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Biden officials launch push to court Black voters with Juneteenth celebration

Maya T. Prabhu, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON — Shrinking the unemployment rate gap between Black and white Americans, increasing the wealth of Black families and bolstering support for Black foster children who age out of the program were among the topics that White House staff stressed Monday as evidence of the ways the president has improved the lives of Black people since being elected four years ago.

President Joe Biden is continuing to court Black voters in Georgia and the nation, with the expectation that high turnout among the demographic is needed to help him once again defeat former President Donald Trump.

A CBS poll released Sunday found that while the president’s support among Black voters is not as strong as it was in 2020, it has improved since the spring.

“It’s very, very important ... to make sure that we’re explaining what this administration has done,” Montgomery, Alabama, Mayor Steven Reed told reporters while discussing potential apathy among young Black voters.

“We have to make sure we’re willing to go to the fraternity meetings, we have to make sure we’re willing to go to the Masonic halls, that we’re going to the churches, the men’s groups, the barbershops — or wherever (young people) might be and talk about what this administration has done, how it benefits young men and young women, and, more particular, what they can do with another four years,” he said.

Engaging Black voters is a crucial part of Biden’s reelection strategy. In 2020, a massive turnout from the Black community in battleground states was a key factor in turning the 2020 election in his favor. Without a repeat performance this November, Biden’s path to victory is more complicated.

 

“He’s going to get the lion’s share of the Black vote, but if turnout is anemic, it’s not going to be enough to help him out in battleground states (like Georgia),” Emory University political science professor Andra Gillespie said Monday on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Politically Georgia” podcast.

Black voters, particularly young people, want to see Biden campaign in their communities “and not assume that just because you’re going to get the vast majority of Black voters in the state” that he doesn’t “have to be attentive to the issues.”

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is trying to peel away minority votes. Last month, Trump held a rally in the diverse neighborhood of the South Bronx where he claimed Biden’s immigration policies hurt Black and Hispanic Americans.

The Biden administration is picking up its efforts to highlight his track record with Black Americans, inviting regional reporters to the White House to speak with several senior staff members ahead of a Juneteenth celebration and concert.

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