Dems ask black voters to help 'our president'
LYNN SWEET blogs.suntimes.com/sweet
In an effort to drive up turnout for the midterm elections in Chicago and other cities, Democrats are aiming a less-than-subtle message at African-American voters: "Our President Needs You."
A big African-American turnout is key to the end game strategy for Illinois Senate Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias, just as Republican rival Mark Kirk is going to the deep well of GOP votes in western DuPage County to mine his base vote.
With the Senate race deadlocked for months -- and with even a torrent of negative ads not budging the 15 percent or so of undecided voters -- getting out the base vote is now the crucial task at hand.
President Obama turned out African-American voters in record numbers in 2008 for his historic election as the country's first African-American president. The Giannoulias campaign is counting on Obama to be able to crank up turnout in his adopted hometown like no other place in the nation.
Obama has been to Chicago twice to fund-raise for Giannoulias, and Illinois Democrats want him to return during the final weekend before the election for a get-out-the-vote rally.
?Chicago is one of 18 cities with a President Obama radio ad blitz targeting African-American voters. The Democratic National Committee is buying $3 million worth of radio spots on stations with African-American audiences, including WGCI-FM, WGRB-AM and WVAZ-FM in Chicago.
"Two years ago, you voted in record numbers, and we won a victory few dreamed possible," Obama says in the spot.
?First lady Michelle Obama took on a niche but crucial demographic, hosting a conference call on Oct. 12 aimed at getting female African Americans in the faith-based community to vote. Just as President Obama has reached out to African-America media, Mrs. Obama on Oct. 13 phoned into shows hosted by Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden -- both of which have largely African-American audiences.