The DNC Is Stepping up to Help Mobilize a Blue Wave

You might have heard that Democrats are more enthusiastic about voting in the midterm than Republicans for the first time since 2006. But to demonstrate that they’re taking nothing for granted, yesterday the Democratic National Committee launched the largest and most comprehensive effort ever undertaken by the party to motivate minority voters in a midterm election year. Here are some of the specifics:

* $1.2 million split across 16 state parties to hire community organizers targeting groups who have been historically unlikely to vote — including black, Latino, Asian, millennial and rural voters.

* a new database that seeks to identify 25 million likely Democratic voters who are currently unregistered and seemingly removed from the political process.

* will focus on mobilizing minority communities in Midwestern urban centers such as Milwaukee, Detroit and St. Louis, which have sizable black populations. Latino and Asian minority communities will be the primary targets of organizing in the West and Southwest, and in the New England states of Maine and New Hampshire, Democrats will prioritize millennial voters.

* The organizers, who will report to the local state party they are assigned to, will be tasked with developing strategies to increase turnout and voter engagement.

* The party is also planning a nationwide advertising buy aimed at raising awareness of the midterm elections among “sporadic voters” nationwide, party aides said.

Keep in mind that this is the first national election since the DNC chose Tom Perez as chair. Here is what he said about this initiative:

“We are investing in our base communities, which are the heart of the Democratic Party, and putting organizers on the ground across the country because we know that’s the only way we’ll win,” said Tom Perez, the D.N.C. chairman.

After major wins last November in states like Virginia, this is what Perez promised:

We put hope and optimism on the ballot; Republicans put up fear and division. Last night wasn’t inevitable. It took incredible, incredible hard work. But we came together and did it. We won because we had great candidates at every level of government, and because we committed to a ground game. This is what the new DNC is about. … we must be about building strong partners in the grassroots movement, and we are committed to it.

The DNC can’t do voter mobilization all an their own. They need partners. If this effort expands those partnerships and provides people on the ground with the tools and data they need to do the job, the party will have done its job to help mobilize a blue wave this November.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.