party’s leaders, swept to victory in Iowa’s Republican caucuses Monday, overcoming billionaire Donald Trump and a stronger-than-expected showing by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Bernie Sanders rode a wave of voter enthusiasm to a virtual tie with Hillary Clinton, long considered her party’s front-runner.”Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee and next president of the United States will not be chosen by the media, will not be chosen by the Washington establishment,” Cruz said.

Image: Jae C. Hong, AP

His comments were echoed by Sanders, underscoring the degree to which voter frustration with the political system has crossed party lines in the 2016 campaign.

“It is too late for establishment politics and establishment economics,” said Sanders, who declared the Democratic race a “virtual tie.”

More from WRAL.com

Posted by Libergirl

Florida loss big blow to Democrats’ 2014 hopes

Leave a comment

Image: Politico

The Florida special election Tuesday was supposed to be an ideal chance for Democrats to show that 2014 isn’t a lost year. Instead, they were dealt another body blow, further weakening their prospects for this year’s midterms.

Democrats couldn’t have asked for a more golden opportunity.

They had the right candidate matchup: Alex Sink, a respected former statewide official who nearly won the governorship in 2010, up against a former lobbyist, Republican David Jolly. They had the right district: A swing region of Florida that appeared poised to elect a Democrat after more than four decades of GOP representation. And they certainly had the money: In a year of staggering GOP spending, Sink far outraised her opponent and got nearly $4 million in help from outside Democratic groups.

In the end, it wasn’t enough. Jolly won by 3,456 votes. And he did it by playing a hand Republicans across the country are expected to follow: Run as an opponent to the president’s unpopular health care law and the Democrat as for it.

More from Politico

Posted by Libergirl

NRA Spent Big To Help Senate Judiciary Republicans

Leave a comment

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in May 2012.

Image: Roll Call/CQ

The National Rifle Association’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, spoke Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun safety. There, he came face to face with a number of Republican Senators who have benefited from his organization’s spending in recent years.

According to Public Campaign, a non-profit supporting campaign finance reform and public campaign finance, the Republicans on the committee have in recent years benefited from at least $700,000 in various forms from the NRA, the NRA’s PAC, or the organization’s employees.

Public Campaign put together its numbers with help from data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics and the Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Explorer. According to the group, since 1998, the NRA’s PAC or NRA employees have given at least $120,000 to Republican members of the committee and their leadership PACs. More recently, since 2008, Republican members of the committee have been aided by over $587,000 in independent expenditures.

More from Eric Lach @ TPM

Posted by Libergirl

%d bloggers like this: