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Black Voters Reject North Carolina Lt. Gov. Robinson in TV Ads

Black Voters Reject North Carolina Lt. Gov. Robinson in TV Ads

Black Voters Reject North Carolina Lt. Gov. Robinson in TV Ads

Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, candidate for governor, speaks at a Moms for Freedom rally in front of the Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

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Months before the November general election in North Carolina, a progressive political interest group attempted to appeal directly to black voters in North Carolina in an ad campaign against Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Robinson.

In a June 16 ad published by Raleigh-based Progress North Carolina Action, Martin Luther King III, son of legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., says: “Nothing is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity,” when describing his opposition to Robinson’s attacks on his father.

Robinson, who was elected the first Black lieutenant governor in 2020, suggested that Martin Luther King Jr. was a communist and said the civil rights movement encompassed “free choice” and that “many freedoms were lost.”

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The 30-second clip was part of a series of television and online ads released by the progressive media organization to highlight Robinson’s past comments about black people and their interests.

“We thought it was important for North Carolinians to have a clear view of the fact that Mark Robinson has used his (platform) as lieutenant governor to attack women, LGBTQ+ people, his public comments on social media about the Black community, the Jewish community, educators and the Muslim community,” Progress North Carolina Action executive director Jessica Jollet told The Charlotte Observer.

Why Mark Robinson is the target

Robinson, who is running against Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein in the Nov. 5 general election, has drawn national attention for her incendiary rhetoric against LGBTQ+ people, diversity, equity and inclusion programs, abortion and high school teachers. school.

Mitch Summerfield, the pastor of Word of God Fellowship Church in Raleigh, who also appeared in an ad, said, “Mark Robinson doesn’t speak for me” in one clip. where he rejects Robinson’s derogatory comment in reference to black women.

Summerfield said he wanted to speak out against Robinson’s claim that he was speaking on behalf of African-American religious leaders.

“He and I have never sat down and talked, so how do you know what I think, believe or feel? How can you say you speak for all black religious leaders? Summerfield told the Observer.

“We have to be smart and more aware than ever because one wrong decision could endanger the next generation,” he said.

Republican Lt. Governor Mark Robinson speaks with Tia Bess, national engagement director for Moms for Liberty, after Lt. Governor Robinson spoke at the Moms for Liberty rally in front of the Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. Ethan Hyman [email protected]

Why black voters were the audience for Mark Robinson’s ads

Jollet said Progress North Carolina Action identified people for the ads who “reflect the diverse makeup of North Carolina.” However, the ads were not produced to influence black voters. Rather, they allow voters to make informed decisions about candidates, she said.

“I trust and believe that the general public can make that decision for themselves,” Jollet said.

Black voters were largely the focus of the ads because of Robinson’s previous vocal attacks on black interests, Jollet said.

Jollet, however, acknowledges that some conservative black voters may sympathize with Robinson. But he claims the ads do not promote opposition to his campaign but rather inform the public of Robinson’s feelings.

“We just wanted to make sure people were clear about the range of things he’s said about the black community, so they can then do their own research on the things he’s said.”

Mark Robinson’s support among black North Carolina voters

A Meredith poll released in February, a month before the state primary, showed that only 3% of likely black voters would prefer Robinson over Stein in the general election.

A Carolina Journal poll found that only 14% of black voters say they would definitely or probably vote for Robinson in November.

In a March WRAL News poll, only 13% of Black voters said they have a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Robinson, and 45% of Black voters said Robinson’s statements about women, LGBTQ+ people and the Jewish community make them less likely to vote. for him, the Observer previously reported.