she said PERIODT. pic.twitter.com/aZhNgmMTbp
— anGie (@angiemugisha) February 27, 2020
Nia Dennis, on her 21st birthday.
Shirley Chisholm had the guts to oppose the Vietnam War. The guts to run for president in 1972. And she had the guts to speak truth—no matter how uncomfortable or unpopular. Our nation’s leaders could all use a little more of Shirley Chisholm’s grit and grace. #BlackHistoryMonth
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 27, 2020
Full turnout for blacks would result in +9 million net Democratic votes. Full turnout by whites would result in +5.4 million net Republican votes. https://t.co/2X5tpMCNXm
— Jen Parker (@JenParker393) February 27, 2020
Black neighborhoods in key swing states hold enormous power to reshape politics in November and beyond. But in order to maximize this potential, progressives need to imagine and invest on an unprecedented scale…
What is a “new black voter”? In the 2016 presidential election, an estimated 3.3 million black people in six key swing states were unregistered, or registered but had never voted, or didn’t vote in that year, despite previously doing so. In those six states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia) the number of eligible but nonvoting black people was at least 2.8 times Hillary Clinton’s margin of loss. Five of these states also had Senate elections; Democrats lost all five.
In Pennsylvania, for example, Mrs. Clinton lost by about 44,000 votes, while Katie McGinty, the Democratic Senate candidate, lost by about 87,000 votes. But an estimated 350,000 eligible black people didn’t vote statewide. Combine this with the fact that half of Pennsylvania’s black population lives in Philadelphia, and it becomes clear where there is concentrated, untapped political power. This type of geographic concentration is not unique. Just 14 cities account for over half of the black population in these six crucial states. (There are also large concentrations of black nonvoters in Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando, Fla.; and in Fayetteville and Winston-Salem, N.C.)
And within these 14 cities, majority-black census blocks (areas usually much smaller than election precincts) account for a vastly disproportionate percentage of the black population. For example, majority-black census blocks account for 80 percent of Milwaukee county’s black population, which itself accounts for 70 percent of Wisconsin’s black population. The upshot is clear: Nonvoting black residents in key places have the potential to swing elections, from the presidency on down, in 2020 and beyond. Republicans have understood these dynamics for years; they long ago decided that they were better off trying to suppress black voters than to compete for their votes….
Research shows that the most effective voter-turnout technique is person-to-person contact from a trusted source like a family member, friend or neighbor; this is far more successful than impersonal paid communication like TV, digital or radio ads. But most nonvoters or infrequent voters don’t get this kind of outreach because campaigns and independent political groups generally ignore people with low “turnout scores.” And since these scores are developed based on voting history, nonvoters become less and less likely to be contacted. Even worse, people who have recently moved or are unregistered may not even show up in campaign databases. This problem is acute in areas with high transience, like urban, majority-black neighborhoods.
But the opportunity lies precisely with these people. To realize this potential, we must shed cynical assumptions about what is and isn’t possible…