Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Republicans and Democrats launch Black voter outreach events around the debate

By 37ci3 Jun26,2024



ATLANTA – Ahead of the presidential debates, both Republicans and Democrats are using the attention surrounding the high-profile meeting to continue their efforts to connect with black voters, with a particular focus on black men.

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign invited several high-profile black surrogates — Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida and Wesley Hunt of Texas — along with former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to a Black American Business Leader roundtable on Wednesday.

The event took place at Rocky’s Barbershop, a black-owned Atlanta facility, and featured several local business owners, all of whom were male.

After each surrogate presented Trump’s achievements for black voters to an audience of mostly journalists, Trump himself called on him to repeat his oft-criticized views. claim his felony convictions increased his support among black Americans.

“Since this happened, Black support, I think my representatives will tell you, Black support has gone through the roof,” Trump said. “I think they are equal to the problems they have.”

The Biden campaign was quick to respond to what Trump described as “doubling down” on a racist stereotype.

“This may come as news to Trump, but black and Latino voters have nothing to do with his racist stereotypes, and they know better than to buy into his lazy, embarrassing ‘experimentation,'” said Biden campaign spokeswoman Sarafina Chitika.

After the event, Rocky Jones, the venue’s owner, would not say whether the message of Trump or his black surrogates was persuasive enough to rally support this November.

“I’m looking at it. I just want to hear both sides of the story and then I’ll make up my mind,” he said. I want to vote for the person who will help me and society.”

On Tuesday, Donalds and Hunt head to Fairburn, Ga., about 20 miles south of Atlanta, on a “Congress, Cognac and Cigars” tour after an earlier stop in Philadelphia.

According to organizers, the goal of the event is to facilitate “a real conversation about Black male voting, leadership and how they will impact the 2024 election.”

Efforts by Trump and his allies to target black voters by focusing on men have accelerated since his campaign launched this month. Black voter coalition groupand a series of events designed to attract voters of color in Detroit and Philadelphia.

While Republicans hope the effort will translate into Trump winning more of the black vote in states like Georgia, some Democrats are skeptical.

Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC, said focus groups conducted by a group of black voters in the battleground state did not suggest a significant increase in support for Trump, accusing his campaign of creating the narrative “out of thin air.”

“He’s so he can create this narrative about how much black voters love him, and at the end of the day, when black voters don’t actually come to him, they get angry about voter fraud or whatever. Pretending is why he lost,” Shropshire said.

Michaelah Montgomery, an Atlanta-based Republican organizer, disagreed with the group Protecting the Culture, which works to increase black support for Trump, saying Trump’s campaign events are important and creating a “community” for newer black conservatives who are hesitant to express their support for Trump. .

“It’s important for black conservatives to know they have a community. Unfortunately, many black people feel that if they are conservative or conservative, they have to keep quiet about who they support because it doesn’t fit with societal norms.

The Atlanta outreach effort isn’t entirely surprising: According to Georgia’s secretary of state, black voters are the second-largest voting bloc in the state. About 30% of active voters in Georgia.

But while the majority of black voters in the state vote Democratic, pro-Biden organizers are also campaigning to “leave no Black vote on the table in November.”

“This is one of the larger demographics in terms of the power to decide whether black voters will be not only president, but speaker of the House,” said Quentin James. Collective PAC, the nation’s largest political action committee supporting black candidates.

The group supported Biden during his state visit in March, along with organizations representing Latino and Asian American voters.

Collective PAC, along with several organizations including 100 Black Men of America, plans to hold panels before and after Thursday’s debate where black political commentators, politicians and business owners will talk directly to voters about “the real-world implications of the debate.” covers the material”.

On-site staff will also be available to assist attendees who have not yet registered to vote, a critical component of the event.

“We estimate that they are more than 800,000 eligible but still unregistered African Americans in Georgia,” James said. “So there’s an opportunity to attract unregistered people.”

Meanwhile, another pro-Biden group, the New Georgia Project Action Fund, plans to launch a campaign to reach out to Black men during a debate watch party in Atlanta, specifically reaching out to a group of voters who are often “left out of Biden.” conversation.”

“After the election, when the results don’t go the way people expect, black people are blamed and scrutinized for whether or not they’re there and what they look like,” said Simran Jadavji, spokeswoman for the New Georgia Project Action Fund. “But in the actual conversation, they don’t engage in that way for many, many months and years leading up to election cycles.”

At the cigar lounge event, attendees will be presented with a variety of texts on issues that organizers say are relevant to Black voters, including affordable housing, job creation and higher wages. If Trump or Biden address these issues, the hope is that participants will adapt and send these texts to their networks.

“We can only share so much information at the New Georgia Project Action Fund,” Jadavji said. “But if we have a team of 50, then Black men sharing in their networks, it’s more believable, more credible, and invites more dialogue over the next few months.”

According to NBC News exit polls, Trump won 11% of black voters in 2020, up from 9% in 2016.



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