MD AD: STOP VOTING FOR DEMS. A campaign ad running in Maryland in support of Republican Larry Hogan, the opponent of Democrat Anthony Brown, makes a direct appeal to Black Democrats. Hogan and Brown are running for Governor and Brown is widely expected to become Maryland’s first Black Governor and one of only two African Americans elected Governor this cycle. The other will be Del. Donna Christiansen who is expected to be elected Governor of the Virgin Islands.
“What makes things crazy is when you keep voting in the same party and there is no change — they call it insanity,” says K. Khandi Leach, an African American voter from Mount Washington Washington, Md., a suburb of Baltimore. The ad focuses on high tax rates and Leach makes the point that she “has never voted Republican” in the past.
The Black unemployment rate in the U.S. remains double the overall employment rate but the issue has been ignored on the campaign trail by Democrats and Republicans. The poverty rate for African Americans under 18 is 40 percent — 27 percent of African Americans overall are in poverty. The loss of wealth in the Black community as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis is historic. Yet many Democrats, who receive over 80% of the African American vote, rarely speak directly on issues disproportionately effecting African Americans.
The 2014 election cycle, which has featured several white candidates avoiding Black issues and attacking President Obama’s policies, is a recent example. On the other side, Republicans have difficulties attracting Black voters in a era where obstruction is party policy and philosophy.