Politics & Government

After Alabama, House Dems launch effort to register black voters

The political arm of House Democrats began a new effort Wednesday to register African-American voters in dozens of battleground districts, convinced the results of Tuesday’s special Senate election victory in Alabama prove the party has a golden opportunity to expand its advantage with a loyal voting base.

The online effort will use Facebook ads targeted at potential African-American voters, especially women, in 42 districts with significant black populations, according to an official with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In the display ad, readers are told that “black women voted in RECORD numbers in the Alabama Senate Election.”

“WE have long been the backbone of the Democratic Party - and We have the power to decide future elections,” the ad said, before providing a link for people to register to vote.

“It’s clear that when African Americans vote – particularly African American women – Democrats win,” said Dan Sena, the DCCC’s executive director. “In an effort to capture the grassroots momentum from Alabama and Virginia, we are launching a digital voter registration campaign in districts with significant African American populations. Energizing, registering, and turning out Democratic base voters will continue to be central to our midterm strategy.”

Democrats were elated about black turnout in the Alabama race, which Democrat Doug Jones won over Republican Roy Moore. Exit polls showed black voters made up 29 percent of the electorate — higher than the 25 percent many in-state party operatives had hoped for before the election.

Democrats rely heavily on African-American voters in most elections, though critics inside the party accuse many candidates of taking this group’s support for granted. Turnout among black voters dropped during last year’s presidential election, when Barack Obama was no longer on the ticket.

Districts targeted with the ad buy include battlegrounds such as Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District and Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District.

Alex Roarty: 202-383-6078, @Alex_Roarty