Minorities have been the Democratic Party's most reliable voters in North Carolina and around the country. Now supporters of Ben Carson are trying to change that.
The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee is spending $300,000 on ads on radio stations geared to African Americans and Hispanics. It's spending another $230,000 on ads in Louisiana. The ads, which start in most markets today, target Democratic U.S. Sens. Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu.
The ads seek to persuade minority voters that Republican positions on energy, abortion and education are more in line with their values than those of Democrats.
"Minority voters for 60 years have only heard what the Republican Party stands for from Democrats, and they haven't been kind descriptions," says Vernon Robinson, a Winston-Salem Republican and campaign director of the draft Carson committee. "Democrats have been running ads that say Republicans want to kill your mom and your dog."
Robinson says the ads are designed to chip away at support for Hagan, who's in a tight race with Republican Thom Tillis.
"Even minor shifts in minority participation are significant
in a close race because Kay Hagan doesn’t have any minority voters to give up,” he says.
Carson has said a Republican takeover of the Senate -- the GOP needs a net gain of 6 seats -- would encourage him to seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.
A retired neurosurgeon, Carson is also author of "One Nation," which currently sits atop the New York Times bestseller list.