House Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts

House Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts
© Greg Nash

House Democrats' campaign arm launched a program Wednesday aimed at incentivizing minority voters to register to vote in 12 battleground districts.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) will invest six figures in placing organizers in districts with large African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Native populations.

The effort, dubbed the Constituency Organizing Program, is intended to rally minority communities in nine Democratic-controlled districts as well as three vulnerable districts where a Republican incumbent is retiring.

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“We are not taking anything – or anyone – for granted in 2020. This on the ground investment in building trust with core communities is another early, intentional step to engage and organize in communities of color,” said DCCC Chairwoman Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosDemocrats ask Trump for evidence that medical supplies are available Annual Congressional Dinner pushed back to June amid coronavirus concerns Internal Democratic research shows Hispanics energized to vote in November MORE (D-Ill.).

The effort will target AAPI voters in three California districts to defend Democratic Reps. Gil CisnerosGilbert (Gil) Ray CisnerosMORE, Katie Porter and Harley RoudaHarley Edwin RoudaDemocrat Harley Rouda advances in California House primary Let engineers make engineering decisions on local infrastructure projects EPA pushes back on Oversight review of ethics program MORE.

The program will appeal to African American voters in defense of Georgia Rep. Lucy McGrath (D), and in an attempt to pick up retiring Georgia Republican Rep. Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallOmar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat House candidate asks FEC to let her use campaign funds for health insurance House Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts MORE's seat. It will also seek to defend Democratic Reps. Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamHouse chairwoman diagnosed with 'presumed' coronavirus infection Capitol officials extend suspension of tourist access until May Second Capitol Police officer tests positive for coronavirus MORE (S.C.) and Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerJuan Williams: Biden's promises on women are a big deal Security contractor Erik Prince reportedly recruited ex-spies to help Project Veritas infiltrate liberal groups Hillicon Valley: Barr offers principles to prevent online child exploitation | Facebook removes misleading Trump census ads | House passes bill banning TSA use of TikTok MORE (Va.).

It'll also target Hispanic voters in New Mexico's second district in defense of Rep. Xóchitl Torres-Small (D) and in three Texas districts, supporting Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D) as well as Democratic contenders for the vacant seats left by retiring GOP Reps. Pete OlsonPeter (Pete) Graham OlsonKulkarni wins Texas House Democratic primary Former sheriff, GOP mega-donor headed to runoff in Texas GOP race Pierce Bush: A second heir to the Bush legacy shifts right to win MORE and Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdGarth Brooks accepts Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize for Popular Song Texas kicks off critical battle for House control Gun control group plans to spend million in Texas in 2020 MORE.

“The Latino community is the tide that will turn Texas blue and I’m glad to see the DCCC is continuing to build on the critical work they started last year to engage Latino voters,” said Texas Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarTexas House Dems ask governor to issue stay-at-home order 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order Hispanic Democrats demand funding for multilingual coronavirus messaging MORE (D).

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And in Arizona's first district, the program will target Native voters to help Rep. Tom O'Halleran (D) keep his seat.

The program follows the DCCC's success in rallying minority voters in 2018, a cycle when increased voter turnout, particularly in the southwest, was a cornerstone of the Democratic strategy to retake the House.

That strategy is based on research that shows early contact from campaigns can turn low-propensity minority voters into reliable electoral participants.

In many Texas districts with large Latino majorities, for example, participation more than doubled between 2014 and 2018, according to a post-election analysis by polling group Latino Decisions.

The DCCC and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) campaign arm, Bold PAC, have partnered in Texas, where Democrats are optimistic they can build on their 2018 gains by appealing to first-time Hispanic voters.

"This program is a great initiative by the DCCC to mobilize the Latino community in districts across the country where the Latino vote will make all the difference," said Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), the chairman of Bold PAC.

"Democrats need to speak to these voters early and often, and in order to do that, we need to keep making big investments in our community. In the upcoming months leading to the election, Bold PAC looks forward to continuing to work with the DCCC to protect and expand the most diverse House Democratic majority in history," said Cárdenas.