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Biden’s Black Voter Dilemma

joe biden
Democrats must humbly engage with voters who are drifting from Biden rather than repeat talking points about how great everything is. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Baratunde Thurston
February 27, 2024

The election of Joe Biden didn’t come easily in 2020. A perfect storm of factors coalesced at the perfect time to deliver the Electoral College margin—and it was still close, coming down to less than 45,000 votes in Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin. Throughout Trump’s presidency, a record number of Americans hit the streets in protest: Black people responding to police violence; Muslims demonstrating against a religious travel ban; Jews activated by Charlottesville and rising antisemitism; women fighting an anti-abortion Supreme Court; even Republicans concerned by Trump’s authoritarian bent. All of that collective energy translated into votes.

But today, that historic coalition is obviously weaker, in large part due to declining support for Biden among the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituency: Black Americans. From NBC News to the AP, all the surveys point in the same direction. According to exclusive polling produced for Puck by Echelon Insights, 18 percent of Black voters said the outcome of this year’s presidential election didn’t matter to them personally—five points above the national average. For non-college-educated voters of color, that number is even higher.