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Voters stand in line to cast their ballot at Hartford City Hall during the U.S. presidential election in Hartford, Connecticut, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin
The face of our party, but not of its consultant class.
The browning of the Democratic coalition has been dramatic. In 2012, 45 percent of Obama's voters came from people of color—racial and ethnic minorities. Another 32 percent came from white women.

Only 24 percent of Obama supporters were white men.

Yet the Democratic Party's consultant class remains overwhelmingly white and male, as a study released by PowerPAC today reveals.

Consulting firms received $514 million in disbursements from the Party during the relevant time period ... only 1.7%, ($8.7 million) of the $514 million dollars spent by the Party on consultants during these time periods were disbursed to [minority owned] firms.
Note, PowerPAC uses an extremely liberal definition for "minority owned"—allowing firms that even have a single non-Anglo partner to be categorized as such (the usual definition requires majority ownership, like, say, Daily Kos). Yet even with that loose definition, just a pittance of the DNC's, DCCC's and DSCC's consultant spending goes to firms that look like the party's electorate. So why is this important?
[W]inning among today’s multiracial and ever evolving electorate requires cultural competence at its finest. It is especially true that in order to be effective year after year and election after election, campaign leadership must immerse themselves in the cultures and ways of seeing the world of the voters they want to attract, whatever race the candidates or campaign managers may be.
I wouldn't pretend to understand how to message to Asian women, or white southerners, or Cuban Latinos. So why do we have a Democratic consultant class that doesn't reflect the voters it's trying to attract? To be fair, the report notes that the party committees are working toward remedying this inequality. But it certainly shows that the party has a long way to go in reorienting itself for the new American majority.

Originally posted to kos on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges, This Week in the War on Women, and Daily Kos.

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