rain
Wednesday November 14th, 2018 9:08PM

Minority candidates see both success and veiled racism

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — For all the many successes among candidates of color, the midterm elections also proved to some the enduring power of racism, with minority politicians' intelligence and integrity called into question by their opponents and President Donald Trump in what were widely seen as coded appeals to white voters.

Several Democratic strategists said Wednesday that the outcome showed the need for the party to recalibrate its strategy heading into 2020 and beyond.

To win, they said, the party must expand its base of black and brown voters while also calling out racism more directly and doing more to persuade white voters to reject bigotry.

"At some point, voters have to stop rewarding racist behavior," said activist Brittany Packnett.

During the campaign cycle, Trump referred to black Tallahassee mayor and Democratic candidate for Florida governor Andrew Gillum as "a thief" because of an undercover FBI investigation into his acceptance of Broadway tickets. Trump also branded Gillum's city "corrupt."

And he framed Yale Law School graduate, veteran lawmaker and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a black woman, as incompetent.

Republican Ron DeSantis, who beat Gillum on Tuesday, began the campaign by cautioning Florida voters not to "monkey this up" by voting for the Democrat — a remark that was also decried as racist.

In the end, Gillum came within less than 56,000 votes of DeSantis. In Georgia, the contest for governor was still too close to call on Wednesday.

There were also campaigns around the country where allegations of racism were not enough to knock the candidate out of the running. In Iowa, Republican Rep. Steve King won a ninth term despite condemnation from his own party over his ties to white supremacists.

"Progressives have to have a better rebuttal to Trump's tribalism than they have right now," said Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher. "We have to give moderate white voters who are bothered by a sense of division some skin in this racism game. That's not pivoting to health care. That's talking about how this tribalism will affect them and their children. You don't fix racism by not taking it on."

In an often-combative morning-after news conference Wednesday, Trump rejected any suggestion that he emboldened white nationalists recently by describing himself as a "nationalist." The president repeatedly said the question, posed by a black journalist, was itself racist.

On the plus side of the ledger for minorities Tuesday, a lot of the organizing during the midterm cycle was focused on minority voters, and record early turnout and long lines on Election Day suggested those efforts paid off.

Organizers pointed to the election to Congress of blacks and Latinos such as Massachusetts' Ayanna Pressley, Connecticut's Jahana Hayes, New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Texas' Veronica Escobar, and the passage of a constitutional amendment in Florida that will restore the right to vote to more than a million former felons.

They also cited the defeat of GOP conservatives like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Kansas Gov. Kris Kobach as evidence that coalitions with liberal and centrist whites can work. Likewise, congressional candidates such as Illinois' Lauren Underwood and New York's Antonio Delgado showed that blacks can win in majority-white districts.

Packnett said there was a lot to be hopeful for going into 2020.

"I'm saddened that the white women who also possess a marginalized identity are not voting in their interests more," she said. "But just because we didn't get all the wins in our column that we wanted doesn't mean that there were not people who learned better and did better this election."

Pressley, elected from a liberal, diverse Boston district as Massachusetts' first black congresswoman, said candidates of color ignited and expanded the electorate in this year's midterms. But she said America is not yet at the point where candidates of color are assumed to be capable or experienced.

"When we're characterized as a fad or a trend or a fluke, that's a disservice to our leadership," she said.

___

Whack is The Associated Press' national writer on race and ethnicity. Follow her work on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/emarvelous.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Migrants in caravan shrug over US vote, eye change at home
Migrant caravans moving through Mexico played a big role in midterm election campaigns, but the migrants themselves know little about the races
6:03PM ( 14 minutes ago )
The Latest: Employees applaud Sessions as he leaves building
Jeff Sessions has left the Justice Department for his last time as attorney general
5:54PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Trump, Democrats confront thorny life under divided Congress
President Donald Trump delivered a stark warning to the new Democratic House majority on Wednesday: Investigate me, and I'll investigate you
5:50PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
In Honduras, most returnees from caravan hope to try again
Hundreds of migrants from the caravan moving through Mexico, mostly Hondurans, have returned home
5:28PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Smartphone makers bet on foldable screens as next big thing
Samsung provides glimpse at flexible-screen phone that is expected usher in a wave of similar devices as industry searches for new features to revive slumping market
5:26PM ( 51 minutes ago )
Kemp's campaign declares victory in Georgia's governor race
Republican Brian Kemp's campaign declared victory Wednesday in the Georgia governor's race, though Democrat Stacey Abrams insists that enough ballots remain to leave open the possibility of a runoff
5:25PM ( 52 minutes ago )
AP National News
Ballot count not yet finished in Georgia governor's race
The ballot count isn't finished yet in Georgia's fiercely contested and potentially historic governor's race
3:46PM ( 2 hours ago )
Pimp Dennis Hof wins Nevada legislative race after death
Nevada's most famous legal pimp Dennis Hof has won a state legislative race though he died last month
3:12PM ( 3 hours ago )
Jeff Sessions forced out as attorney general by Trump
Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned as the country's chief law enforcement officer after enduring more than a year of blistering and personal attacks over his recusal from the Russia investigation
3:08PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
The Latest: Democrat wants probe into Sessions' departure
The top Democrat on the House oversight committee says Congress should investigate "the real reason" for the "termination" of Attorney General Jeff Sessions
5:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
Kemp declares victory in Georgia; AP has not called race
The ballot count isn't finished yet in Georgia's fiercely contested and potentially historic governor's race
5:11PM ( 1 hour ago )
Tech and health care lead US stock surge after midterms
Stocks rallied Wednesday as investors were relieved to see that the U.S. midterm elections went largely as they expected they would.
4:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Banks could face tighter scrutiny under Rep. Maxine Waters
With Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives, Rep. Maxine Waters, who has called for more regulation of banks, is expected to become chairwoman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee
3:47PM ( 2 hours ago )
Election Impact: Health care stocks jump following midterms
The outcome of the midterm elections was good for the stock market in general, mostly because it didn't produce any big surprises, but it was especially good for the health care industry and several other companies.
3:38PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Democratic congressman wants answers on Sessions
The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee says he wants "answers immediately" after Jeff Sessions was forced out as attorney general by President Donald Trump
3:24PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Hannity a no-show for Fox's election night coverage
Sean Hannity didn't appear on Fox's election night coverage, after the network scolded him and colleague Jeanine Pirro for being onstage at President Trump's final campaign rally before the midterms
5:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
Facebook blocks fake accounts but election battle goes on
Facebook says it blocked more accounts during the U.S. midterm elections, in addition to the 115 it shut down earlier this week, due to suspected connections to foreign efforts to interfere in the vote.
4:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
Midterm voting exposes growing problem of aging machines
Election officials have long warned about the nation's aging voting equipment, and voting this week underscored how badly upgrades are needed
3:44PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: Trump warns House Democrats about investigations
President Donald Trump is warning House Democrats about spending the remaining years of his presidency investigating him and the administration
12:33PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: President Trump says Mia Love 'gave me no love'
President Donald Trump is calling out Republican candidates who apparently did not support him enough and lost congressional seats in Tuesday's elections
12:27PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump says GOP 'defied history' in midterms
President Donald Trump says Republicans "defied history" in the midterms as he seeks to take credit for expected Republican gains in the Senate while minimizing House losses
12:17PM ( 6 hours ago )
General Presidential Election News
AP Online - Georgia News
AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
Pelosi as House speaker would 'show the power of the gavel'
It's a pivotal moment for Nancy Pelosi _ the beginning of a triumphal return as the first female House speaker, or the start a political reckoning
9:39AM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest: Abrams vows to wait for all the votes in Georgia
Democrat Stacey Abrams says votes remain to be counted in the tight Georgia governor's race and vows to wait for them all
8:11AM ( 10 hours ago )
Voters give House Democrats a check on Trump
After voters give House Democrats a check on Trump, Nancy Pelosi sees "a new day in America"
8:02AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Migrants in caravan shrug over US vote, eye change at home
Migrant caravans moving through Mexico played a big role in midterm election campaigns, but the migrants themselves know little about the races
6:03PM ( 20 minutes ago )
The Latest: Employees applaud Sessions as he leaves building
Jeff Sessions has left the Justice Department for his last time as attorney general
5:54PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Trump, Democrats confront thorny life under divided Congress
President Donald Trump delivered a stark warning to the new Democratic House majority on Wednesday: Investigate me, and I'll investigate you
5:50PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Michigan eyed as bellwether for legal pot in Midwest
Michigan is aiming to build a potentially lucrative industry from the ground up with passage of a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana
5:48PM ( 35 minutes ago )
Smartphone makers bet on foldable screens as next big thing
Samsung provides glimpse at flexible-screen phone that is expected usher in a wave of similar devices as industry searches for new features to revive slumping market
5:46PM ( 38 minutes ago )