The New Republic: “New Swing-state Ads Try To Tell Black Voters: Yes, Biden’s Looking Out For You”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 17, 2022
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Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, The New Republic highlighted Building Back Together’s newest ads targeting Black communities in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia. The ads highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic achievements – including delivering the biggest drop in child poverty in history, delivering clean drinking water to millions of homes, and lowering health care costs for hundreds of thousands of Black families. This latest campaign underscores Building Back Together’s commitment to investing early and often to reach key communities, including Black Americans, across the country.

The New Republic: New Swing-State Ads Try to Tell Black Voters: Yes, Biden’s Looking Out for You
Daniel Strauss
February 16, 2022

Ahead of an election cycle where Democrats are in danger of suffering across the board losses due to depressed turnout among key constituencies, a nonprofit group targeting African American voters is releasing a set of digital and radio ads aimed at touting President Biden’s accomplishments and increasing Black turnout.*

The organization, Building Back Together, is releasing the ads in three key states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia. The ads are targeting Black communities in those states and were shared first with The New Republic.

One ad focuses on Biden’s plan to cut child poverty and lower health care costs. Another ad points to “a historic deal” Biden made “to deliver clean drinking water to millions of Black homes.” The third, a radio ad, focuses on how “Biden’s plan to cut childhood poverty worked. The biggest drop in child poverty ever.”

The ads are part of a $500,000 ad buy that includes digital and radio ads focusing on the accomplishments the Biden administration wants to highlight. The three states where Build Back Together is airing these ads are all states that Biden won by small margins and that have important gubernatorial and Senate races this cycle.

They are also states where Black voters voted for Biden over Donald Trump in 2020 by double digits. Biden won 92 percent of the Black vote in Pennsylvania to Trump’s 7 percent. In Georgia, of the nearly five million total votes in 2020, Biden won 81 percent of voters of color to Trump’s 18 percent. In Wisconsin, of the 3.2 million people who voted, 92 percent of the Black vote went for Biden while just 8 percent went for Trump. Two of the states—Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—are also places where the Democratic nominees for governor in 2018 won their races with strong support among Black voters while not winning a majority of white voters. Those candidates-now-governors, Tony Evers and Tom Wolf, are in their governors’ mansions because of support among Black voters. Evers won by just under 30,000 votes (a razor-thin margin in statewide elections), and Wolf won by about 840,000 votes out of five million.

There’s been a general fear in Democratic circles about depressed turnout in the 2022 midterms, while Republicans are undeniably energized. It doesn’t help Democrats that Biden’s approval numbers average around 40 percent while his disapproval numbers are up, on average, to 53 percent.

Democratic strategists and pollsters I talked with on Tuesday pointed to another foreboding fact about outreach to African American voters—it’s come way too late in the past. These Building Back Together ads are a sign that the larger Bidenworld apparatus is trying to correct that.

“This is what many of us have said for a long time, which is the Democratic Party cannot take Black voters for granted, and we have to show up earlier,” Democratic strategist Karen Finney said. “And Biden to his credit certainly did that early in his election. Black voters had been loyal to him, and his campaign did a good job not taking Black voters for granted. But what this reads as is them thinking about not just 2022 but this bigger premise not to take voters for granted and to show up early.”

Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher said, “I’m surprised that they’re spending money this early and in this targeted way. I’m surprised because, quite frankly, it’s something a lot of us have been arguing that progressives and the party do for years, and it is, ‘Don’t start this conversation a month out from the election.’”

Read the full story here.