By: Jim Bleyer
High-profile billionaires Tyler Perry and Michael Bloomberg are bankrolling a final push in Florida to ensure two reliable Democratic constituencies cast their ballots Nov. 3.
October 16, 2020 - 8:15 am
Their respective efforts are to motivate blacks and Jews to vote in what both men view as the most pivotal election in the history of the republic. Both groups traditionally vote for Democrats overwhelmingly.
The Perry initiative is billed as “nonpartisan” but it’s no secret that the voter suppression effort in Florida aimed primarily at people of color is a strategy of the Republican party led by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Acclaimed actor/writer/producer/director Perry chipped in to bolster the $500,000 drive.
The Bloomberg-related effort is unequivocally partisan. The founder of the world’s leading financial data service donated $250,000 to the Jewish Democratic Council of America’s super political action committee to support digital outreach efforts targeting Jewish voters in Florida in support of Joe Biden.
Pundits view Florida, with 29 prized electoral votes, as the key to Donald Trump’s re-election. Without lassoing a victory in the Sunshine State, Trump’s chances for a second term are rated universally as next to nil.
For the last two weekends of early voting, Equal Ground will host “Park & Praise” events targeting 250,000 voters in 25 counties where ballots can be dropped off amid live music and speeches.
In years past, Souls to The Polls was held in the urban centers of the state. However, this time, this strategy has been extended to not only include these urban centers, but also more rural counties during a presidential year where there are pockets of black folks who are often ignored.
So besides the usual suspects—Miami-Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Orange—this election cycle’s focus includes such counties as Wakulla, Gadsden, Madison, Taylor, Calhoun, and Gulf.
The Bloomberg-backed initiative seeks to shepherd a group that registers and votes in percentages greater than its raw numbers.
Florida’s Jewish population is estimated at 3.2 percent.
“Every vote will matter in Florida, and Jewish voters in Florida have the chance to vote for a president who will unite us, not divide us,” according to a Bloomberg statement published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Joe Biden will be that president, and I’m glad to support the Jewish Democratic Council of America PAC as they reach Jewish voters online throughout the state of Florida and encourage them to vote for Joe and Kamala.”
Cross Posted with permission from: Tampa Bay Beat