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Political messaging aims to drive up Black vote

If it works, Democrats have a chance in Senate runoffs

ATLANTA — New advertising is targeting African American voters as Democrats try to strengthen their chances of winning Senate seats from Georgia for the first time in 20 years.

So far, there appears to be a historic runoff election turnout by Black voters.

"Really, the world in their hands right now. That power lies here in Georgia. and specifically among Black Georgians," said Angela Angel of the Black Lives Matter political action committee (BLM PAC). 

The BLM PAC has produced a TV ad asking Black voters to back Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, who face Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.

It’s about targeting a constituency that was central to Joe Biden winning Georgia in November – and Democrats asking Black voters to do it again.

"African Americans make up the majority of Democratic voters in the state of Georgia," said Dr. Andra Gillespie, Emory University political scientist. "If you have anemic turnout amongst African Americans, that doesn’t bode well for Democratic prospects overall."

On Black radio stations, the message has been prevalent – even within nonpartisan public service announcements that ran repeatedly Monday on V-103 and Hot 97.5.

"The truth is, if you're trying to mobilize Black voters, there’s about a 90 percent chance of them voting Democratic," Gillespie said.

An 11Alive poll earlier this month showed Democrat Warnock leading Republican Sen. Loeffler. In it, 67 percent of white Georgia voters responding supported Loeffler, and 90 percent of Black voters backed Warnock.

The poll showed similar numbers for Republican David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff who also face each other in the runoff.

The races are under a national media microscope with the balance of power in the Senate at stake. The race gives Georgia voters extraordinary clout in shaping the country's political future.

You could say the stars are aligning – as Jupiter and Saturn did in the night sky Monday evening.  Some Black Twitter users jokingly said the alignment would give African Americans superpowers, unlocking "the melanin magic in Black people," said a V-103 DJ Monday morning. 

"So we’re going to see some superpowers. I do know one thing – you’ve got a superpower all right. You can go and vote. That’s a superpower," she chuckled.