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It seems that the Democrats are acknowledging this. When Doug Jones became the first Democrat elected to the Senate in Alabama in 25 years in December, many on the left saw it as a reassurance that appealing to moderate conservatives and persuadable Trump voters was a winning strategy. But exit polls showed that Jones likely won because black voters showed up in historic numbers: 96 percent of black voters backed the Democrat, including 98 percent of black women.

Last week, the Democratic National Committee announced that nearly half of its staff are now people of color, and 51 percent are women. A spokesperson for the DCCC, who asked to speak off the record to talk more openly, acknowledged that people of color often felt “used” by Democrats in elections and said the political committee is making a concerted effort to be more proactive in reaching out to the black community. But when asked more specifically about the intended allocation of campaign funds in red states, the spokesperson said it’s necessary for Democrats to target “pretty much all the bases.” “I think we should get all the voters who haven’t been targeted, but you also have to target the voters who’ve been voting,” the spokesperson said. “You can’t cut one off and just depend on that, leaving the other one dry and dead.”


This is maddening for people like Allison, from Democracy in Color, and other advocates of the Abrams approach. “It’s a weak response to the political reality of electoral politics,” she said. “If we look across the aisle, [Republicans are] not trying to win over moderate Democrats.” She offered up retiring Arizona Senator Jeff Flake as an example of a consensus-building moderate who couldn’t survive the current climate of the GOP. “For Democrats to say, ‘Oh we need everyone,’ is the kind of middle-of-the-road approach that gets us squashed in 2018.”

* * *

Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle has emerged as the favorite to win the Republican primary, while Abrams has a 19-point lead over Evans, according to the most recent poll. Around 33 percent of Democrats are still undecided. If Abrams beats Evans in Tuesday’s primary, it’ll be a testament to her success in prodding the base to the polls, as well as her fundraising ability. But the real test will come in the general election. If Abrams becomes the Democratic nominee, can she successfully motivate a “multiracial, multiethnic coalition” to make her the first African American woman governor of Georgia? In a state with over 6 million voters—most of whom are white—will she have to significantly change her strategy?

The Georgia governor’s race is about letting Democratic voters choose what they want their party to be. For many Georgians, that possibility is thrilling. “Black folks have been voting for the lesser of two evils all our lives. This is an opportunity to say this is someone who can identify with my interests to a very soulful level,” Crutcher, the Atlanta minister, said. “I’m willing to vote for Abrams even if it doesn’t happen, for the sake of growing pains.”

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Source : https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/05/who-does-the-democratic-party-stand-for/560417/

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