Skip to main content

The Increasingly Fraught Relationship Between Black Voters and the  Democratic Party

Simple media narratives about Black voter turnout in Georgia and elsewhere obscure a more complex reality.

Political analyst Niko House and elections expert Steven Rosenfeld believes last year's media narratives around the Georgia senate race were representative of simplistic election coverage of voters of color.

Rosenfeld says both parties ran campaigns throughout the state that employed a number of non-traditional outreach efforts and groups such as the Masons. “It wasn't just Stacey Abrams organizing the city of Atlanta," he said. 

House believes Democrats only appeal to Black voters when it’s convenient, and even then only to certain Black voters.

“It's only the type of Black voter that they like—not those who maybe lean conservative, or maybe they're progressive like myself,” House says.

Rosenfeld says the Georgia Senate runoffs were different because they brought out a lot of people who were “overlooked voters” outside of Atlanta. Rosenfeld says that both Republicans and Democrats tend to only reach out to people who they have identified as likely voters.

Recommended for You

“A lot of these folks who turned out to vote weren't on the Democratic Party’s lists,” Rosenfeld says. “You might ask, ‘Why are they not on their list?’ Well, no one's really tried to talk to them, or tried to speak to them or engage in a conversation.”

House says that for the Georgia senate race and many other elections, Democrats claimed they were the only ones who had the ability to turn out large numbers of voters across many demographics. However, House notes, that wasn't exactly true."

“Trump, surprisingly enough, did the same thing. He increased his voter block across every demographic, except for white men,” House says.

Watch the full panel: