There are at least 43 Democratic black women running as challengers for U.S. House seats, but only one — Lauren Underwood, a nurse running in Chicago's western suburbs — has the backing of the national campaign organization, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports:
- Why it matters: Black women are a powerful voting bloc for Democrats as they work to capture the House and Senate. In 2016, 94% of black women voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.
- Now they're running for office in overwhelming numbers, but some feel the party isn't investing in them.
- Right now, there are only 19 black women serving in Congress. Only 67 women of color overall have been members of Congress since 1964.
Be smart: The conversation about the party's support of the black community — both as voters and candidates — is not going away any time soon:
- There's been a focus on the progressive vs. moderate fight within the Democratic Party, making some feel overlooked. "I think some of the other groups [like progressives] have gotten more attention than any racial group," Kimberly Hill Knott, who's running for Congress in Detroit, told Axios. "I don’t hear the national party talking about an urban agenda."
- One progressive candidate who is also black, Kerri Harris, running for U.S. Senate in Delaware, said she's had no recognition from the party. "They can keep pretending like we don’t exist or come out against us as candidates, but they’ll realize the best way to uphold our democracy is to encourage it."
One big challenge: Politics is driven by money. If you're not raising a lot of it, you're viewed as unelectable. But raising money as a first-time candidate and a black woman is often half the battle, candidates told Axios.
- The bottom line: Black women candidates want more from the Democratic Party, but Democrats might not have to worry much about how they'll vote in 2018 or 2020.