Democrats Losing Support From Their Most Loyal Voter Base 

Lightspring /
Lightspring /

While Democrats glossed over the ten percentage-point drop in voter turn-out for Blacks during the 2022 midterm election, they are becoming increasingly worried that it’s a trend that will carry over to the next election, costing them the White House in 2024. 

President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 was due to narrow margins of victory in key states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. If Democrats lose the Black vote in these states, their path to victory is anything but assured. 

Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Votes Matter, said, “Everybody knows that there’s no path, whether it’s President Biden or any other Democrat, federal or state, there’s no path to win that does not involve massive turnout from Black voters.” He added, “But they can’t just think that it’s just going to happen on its own. They’ve got to invest in making that happen.”

Mondale Robinson, the founder of the Black Male Voter Project, said that a large problem is that many Black men are “sporadic or non-voters” who, while registered, do not reliably turn out to vote. Robinson believes that Democrats focus too much on targeting “conservative-leaning White women” in the suburbs, a demographic liberals consider “swing voters.”  Robinson suggests that Democrats should focus more on turning out Black men and consider them as “swing voters” who are debating whether to stay home or come out to vote.

Robinson explains, “The Democratic Party has been failing epically at reaching this demographic of Black men — and that’s sad to say. Black men are your second-most stable base overwhelmingly, and yet you can’t reach them in a way that makes your work easier.” 

Chief Executive of HIT Strategies, Terrance Woodbury, warns that the Democratic strategy of focusing on anti-Trump and MAGA messaging is not working and believes the key to the Black turnout will be focusing on how the Biden presidency has benefitted them.  

Liberal organizers in Detroit are educating Black voters on “how politics work,” and providing them with examples of how “Biden’s policies have helped them.” 

But this message may be a hard sell in Black communities torn apart by soft-on-crime progressive policies, a failing economy, and failed Biden promises. 

Brittany Smith, executive director of the Black Leadership PAC (BLP), says that many Black Americans are expressing cynicism about politics. “When you think about election cycle to election cycle, [Black voters] have been telling us for a long time what matters.” She went on to add, “They want to put food on the table, a roof over their head, send kids to good schools, live in neighborhoods that are safe. I don’t think the issues are new, it’s the way we talk about them and the way we’re centering the voice of the people who live in these communities.” 

Executive director of Detroit Action Branden Snyder agrees. “There is a slow leaking of Black men from the base because the issues that they care about aren’t being addressed. We have politics that were created by both Democrats and Republicans that don’t get to the heart of what our community cares about.” 

But many Black voters understand that they benefitted under Trump far more than under Biden’s empty promises. Before COVID-19, black Americans enjoyed lower taxes and lower regulation, and the unemployment rate for blacks reached a record low of 5.2 percent.  

The poverty rate for Black Americans reached record lows, with an estimated one million lifting themselves out of poverty during the Trump presidency. During this time, household income for black families rose by over $4,000 after falling under Obama’s presidency. Black homeownership rose to 47 percent under Republican policies.  

In 2021, Scott Turner, chairman of the Center for Education Opportunity at the America First Policy Institute, published a piece for the National Review that Democrats should take to heart.  

“In spite of what you may hear, black people do not want open borders, we don’t want to defund the police, and we don’t want higher taxes and more spending,” Turner writes. “Entrepreneurship, innovation, skills training, economic sustainability, and generational wealth creation are equally as important in the Black community as in any other in America.  

“That is what Republican policies delivered and it can be the foundation of a truly multicultural middle-class party for decades to come.”