canada africa partner reservation Black men in Georgia were key for Biden in 2020. Can he keep their support?

Black men in Georgia were key for Biden in 2020. Can he keep their support?

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James Butler, a black, 42-year-old Democrat from Atlanta, plans to cast his vote for President Biden in November — but this time he’s not as enthusiastic.

“I think this is the best we have,” he said of the 2024 election.

Butler is not alone among Black voters in Georgia in his lack of enthusiasm to vote for Biden a second time.

a CBS News poll in late February showed that 76% of likely Black voters said they supported his re-election bid, up from 87% who voted for him in 2020. In 2020, Georgia was one of Mr. Biden’s biggest victories, with fewer than 12,000 voters making the difference — and black voters there were a key part of Mr. Biden’s winning coalition.

It appears the Biden-Harris campaign has taken notice. Vice President Kamala Harris kicked off a multi-state tour in Atlanta on Monday to talk about investments in Black communities and opportunities for minority families to build wealth under the Biden administration.

Democrat Raphael Warnock is campaigning in the final days before the runoff election
A member of the audience wearing a Georgia NAACP ‘Black Voters Still Matter’ t-shirt as Georgia Democratic Senate candidate U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) speaks during a Get Out the Vote rally on December 3, 2022 in Hephzibah, Georgia.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

“We continue to talk about the results and the work being done to expand economic opportunity for young Black men in this country,” said campaign spokesman Michael Tyler.

Organizers of the New Georgia Project, a black voter advocacy group based in Atlanta, believe younger men have been particularly slow to return to Mr. Biden’s fold.

“Young black men are more likely to say they will vote for Trump,” said Ranada Robinson, a researcher for the New Georgia Project. “But what worries me most this year is that about 30% were still undecided at the time of our poll.”

Robinson says misinformation plays a major role in some black men’s declining interest in Mr. Biden.

“There are some stories, especially online, that are misplacing credit for some of the victories we’ve seen in America,” she said. “There is also a misplacement of blame. When you see certain Supreme Court rulings or certain cases that have long-term effects from previous administrations, this administration is suffering the consequences of that.”

But other supporters of the president say they’re just not excited about a 2020 rematch.

“I think my voice is the same, but I’m less excited,” said Phillip Dunwood, 21, a student at Georgia State University. “It’s more like, ‘Okay, let’s get this over with.'”

Meanwhile, Republicans are trying to draw black men from Biden’s base, but they don’t have the resources they had in previous cycles. The RNC’s Black American Community Center in College Park, Georgia, was one of several minority outreach centers that opened before the 2022 midterm elections and have now closed.

“We can do better (on outreach),” said Georgia Black Republican Council (GABRC) member Azad Ahmadi.

Instead of a national infrastructure, the party relies on local support groups like the GABRC to make inroads into the black community. Darryl Wilson, another member, says the group is using mentorship as a way to convince black men to vote Republican in November.

“We have held black conservative summits. We’ve done ‘barbershop political forums’. We bring government to the people in local communities, where they can ask direct questions and get direct answers,” said Wilson.

The Black Conservative Federation (BCF), a network of African American GOP activists, rolled out its 2024 voting policy plan in April, titled “Black Men Matter.” Under the plan, the group’s outreach organizers will target Black men in six battleground states — Georgia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania — through grassroots outreach and programming.

But Democrats say Republicans are still far from proving their investments in black communities.

“To come into an election season and suggest they’re courting black voters other than saying ‘the Democrats aren’t doing enough’ or saying ‘you need to stay out of this because this election isn’t worth watching to participate and Trump was a little better for you, while the National Party was a little better for you. “I just don’t believe in it,” said Anre Washington, a voter from Georgia. “It has never been a good faith effort on the part of the Republican Party in my voting life.”