MSNBC analyst and former Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher claims there is only one way to get apathetic Black voters to the polls in the upcoming midterm elections.
“Scare the hell out of them,” he said.
A strategist in national progressive politics, Belcher is the president of the polling firm Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies and a former political contributor to CNN. He served as a pollster for the Democratic National Committee under Chairman Howard Dean and was the first Black person to lead in that role for either national party. He also served on the polling team for both Barack Obama presidential campaigns.
African Americans and women need to be motivated to vote, even if it means scaring them, Belcher said during a June 15 interview on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House.”
“African American men who are showing the lowest motivation to turn out in this midterm, you think things are tough for you right now? Where do you think you’re going to stand in a country in America where there’s no democracy, where they have absolutely no interest at all in respecting your rights?” Belcher said.
Belcher had a warning for women: “Campaigns, we have to give them a reason to feel they have skin in the game, that this is important to them, that losing democracy is important to them. And whether or not it be telling women that, you know what, women? You think you’re losing your rights now? What do you think is going to happen if we don’t have democracy?”
Belcher concluded, “We’ve got to scare the hell out of them because quite frankly, they should be afraid that we’re going to lose our democracy.”
Why would Democrats have to resort to scare tactics when the Dems have a majority in Congress and the Senate and a Democratic president?
Since the DNC and president are reportedly losing the support of Black voters, Belcher seems to think scare tactics would be the only way to guarantee the Black vote.
Black voters have been expressing frustration with the lack of legislation around issues that concern them, including reparations, police reform, and voting rights. White voters have failed to get behind these issues.
A 2015 report called “Political Powerlessness” by Nicholas Stephanopoulos at the University of Chicago Law School found that Black support for Congressional legislation actually decreased its chances of passage, FiveThirtyEight reported. “As white support increases from 0 percent to 100 percent, the likelihood of adoption increases from about 10 percent to about 60 percent. As Black support rises from 0 percent to 100 percent though, the odds of enactment fall from roughly 40 percent to roughly 30 percent.”
Some political observers say the Dems have taken the Black vote for granted because Black voters have been loyal and are “captured.” More than 90 percent of the Black vote has gone to the Democratic candidate for president. This could be changing as there has been a growing shift of Black men voting Republican and Black America is becoming more demanding about their vote.
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Black voters turned out for President Joe Biden, who carried 87 percent of the Black vote in the 2020 presidential election. His approval rating among Black voters has plummeted in the past year from 78 percent to 57 percent, according to a Jan. 12 Quinnipiac poll.
The problem is the Democrats need Black Americans to vote in order to win. Although Black people comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population, they are the dominant Democratic voters in large cities and Southern states like South Carolina, which put Biden on the path to the White House, The Washington Post reported.
Photo: Cornell Belcher speaks at Harvard Kennedy School, Oct. 26, 2015, on the topic of “Tribal America – Racial Polarization in the American Electorate,” screenshot from video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FniHDOuBUHg&t=6s