Politics /

Black Voters Still Fleeing Democratic Party, Citing Inflation, Crime and Biden's Failures

Despite the exodus, many still feel they don't have a home with Republicans

Recent data and interviews with potential voters shows that the now years-long trend of black American voters moving away from the Democratic Party still continues.

Democrats have reason to worry because some analysis has shown that black voters are critical to their electoral success. However, it’s hardly a foregone conclusion that Republicans will pick up those votes because many of the black voters fleeing Democrats still don’t trust Republicans enough to vote for them either. A Washington Post-Ipsos poll from 2022 showed that 75 percent of black voters believe the Republican Party is racist.

This is the circumstance in which half a dozen voters recently profiled in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette find themselves: they believe that neither party is listening to them; that Democrats often promise change that never comes, while Republicans give them no reason to support the party.

Leo Beatty, a former Democrat who voted twice for former President Barack Obama, says that President Joe Biden’s presidency is a complete disappointment.

“Biden dropped the ball for me on inflation, so no I don’t think he’s doing a good job — not just because I don’t think he has the cognitive ability to do it effectively, but because he knows no one like us,” he said. “And by that I mean middle-class America.”

Beatty also says it is insulting that Biden and Democrats continue to pretend that the economy is in good shape.

“Maybe for his friends. It is about the rich getting richer and putting us working class people against each other instead of looking at the real problem,” Beatty remarked. “The real problem is the rich people against poor people. It’s more classism than racism.”

Chester Harper, a facilities manager at Carnegie Mellon University, expressed regret over voting for Biden in 2020.

“He is not looking out for the needs of the common man. He has this agenda that is out of sorts with the average voter,” Harper said. “He says all the time he knows middle class voters and he has their back — but no, he doesn’t, because he hasn’t been out there. He’s not in our world and [he hasn’t] listened to us.”

Another resident, Winifred Washington, who was interviewed by the news outlet said that Democratic politicians have lost touch with average Americans.

“Take something as simple as Duquesne High School. That school was the center of the community and children attending school in their hometown are a visual reminder that our future will be better,” she explained.

In 2007, the school was split up with half of the students being forced to attend West Mifflin while the other half was forced to attend East Allegheny high schools — a move said to fracture the community.

“It is not that I expect that Joe Biden would understand or deal with that kind of displacement and the impact it would have. His problem is he doesn’t know how to relate to anyone who has had that happen to their community,” she said. “Democrats used to be all about this kind of situation — they used to fight for it— now they have turned to fight for things I often don’t understand.”

Such sentiments have become more common as Americans continue to evaluate the impact that the Biden administration has had on the nation.

Overall, black support for Biden has cratered, a trend driven largely by younger black voters.

A recent Times/Siena survey showed that in a hypothetical matchup against former President Donald Trump, Biden holds an 83-8 lead among black voters over 45. But, for respondents under 45, that support drops to just 59-14.

Time reported that despite Biden’s drop in black voter support, “Republicans have done themselves no favors in pursuing or persuading Black voters, and there are few reasons to think that is going to be quick to change.”

As demonstrated in areas like Chicago, where voters often feel like they have no real options for a decent candidate, many black voters could opt to simply stay home on Election Day and not vote for a candidate in either major party.

During this spring’s mayoral election that put Brandon Johnson at the helm of Chicago, 71 percent of black voters did not cast a ballot, according to a new report from the University of Chicago’s Great Cities Institute.

As Timcast recently reported, libertarians are stepping up efforts to court black voters who say they are disillusioned with both Democrats and Republicans.

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