The DNC's Efforts to Get Out the Crucial African American Vote

In the history of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), there has never been a media campaign so fiercely waged for African American votes in a midterm election. In an unprecedented effort, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) implemented a $3 million advertising campaign to get out the African American vote. DNC Chairman Tim Kaine said that, "the Democratic National Committee is investing more resources to engage the African American community than in any midterm election in history." The DNC is attracting African American voters to the polls through radio, print and online advertising. The effort is an indication of how high serious the Democrats are taking this election. With so many close races, getting out the African American vote is crucial.

The DNC seeks to educate, engage and empower African American voters through its efforts. Although President Obama holds a near 90% approval rating among African Americans, voter enthusiasm in the African American community is low. African Americans have been hit hardest economically with a 16.1 % unemployment rate and high foreclosure rates. Republicans are banking on African Americans staying home on Election Day. The DNC's measures are intended to prove the Republicans are wrong.

Civil rights legend, Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, in a radio ad running now, urges African Americans to get out and vote on November 2nd. He says, "In 2008, we changed the guard. This year, we must guard the change." A print ad running in African American newspapers featuring President Obama is some ways more effective than the Lowery radio ad. It is a direct appeal from the President for African Americans to stand with him and vote. The best way to appeal to African American voters is a radio ad running nationally and locally featuring President Obama. There is no better voice for African Americans to hear, at this crucial time, than that of President Obama. President Obama is the best person to take the message to African Americans. It is not known if the DNC plans to run such an ad.

As part of a $50 million Vote 2010 campaign, the DNC has engaged in its most substantial effort ever, in a midterm election, to reach African American voters, including community outreach, door knocking, phone calling, mailing, text messaging, going into barber shops and beauty salons, reaching out to clergy and using social media, including Twitter and Facebook. DNC Chairman Tim Kaine said:

We are reminding voters that if we want President Obama to be successful, then we need to make sure people are informed and we need to stand up for the President. That is why we have also invested heavily in state grassroots efforts and our grassroots arm---Organizing for America. Since June we have been knocking on doors, making phone calls and talking to community members through our beauty parlor and barber shop program. Through this effort, we are engaging voters and informing them about the importance of the midterm election and the choice in November. It is important that we reach reliable voters and those who voted for the first time in 2008.

African Americans have the most to either gain or lose in this election. In many ways, 2010 is as important as 2008. It is imperative that African American voters get the link between voting in the midterm election and helping President Obama. The message is simple. Voters must understand that they will have the opportunity to stand with the President and protect the progress that has been made over the past 20 months. Civil rights and women's rights icon, the late Dr. Dorothy I. Height, once said it best:

we hold in our hands the power once again to shape not only our own but the nation's future -- a future that is based on developing an agenda that radically challenges limitations in our economic development, educational achievement and political empowerment. Undoubtedly, African-Americans will have an integral role to play...

African Americans hold the key to their future and the nation's future in this midterm election. Vote November 2.