This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 6, 2020:
In announcing its multi-million dollar ad buy on Wednesday, the Biden campaign let the Associated Press see an advance copy of its ad titled “Better America” targeted specifically to black voters. The AP quoted part of the one-minute ad:
We must choose to fight for that better America. And just like our ancestors who stood up to the violent racists of a generation ago, we will stand up to this president and say “No more” because America is better than him.
So we choose to be bigger. We choose to be bolder. We choose to bring back justice, respect and dignity to this country. We choose Joe Biden to lead us all towards that American promise together.
Except that a large bloc of those black voters aren’t choosing Biden. The results from the American University Black Swing Voter Project, which were just released, showed that the most reliable Democrat bloc remains those black voters over 60. The Project said that 86 percent of them plan to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden in November.
But of those between ages 30 and 59, only 70 percent said they’d be voting for Biden. And among the youngest bloc, black voters age 18 to 29, less than half said they’d support the vice president in November.
What’s more remarkable is that just two months ago, the youngest bloc, according to an analysis done for the Washington Post by the Democracy Fund and UCLA Nationscape, reported that two-thirds of them were firmly in Biden’s camp.
So Biden’s support in this critical bloc continues to melt away. And it’s not just Biden, either. American University’s study also asked, “How welcoming do you believe the Democratic Party is to African Americans?” and while three-quarters of the older cohort said it was “welcoming,” less than half of the youngest bloc agreed.
It’s worth noting that as Biden’s support melts away, it’s not flowing toward the incumbent, according to American University. Instead, it’s increasingly likely that young black voters won’t vote at all. Almost half said they would either be voting for a third-party candidate, or they weren’t sure yet how they would vote, or they would just stay home on November 3.
On the other hand, Harry Enten of CNN noticed that that shrinkage of support for the vice president back in May was working to Trump’s advantage, and it concerned him: “This improvement for Trump [among black voters] from 2016 is statistically significant.” He added:
Biden has such a large lead overall that Trump’s small gain among Black voters doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of the 2020 election. But if the race for president tightens, Trump’s small gain with Black voters could make a difference.
It could cost Biden 0.5 points nationally on the whole compared to where Clinton ended up. That may not seem like a lot, though it could make the difference in a close election.
Since then, Biden’s “large lead overall” has all but vanished, which makes the collapsing support among young black voters for Biden even more important.
It’s going to take a lot more than a one-minute ad to reverse this trend.