APTOPIX 2020 Election DNC

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., watch fireworks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Starting this week, the Democratic National Committee is upping its courtship of Pennsylvania’s Black voters, a constituency whose support could well be determinative this voting season. In a new series of radio and print ads, the DNC wants to make sure they have a plan to vote.

The campaign is part of six-figure buy across several battleground states, the Capital-Star can exclusively report. The ads will appear in the Philadelphia Tribune (a publishing partner of the Capital-Star) and WRNB-FM in Philadelphia, the DNC said in a statement.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden enjoyed significant support among Black voters in an August CBS News poll. He also got a bump when he named U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who is Black and Indian, as his running mate.

Even so, the former vice president has fought what some news organizations have described as an enthusiasm gap when it comes to winning the support of Black voters, who have historically voted Democrat. Sensing an opening, President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has tried to pry that support away, specifically targeting Black male voters.

The new ads — print and radio both — direct listeners and readers to IWillVote.com, the DNC’s specialty voter engagement website (partly pictured above), where voters can confirm where they’ll vote, to register to vote, and to vote by mail.

Despite this year’s anti-racism protests, President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed he’s done more for Black voters since Abraham Lincoln, and warned Black voters as recently as late last month that Biden was taking their support for granted, the Washington Post reported.

“They want to take the Black voter for granted and they have taken the Black voter for granted,” Trump said in a speech in Atlanta last month, the Post reported.

Democrats have clearly been listening.

“Democrats are meeting Black voters where they are and making critical investments to ensure Pennsylvanians have the information they need to make their plan to vote,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement obtained by the Capital-Star. “The stakes have never been higher — especially for communities of color — and we are committed to making sure voters have the tools and information they need to make their voices heard at the ballot box.”

John L. Micek is Editor-in-Chief of the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, where this article first appeared.

(1) comment

martha.cornog@gmail.com

Getting out the vote is great, but what about countering voter intimidation? Trump keeps saying he's sending his people to the polls to watch for chicanery, but that sounds more like he's sending his "troops" to scare off voters, especially minority voters. I hope the DNC and the city have plans to counter this so voting in all parts of Philly proceeds as smoothly as possible.

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