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

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space 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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid