Democratic-leaning coalition completing $11.4 million get-out-the-vote effort

A get-out-the-vote effort by a coalition of liberal groups could benefit Hillary Clinton and other Democrats in Florida.
A get-out-the-vote effort by a coalition of liberal groups could benefit Hillary Clinton and other Democrats in Florida.

The Service Employees International Union, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and other liberal groups are hoping to persuade more than 600,000 “low-propensity” voters to cast ballots by Tuesday.


Aimed mainly at minority voters, the effort could provide a boost to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats running in Florida.


The “United We Can Coalition” says it is spending $11.4 million to target primarily black and Latino voters in eight Florida counties. Palm Beach County has 19,192 households — 82 percent of them black, 14 percent Hispanic — that the coalition has identified, making as many as five contacts during the primary and general election campaigns.


In all, the campaign is targeting 663,393 voters in more than 560,000 households. For the eight counties as a whole, 72 percent of the targeted households are Latino and 27 percent black.


“Low-propensity” or “sporadic” voters are those who are registered but don’t reliably participate in elections. The ability of Barack Obama‘s 2008 and 2012 campaigns to identify low-propensity voters sympathetic to Obama’s views and then motivate them to vote helped him win tight elections in Florida and elsewhere.


In addition to SEIU and the Florida Immigrant Coalition, groups involved in the get-out-the-vote push include Organize Now, the New Florida Majority and Faith In Florida.


“Historically, everyone has kind of done similar work but it’s all been separate,” said Alphonso Mayfield, SEIU’s state director for the Florida campaign. “People wanted to operate within a central community and do the work jointly…It’s very powerful when we all come together.”


The group says its top issues include a $15-an-hour minimum wage, affordable childcare, “common-sense” immigration reform, acting on climate change, empowering Latino communities and “addressing the lasting impact of racism toward black America.”


“This campaign is also a movement to loudly say no to systematic racism towards black and brown communities,” said New Florida Majority’s Gihan Perera.


Organize Now Executive Director Stephanie Porta said the coalition has aims beyond election day to “work together to move policy and reshape the politics in Florida.”



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