The Atlantic

The Democrats’ New Strategy for Capturing Black America's Attention

When the 2020 candidates publish op-eds in outlets like Essence, their choice of venue is just as important as what they write.
Source: Amy Harris / AP

Updated on July 16, 2019 at 5:19 p.m. ET

When Elizabeth Warren wanted to make, in her words, “a new commitment to Black women,” she went to Essence magazine. It was an obvious place for such a declaration: the most popular magazine in black households, where black women are most likely to be the breadwinners. That piece, from this month, was her second column for the publication: In April, the senator from Massachusetts had written one about how she plans to improve the treatment of black women in the health-care system in the midst of America’s worsening maternal-mortality crisis.

Warren is not the only candidate who has taken this targeted approach to reaching black women voters, a demographic that could play a decisive role in the Democratic primary’s outcome—not to mention the general election. Last month, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey published a column in on , and his mother for the magazine a few weeks later. Booker also wrote a recent piece for the online LGBTQ publication , in which he named Brooklyn Lindsey in Kansas City, Missouri.has given Senator Kamala Harris of California, the only black woman currently running for president, , affectionately called “Kamala’s Corner.” A month before his loss in a 2018 Senate race, former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas also about the maternal-health crisis. And several candidates appeared at the Essence Festival in New Orleans last week, to address the largest annual gathering of black women in the country.

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