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#CommittedToCommunity: GOP Launches Campaign Reaching Out to Black Voters in Ohio

The Republican National Committee is finally taking some much-needed steps to reach out to urban and African-American voters. Starting in Ohio today, the GOP launched a new month-long campaign with the hope of 'building up a better Republican Party,' according to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. 

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The campaign, called "#CommittedToCommunity: Engage, Empower, Uplift," includes a partnership with Radio One/TV One, which caters to a black and urban audience. It will begin today with faith-based outreach in Columbus and will end Aug. 6, the date of the first GOP presidential primary debate, which will be held at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

The campaign is part of an ongoing effort by the national Republican Party under Chairman Reince Priebus to recruit black and urban voters, who in recent history generally have heavily favored Democratic candidates.

Orlando Watson, the RNC's communications director for black media, says Republicans want to capitalize on interest in the presidential debate and the Republican National Convention, which will be held in Cleveland the week of July 18, 2016. […]

The RNC and the media company will host events, including a concert series and community issues forums, in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. The GOP also is buying advertising that will begin on July 20 on Radio One stations, which include in Cleveland WENZ 107.9 FM, a hip-hop station, and WERE 1490 AM, a news/talk station.

According to an RNC statement on the new effort, it matters first and foremost because it's the "right thing to do."  


"We never want to take any voter for granted," the statement reads. "Secondly, our goal is to incorporate metrics-based engagement to recruit, mobilize and activate black voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election so that we position the Republican nominee for President with the best opportunity to win new voters and ultimately the White House." 

The effort will also target millennials, according to GOP officials, and will highlight job creation, educational opportunities, safe neighborhoods, and strong families.

"People are talking about the convention, and the debates. People know about the Republicans coming to town," Watson said, reports the AP. "If nothing else, black voters are curious: 'What are they talking about?' ... We want to give them those opportunities to find out."

The GOP will replicate the effort in other states if it’s deemed successful.

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