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.


“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 BustosRockford mayor decides against 2022 run for Bustos's House seat Advocacy groups urge Pelosi, Schumer to keep Pentagon funding out of infrastructure bills Nearly 70 House lawmakers ask leadership to reimburse National Guard for Jan. 6 response 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 Rouda'Blue wave' Democrats eye comebacks after losing reelection Former Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Republicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' 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 WoodallThe tale of the last bipartisan unicorns McCarthy guarantees GOP will take back House in 2022 Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day MORE's seat. It will also seek to defend Democratic Reps. Joe CunninghamJoseph Cunningham'Blue wave' Democrats eye comebacks after losing reelection Top cyber Pentagon official overseeing defense contractor project placed on leave Joe Cunningham to enter race for South Carolina governor MORE (S.C.) and Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerLawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker Moderate Democrats call for 9/11-style panel to probe COVID-19 origins 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 OlsonHouse Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit Republican Fort Bend County Sheriff wins Texas House seat 10 bellwether House races to watch on election night MORE and Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdFirst Democrat jumps into key Texas House race to challenge Gonzales Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Congress drawn into pipeline cyberattack, violence in Israel 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 EscobarLatina lawmakers discuss efforts to increase representation The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Officers recount the horror of Jan. 6 Migrant children at military bases: What is Biden doing? MORE (D).


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.