Politics & Government

Don’t blame us, Congressional Black Caucus chair says about midterm election results

Congressional Black Caucus chair Rep. Marcia Fudge had this to say on Monday about last week’s midterm election results: “Don’t blame us.”

“Democrats did not lose control of the Senate because African Americans did not vote. Actually, as supported by preliminary exit poll data, the complete opposite is the case. African Americans increased as a proportion of the electorate in 2014 over 2010. African Americans voted heavily for Senate Democrats, and by doing so remained loyal to both the president and the Democratic Party and its values. So, don't blame us!” Fudge, a Democratic congresswoman from Ohio, said in a statement.

In North Carolina, African-American voters made up 22 percent of the electorate, up slightly from the last midterm. Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who lost, got 96 percent of African American votes, compared to 3 percent for the winner, Republican Thom Tillis. Hagan got just 33 percent of the white vote, compared to 62 percent for Tillis.

Fudge said African American turnout also was strong in Kentucky and Georgia. But Democrats lost Senate races there as well.

"We did vote, as was true for the last three election cycles,” Fudge said. In addition, black churches and community groups mobilized to encourage early voting and held get out the vote rallies. Fudge herself went to North Carolina to talk about the importance of the election and try to get people to vote for Hagan.

Where should the blame be cast? Fudge offered these thoughts:

"Democrats lost Senate control because we failed to mobilize young voters across racial and regional spectrums. We failed to persuade Southern voters to hold true to core Democratic values. We lost because the Hispanic community was insufficiently motivated. We lost because of ideological differences within the Democratic Party and with our administration.

“We lost because our party has, to some extent, lost white Southerners due in part to the race of our president,” she added in her statement. “We lost because the Supreme Court decisions in “Citizens United” and “McCutcheon” allowed a select few to subvert the political process with secret, unlimited money. We lost because of gerrymandering in our state redistricting processes. We lost because of our continuing problem with a clear and compelling message that would encourage voters to stay with us.”