OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Democrats have continued to bleed support from one of their most important constituencies in the age of President Joe Biden and it could have a profoundly negative effect on the party, generally speaking, during the 2024 elections.
Politico is reporting that black voters are trending away from the Democratic Party in a foreboding sign that could spell doom next year.
“After a lot of hand-wringing in recent years, elections next month in Mississippi and Virginia — two Southern states with large Black populations — will offer one final, robust read going into 2024 on the extent of the slippage among Democrats’ most reliable bloc of voters,” Politico noted, adding: “The warning signs have been flashing.”
Black voters have supported Democrats, and in overwhelming numbers, for decades. But Biden’s approval rating has been declining among the voting bloc compared to white voters, contributing to a steep decline in support.
Meanwhile, last week, a Republican was elected governor of Louisiana — sitting Attorney General Jeff Landry — for the first time in eight years, suggesting “diminished voter enthusiasm in the areas with the largest black populations,” Politico noted.
“And just this week, a prominent Democratic data firm published a report outlining declining support for Democrats in last year’s midterm elections among younger black voters, black men and black voters without college degrees,” said Politico.
The outlet added:
There’s no one simple answer for why Democrats are losing Black support at the margins. Some conservative Black voters are aligning with the GOP as the parties become more ideologically homogenous. And inflation and other economic struggles in recent years — which have driven much of the widespread dissatisfaction with Biden — have hit communities of color harder.
What’s clear is that Biden can’t safely assume he’ll be able to reassemble the coalition that he rode to victory three years ago. Black support for Democrats has been slipping slightly for the better part of a decade, since Barack Obama, the country’s first Black president, was last on the ballot in 2012.
There are signs Republicans may have continued since 2020 to pull some Black voters away from Democrats. That is bad news for Biden.
In a Quinnipiac University poll released earlier in the week, about 65 percent of black voters said they approved of the way Biden is handling his job compared to an overall average approval rating of around 39 percent.
Former President Donald Trump has shot past Biden in a major new poll that also shows the current commander-in-chief’s approval rating hitting basement levels.
“Meanwhile, 74% of the public believe it is either somewhat or very important for the U.S. government to fund military aid to Israel,” CNBC reported on Wednesday. “That compares with 72% who say it’s important to fund securing the border with Mexico and foreign humanitarian aid. A smaller, but still solid 61% majority respond that it’s important to fund military aid to Ukraine compared with 52% who support military and economic aid to Taiwan.”
On all the major issues that most concern Americans, Biden is deeply underwater. While his overall approval sits at 37 percent, his disapproval rating is 58 percent, or “the highest disapproval and the second-lowest approval rating of” his presidency.
“Biden’s 32% approval rating on the economy is the lowest of his presidency, while the 63% economic disapproval rating is the second lowest,” CNBC reported. “Even while Biden moved quickly to publicly support Israel and provide additional aid, the public is giving the president poor marks for this handling of foreign policy. Just 31% approve and 60% disapprove.”
Micah Roberts, partner at Public Opinion Strategies, the Republican pollster for the survey, said of the results: “You don’t get sub 40 approval ratings without losing large chunks of your base. And that’s what’s happening here.”
He went on to describe the results as “distressing numbers for a president facing reelection.”