Several top Democrats are concerned about President Biden’s prospects in 2024 due to lower Black voter turnout, among other challenges.
A group of Democrats is offering a new analysis of the most recent campaigns in Georgia and Michigan, pitching those battlegrounds as models for drawing in more Black voters next year and beyond. They argue that Democratic power players need to think — and spend money — in new ways, going beyond efforts that can be last-minute or superficial as they try to reassemble Biden’s 2020 coalition.
“The days of the symbolic fish fry and one-time church visit are over,” wrote the authors of the analysis by strategists widely credited for helping flip Georgia and Michigan to Biden. “Black voters have always required an approach to voter engagement as diverse as the Black voting coalition.”
Biden has long depended on Black voters — first as a Delaware senator and most notably in the 2020 South Carolina primary, which delivered him a decisive win that led much of the Democratic field to consolidate behind him. And his campaign says the president’s reelection effort already reflects the priorities and approach advocated by the outside strategists.
The campaign communications director, Michael Tyler, told reporters that the campaign was designed to target black voters specifically.
“The campaign is designing comprehensive and robust programs in battleground states to mobilize and engage Black voters,” said Michael Tyler, the campaign’s communications director. He noted the campaign already is running targeted digital ads and building outreach programs in Black communities, months earlier than presidential campaigns typically have launched such efforts.
According to the report, only 50% of Black adults think Joe Biden is a good President, which was revealed in a December poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs. When compared to just a few years ago, in the summer of July, Biden’s approval rating was 86% with adult black voters. This large decrease is leading Democrat strategists to conclude that his re-election chances may not be what they hoped.
Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are the seven states that will be critical in deciding the Electoral College next year. Across those states in 2022, Black turnout dropped, on average, about 22% from the 2018 midterms, according to multiple Democratic firms’ data analysis. Lagging Black support for Biden in any three of those states next fall could cut off his path to the required 270 electoral votes.
Joe Biden may need more than Kamala Harris to sway the black vote this time.