Like most modern Democrats, presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden is counting heavily on black voters to help him challenge President Donald Trump in November.
He’s got a big problem, however. Recent focus group testing and internal polling among Democrats suggest that young black voters aren’t that enthusiastic about Biden and may not turn out to vote, Politico reported.
Lack of excitement
The lengthy article, which cited “more than a dozen Democratic pollsters, strategists, organizers and lawmakers,” essentially sounded the alarm for Democrats and the Biden campaign that black voters, especially younger black voters, couldn’t be taken for granted to turn out at the polls on Election Day.
There were several reasons given for this worrisome development for the Biden campaign, first and foremost the fact that, in addition to the fact that young people have been historically apathetic about voting, young black voters, in particular, are often disillusioned with the system. Many see no point in perpetuating it with their vote.
Perhaps more critically for Biden is the fact that, as a long-serving politician who’s been in Washington D.C. for decades, he is intrinsically tied to many policies that the black community opposes. The 1994 crime bill is a particular sore spot.
Trump makes headway
Another problem for Biden is his opponent’s active efforts to reach black voters.
Though Politico downplayed the significance of Trump’s work to gain ground in the black community, he has seen some success among young to middle-aged black men.
A late May article from The Washington Post, titled “Does Biden have a problem with African American voters?,” highlighted recent polling data that indicated Biden was “underperforming” among black voters in comparison to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential bid.
The lack of enthusiasm for Biden among young black voters was notable, though it was also pointed out that Biden’s support among older black voters was solid and on par with that of Clinton and even former President Barack Obama, whom Biden served with as vice president — a fact he continues to tout.
What was probably the most worrisome for Biden and the Democrats from that piece in the Post was the fact that President Trump garnered roughly 21 percent support from black voters age 18-29 and upwards of 29 percent support from black voters in the 30-44 age range.
Don’t take it for granted
What both of these articles show is that Democrats and their media allies are concerned about Biden’s chances at defeating Trump in November, with these pieces serving as a clarion call that more work needs to be done to win over black voters in an effort to seal the deal.
Democrats have long taken the black vote for granted, and while a majority of black voters will still probably turn out to support Biden — or whoever the Democrat nominee turns out to be — the possibility of a substantial number staying home on Election Day, or actually voting for Trump, is something they shouldn’t dismiss.