There has been a long-simmering tension between the Democratic Party apparatus and its African-American base. Many black women, especially, voice frustration at what they interpret as a lack of commitment from a party that repeatedly depends on them to push its candidates to victory. In last year’s Alabama special election, black women played the deciding role, electing Democrat Doug Jones with 98 percent of their votes. And in 2016 they rallied behind Hillary Clinton in her presidential run, delivering 94 percent of their vote to the Democratic nominee.
With midterms fast-approaching and 2020 on the horizon, black women may well determine the Democratic Party’s success. But have Democrats earned their vote? And what can the party do to support a surge of black women who are running for office?