Concern in the Democratic Party over alienation of the black community

Seven in eight non-Democratic black voters who elected Biden in 2020 would support a third party in 2024, while 18% would go for Trump.

The black community’s vote has traditionally been an almost exclusively for the Democratic Party, and one of the keys to its electoral victories. However, the latest polls and the results of the last election are showing that this support is no longer unconditional and is, in fact, wavering. In the 2022 midterms, Democratic strategists found it very difficult to mobilize this electorate.

According to the census, the black community now numbers 42.7 million in the United States. This represents 14.2% of the total population, being the third largest racial group after white and Hispanic. According to Pew Research, the median age of black people in the country is 33, five years younger than all other groups.

Black voter turnout plummeted 10 points in 2022

Black voter turnout will be necessary for Democrats in order to achieve victory in the presidential elections. However, data from the 2022 midterms leave a troubling statistic for Democratic aspirations: black voter turnout plummeted nearly 10 points from 2018. More than half (51.7%) of eligible black voters participated in those elections, compared to just 42% last fall.

To make matters worse, a study by HIT Strategies concluded that a significant number of black voters are going Republican at the polls compared to previous trends. In 2022, one in five black voters under the age of 50 cast their vote for a conservative candidate. This figure is almost double that of previous generations. In fact, in 2020, Donald Trump received 4% more votes from the black community than in 2016, reaching 12% support from this group. According to a July 2023 Reuters/Ipsos poll, as many as 18% of black voters would vote for the former president over Biden if the 2020 election were repeated in 2024.

Non-Democratic black voters call for a third party

Last June, HIT Strategies delivered another piece of bad news to Democratic politicians about the black community. According to the poll, seven in eight black voters who supported Biden in 2020 but do not consider themselves Democrats would vote third party in 2024, even if it meant Trump's return to the White House. This could prove decisive in the run-up to next year's elections, as Roshni Nedungadi, founding partner of the company, warns:

We saw in 2016 that support for third-party candidates allowed Donald Trump to win the presidency with just 46% of the popular vote. It is important for Democrats to be vigilant about this prospect yet again and offer a message of persuasion even for voters who supported Biden in 2020.

Disillusionment with the Biden administration

The reason for this situation is the disillusionment of black voters with the Biden administration. In a survey published ahead of the 2022 midterms, HIT Strategies warned that 73% of black community members did not feel that their lives had improved since Joe Biden's arrival in the White House. Moreover, while the majority of black voters approve of the president’s performance (the only racial group to do so), they are less impressed with the performance of the economy and complain bitterly about inflation.

So, "when you get into economic issues-economic security, inflation, job security-those 50- and 60-point differences start to shrink to near parity, where young black men say that the Republicans are almost as good for them on the economy as the Democrats," notes Terrance Woodbury, HIT Strategies' CEO, in a statement to American Greatness. The "Trump is coming" strategy is no longer effective for young black people, who want to hear about how partisan policies affect them.

Debate between voting or staying home

There is also a widespread feeling among black voters that Democratic leaders are not prioritizing their community or working to secure their vote, seeing it as almost a given. Instead, they focus on trying to appeal to white women, whom they consider a swing vote. This is causing more and more members of the black community to debate whether to vote or stay home.

"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," W. Mondale Robinson, founder of the Black Male Voter Project, concludes for the Washington Post.