The Washington Post acknowledged that Black voters remain the most solid group in supporting the president, particularly on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, immigration and the economy.
Looking at the poll data closer, Black voters held a more favorable view of the president and Vice President Kamala Harris than leaders in the House and Senate.
Black people were about as likely as all other voters to vote in the midterm elections. Across the board, 54 percent of Black voters and 56 percent of all voters said they would absolutely vote. Black voters who were likely to vote or had at least a 50-50 chance of voting comprised another 32 percent.
Nearly 60 percent of Black voters see a possible Republican takeover of the Senate as a bad thing. But 31 percent of Black people polled thought the shift would have no real consequence.
A Black Georgia voter interviewed by the Post pointed to the president’s struggle to get things accomplished. During the election, the president touted his over 40 years in Washington, D.C. as the reason to support him over the other contenders for the Democratic nomination. He sold voters on the belief that he alone could bring consensus back to the country.
Even when he steps into the role as the great facilitator, he defaults back to his wishful thinking of “reasonable Republicans” stepping up. While several did come together to support the bipartisan infrastructure law, needed investments in the American public have been tanked by Republican refusal to compromise. This coupled with Democratic holdouts on the filibuster has stalled much of the Biden agenda.
The president’s Build Back Better agenda failed to move forward in the Senate. Last summer, White House senior advisor Trey Baker spoke with NewsOne about the administration’s effort to engage Black voters around the president’s plans.
To his credit, the president has followed through on support for HBCUs and expanding the federal judiciary including nominating the first Black woman Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
He also recently nominated Judge Carlton W. Reeves of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi as the chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Reeves is the second Black judge to serve on the federal bench in Mississippi and has a fierce reputation for justice and equity.
Other poll questions asked Black voters about specific issues impacting the country. A question on crime that suggested Black voters see better results from investing in community resources than increasing police presence to address rising crime. A total of 86%of Black people surveyed found that “increasing funding to build economic opportunities in poor neighborhoods with higher crime” would lead to reduced crime.
Only 72 percent of those surveyed thought increasing police would have a similar impact. A noted 68% of Black people thought “having outreach workers try to resolve disputes between residents who might use guns” could lead to a reduction in crime.
Understanding how Black voters value key issues could be informative for candidates this midterm election cycle. The question of handling crime is mixed, but challenges existing narratives that focus solely on increasing police funding.