Democrats have already sent racially-tinged mail in Georgia and North Carolina that evoked lynchings and the specter of Michael Brown’s death. Now they’ve sent the above mailer targeting Black voters in Charles and Princes George’s County.
The glossy mailings, sent out in the days before the beginning of early voting, target black voters in key areas in support of Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown. Samples obtained by The Daily Record were sent to voters in Charles and Prince George’s Counties.
“They’ve placed a lot of roadblocks in our path at every turn,” reads the flier over segregationist images from the Civil Rights era as well as more recent photos relating to voter ID laws and real estate mogul Donald Trump and his views on President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
In addition to the message that evokes racial tension, the mailing urges voters to come out for the early voting period and reminds voters that Brown would be the first black governor in Maryland history—a designation from which Brown has shied away.
Sears also reports no one at the Maryland Democratic Party would comment.
Sears also talked to two political observers about the mailer:
Political observers say the mailings are yet another sign that the race for governor between Brown, the Democrat, and Republican Larry Hogan is closer than the Democratic Party would like.
“I’m not saying they’re scared but the race is definitely tighter,” said John Bullock, assistant professor of political science at Towson University.
Bullock added that the mailing attempts to paint Hogan in a racially derogatory light without using his name or image.
“It doesn’t specifically say Hogan is this person but it definitely goes there,” Bullock said. “It’s making a direct appeal to race and clearly targeting black voters.”
Todd Eberly, a political science professor at St. Mary’s College, said the mailing is similar to others in North Carolina and in Georgia that highlight racial division to evoke emotional responses in order to turn out black voters.
“This mailing really seems to suggest that some people in Maryland want to take someone else’s rights away,” Eberly said. It’s not a claim that can be substantiated nor defended.”
“The implied ‘they’ has to be Republicans—who else can it be?” Eberly said. “If this is what the Democratic Party has to do to get people to vote then they should probably take a look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves why they don’t have a positive message to get people to the polls.”
Democrats packed a gym in Prince George’s County Sunday to see President Obama but news reports indicated they weren’t that excited about the Brown campaign. In fact, many of them left during the middle of Obama’s speech. Instead of admitting people left, they tried spinning it in various directions and it blew up in their face.
The fact the Democrats only have this tactic to go to right now shows the race is tighter than they expected and all their other attack ads aren’t work as well as they’d hoped. It’s a desperate tactic whether the situation is desperate for them or not.