Majority Minority

Majority Minority: Can Dems win in 2020 without a black candidate?

Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams greets a guest after announcing her entry into the state's 2018 gubernatorial race in Albany, Ga., on June 3.  Melissa Golden for The Washington Post.
Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams greets a guest after announcing her entry into the state's 2018 gubernatorial race in Albany, Ga., on June 3. Melissa Golden for The Washington Post.

Candidate Donald Trump tweeted that it would be generations before we saw the next black president. But today three of the most talked about Democratic contenders for president are African-American, including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and senators Corey Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California.

On this week’s episode of Majority Minority, we explore whether Democrats can win in 2020 without a person of color on the ticket. We discussed it with one of the most talked-about upcoming African American politicians, Stacey Abrams, the former House minority leader in the Georgia legislature, who is trying to became the first black female governor in the country.

Abrams doesn't mince words about why Democrats are failing and says the party needs to have a person of color on the ticket if it really wants to draw in voters needed to grow the Democratic Party.

“My approach to winning an election is to do the opposite of what has caused us to fail for the last 15 years," Abrams said.

The reality is that about 1.6 million blacks who voted for Barack Obama stayed home in 2016. So did millions of white Obama voters, but a new report by the Center for American Progress and the Bipartisan Policy Center, among others, predicts that Democrats would do a lot better in 2020 if they could reignite the enthusiasm and turnout from 2012 when more than 65 percent of black voters showed up at the polls.

To do so, Abrams says the Democratic Party has to stop watering down its values, compromising its principles and even changing its language in an effort to lure moderate Republicans to the blue side of the aisle. Abrams says it just won't work.

"Those who are hardcore or who have decided they’re Republican, they’re not going to be convinced by flaccid ideology that is not strong enough,” Abrams said. “The other part is people who actually want you to speak for them overhear you having this conversation and they don’t believe you want them, either. So what happens to Democrats is we keep losing election by smaller and smaller margins."

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