House Democrats focusing on people of color with voter turnout operation
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is set to pump tens of millions of dollars into an effort to persuade and mobilize voters of color ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
The so-called “Building Our Base Project” will cost $30 million and will mark the group’s earliest-ever investment to engage what it sees as some of its most critical constituencies, including Black, Latino and Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.
The effort could prove crucial for House Democrats, who are defending a razor-thin majority next year. The party has already seen its support wane among Latino voters, in particular, raising questions about just how much Democrats can rely on a growing voting bloc that they have long argued would naturally gravitate toward them.
“Democrats know that defending our House majority will depend on our ability to build a diverse coalition of support and these early, meaningful investments will ensure that we are taking no community for granted and leaving no votes on the table,” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the DCCC, said in a statement.
Included in the $30 million effort is a seven-figure investment in research and polling, as well as a series of highly targeted and localized ad campaigns. The program will also focus on hiring local community organizers and building out strategies to counter disinformation.
The early investment by the DCCC amounts to an acknowledgement that Democrats must work to rebuild the diverse coalition of voters that helped power President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
But it’s also an acknowledgement that Democrats’ support among voters of color may be more tenuous than many in the party once thought, and that the party must engage those voters early and often if they hope to see the kind of broad turnout that they’ll need to have a fighting chance next year.
Republicans need to net just five seats in the House to recapture control of the lower chamber, and they’re already expected to see a significant boost from redistricting alone. At the same time, Democrats are battling historical headwinds, given that the party in power tends to lose ground in midterm elections.
While the 2022 midterm elections are still nearly a year away, there have already been a handful of warning signs for Democrats.
For one, Biden’s approval rating has plummeted in recent months, while the number of Americans who say the country is on the wrong track has risen sharply.
Democrats are also still grappling with a series of disappointing election results in a handful of off-year elections. In Virginia, for instance, Republican Glenn Youngkin managed to flip party control of the governor’s mansion, while Democrats are poised to lose their majority in the commonwealth’s House of Delegates.
Cameron Jenkins contributed to this report, which was updated at 9:51 a.m.