News / USA

Democrats Say African American Voters Key to November Election

Volunteers get organized as they work to get out the vote in Balitmore, MD, Oct 2010
Volunteers get organized as they work to get out the vote in Balitmore, MD, Oct 2010

Multimedia

Recent public opinion polls of likely U.S. voters suggest the Republican Party will replace the Democratic Party as the majority party in both houses of Congress following the mid-term election on 2 Nov. Republicans also expect major gains in state and local elections.

In an attempt to avoid defeat, Democratic Party candidates are trying to rally their supporters, including a loyal base of African American voters. Volunteers are on a mission to get African American voters to the polls in Baltimore, Maryland. They are canvassing this neighborhood and others across the mid-Atlantic state of Maryland during the early voting period ahead of the actual election day.

Keith Haynes is running for his third term as a Maryland state lawmaker. Besides campaigning, he wants people to get excited about the election. "We are actually encouraging people to get out and vote now. So if he's in town he can take advantage of early voting today."

Haynes also said, "During the primary election a few weeks ago, we had one of the lowest voter turnouts that we have had in the state of Maryland and we are trying to boost those number up for the general election."

Organizers says these 'get out the vote' drives are important because studies indicate that turnout among black voters for midterm elections is often a third lower than in presidential election years. Melanie Campbell is president of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and she said, "I think it takes all of us getting involved and it takes the voter. It takes the community to realize this is a very important election and staying at home is not a good option."  

As head of the party, President Barack Obama is trying to help Democrats win on election day and prevent opposition Republicans from capturing enough seats to take control of Congress. "Don't ever let anybody tell you this fight isn't worth it."

David Bositis is an analyst with The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington. He said high black voter turnout in key races, especially in southern states, could make it difficult for Republicans to win a majority of seats needed to regain control of Congress.

"If black voters turn out, the Democrats' prospects are going to be a lot better than if African Americans do not turn out," said Bositis. "When there's little or no gap between black or white turnout, it usually bodes well for the Democratic Party. When there is a large gap between black and white turnout, it usually bodes well for the Republican Party."

In order to counter Republican challenges, the Democrats are spending more than $2 million on mobilizing black voters across the country. Keith Haynes says he is targeting those who have not voted in several years.  "We want to try to get those individuals who are registered and have a history of voting, but who may have not voted in the last few elections, to energize them to get that energy behind them to go out and cast their vote. But we are emphasizing that their vote does count."

The Census Bureau says black voter turnout in 2008 was slightly larger than white turnout for the first time ever. Fearing a sharp drop off this year, these volunteers say they will keep up their efforts to get blacks to the polls.  



You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid