Democrats have historically enjoyed wide margins of support from Black voters — but President Donald Trump seems to be turning the tide in a way Joe Biden and company never expected.
According to the Washington Examiner‘s Paul Bedard, polls have shown “consistent” support for President Trump among Black voters “at levels higher than those of previous Republican candidates” — and that could spell trouble for Biden as he seeks to unseat the incumbent president this fall.
Biden falls short
Based on the results of previous elections, Democrats who hope to win the White House should receive at least 90% of votes from the Black community, according to Bedard. The columnist reported:
In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama won 96% and 93% of the [B]lack vote. Hillary Clinton’s 89% to Trump’s 9% victory among [B]lacks was not enough to win the Presidency.
As things stand, Biden is more on track with Clinton than his former running mate. According to a poll conducted in early September by Newsmax/John Zogby Strategies, Trump currently has the support of about 14% of likely voters who are Black.
Biden, by contrast, has drawn about 77% of that demographic’s support, well short of the roughly 90% most analysts predict is necessary to assure victory, Bedard noted, citing pollster John Zogby.
“The numbers from likely [B]lack voters are nowhere near where they should be,” Zogby wrote of Biden in his Main St.-K St. IntelligenSEER. “This alone could potentially cost Biden the election.”
Casting a shadow
Trump has also seen success particularly among Black voters in the 18-to-24 age demographic: though many would expect Biden to have that category all to himself, Trump has garnered the support of 38% of voters polled in that group, and Biden holds just 61% support.
What’s more, according to Zogby, Democrats who won in prior presidential elections also often saw the overwhelming support — 60% or more — of women and young voters of all races, but there seems to be a decided lack of enthusiasm for Biden. He bests Trump just 49% to 38% among women, and holds the support of 50% of young voters to Trump’s 31%.
“If Biden’s support from [B]lacks remains this low, that alone could cost the election. Then compile his deficit with the youth vote and women, and this casts a shadow over Biden,” Zogby wrote in his recent report. “He is leading by three points today, but remember Clinton won the popular vote by two points in 2016 and still lost.”
Who will win?
As for Trump, Zogby surmised that his law-and-order message and promises to keeping local police departments intact could work in his benefit by continuing to draw support away from Biden among the voters most impacted by recent protests.
“As violence continues, as cities go up in flames, and as crime continues to soar in large cities, the tables are likely to turn on Biden as more youth, women, and [B]lacks either choose not to turn out or just enough cast their vote for Trump,” Zogby wrote. What’s more, the pollster reported that while Biden retains a slim lead when survey respondents are asked who they support, the numbers change when respondents are asked: Who do you think will win?
“Overall, 43% say they believe Trump will win, and 40% say they believe Biden will win,” Zogby wrote, concluding:
For some, this could be fear; for others, it is a reflection of the widely held belief that Trump is a winner and performs well under pressure. But it further bolsters the point made earlier that as of today, Biden’s popularity is on the wane and that he is desperate need of a major boost.