Hi, I’m Jeremy Quittner, a writer for Fortune.com’s Venture channel. I’m filling in for Ellen McGirt this week while she’s on vacation.
Republicans may have abandoned their big tent philosophy this year with a presidential candidate who belittles minorities and winks at white supremacists and foreign dictators. But for Democrats, winning minority voters is key to prevailing in the 2016 election.
One way the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and its affiliates hope to reach this critical voting block of non-white voters, who represent nearly a third of all eligible voters, is through contracts to minority–owned small businesses that provide everything from political consulting in local races to mugs and t-shirts at the Democratic convention.
Yet for years, Democratic party spending on its minority contractors has more or less mirrored federal spending, meaning only a fraction of such vendors ever actually get contracts. The party has recognized that this is a missed opportunity, and so during this presidential election cycle, it has amped up it contracting target goals for minority vendors at the convention in Philadelphia. In other areas, like political consulting, it still has work to do.
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