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 BustosHouse Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts Ocasio-Cortez defends decision not to pay dues to House Democratic campaign arm DCCC rakes in .4 million in December 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 RoudaHouse Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts Local infrastructure projects must embrace open competition The most expensive congressional races of the last decade 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 WoodallHouse Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts Trump shocks, earns GOP rebukes with Dingell remarks House panel sets guidelines for historic impeachment vote MORE's seat. It will also seek to defend Democratic Reps. Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamHouse Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi plans to send impeachment articles next week The lawmakers who bucked their parties on the war powers resolution MORE (S.C.) and Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerHouse Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts House passes bills to gain upper hand in race to 5G The biggest political upsets of the decade 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 Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts Overnight Energy: Republicans eye top spot on Natural Resources panel | GOP lawmakers push back on bill to make greener refrigerators, air conditioners | Green groups sue Trump over California fracking plans Republicans push back on bipartisan bill to make greener refrigerators, air conditioners MORE and Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdHouse Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts Hurd says Democrats, media are being manipulated by Iran Bottom Line 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 EscobarHispanic Democrats give Bloomberg camp warm reception House Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts Lawmakers warn Pentagon against reduction of US forces in Africa 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.