The Increasingly Colorful War for the Black Vote

The air war for black voters is growing more intense.
Photograph by Erika Goldring/Getty Images

Last week, from Louisiana, I profiled Republican State Sen. Elbert Guillory and his single-minded quest to convince as many black voters as possible to bolt the Democratic party. After two of his straight-to-camera epistles on the subject went viral, Guillory claimed to have the capital to buy ads across the state, 60 seconds worth of reasons to ditch Sen. Mary Landrieu.

This week, Guillory's been taking his game across the South. In Arkansas, his Free and Equal PAC has released a version of the video that asks blacks to remove Sen. Mark Pryor.


Guillory's also the star of a starker, grayscaled video being run by the Our America Action PAC in North Carolina. "Black people are just being used by limousine liberals, who have become our new overseers," says Guillory in the new spot. "We've only traded one plantation for another."


We need to wait a little while to see receipts that indicate how much those spots are running. What we do know is that Guillory, and some late-comers, are pushing while Democrats are pulling harder than ever. For the past week, Georgia Republicans have asked Democrats to condemn a state party mailer that asked blacks to go Democratic lest another Ferguson break out in their state. In North Carolina, the Senate Majority PAC, which backs Democrats, has been running spots on black radio that tie Republican candidate Thom Tillis's pro-gun votes to the murder of Trayvon Martin. In Texas, new ads for Wendy Davis tell black voters about GOP gubernatorial candidates support for the Supreme Court's repeal of Voting Rights Act pre-clearance. "Take a guess about who Abbott doesn’t want to vote," says a narrator.