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Why Waning Black Voters' Support for Biden is Bad News for Democrats in 2022

© AP Photo / Bebeto MatthewsIn this April 7, 2020, photo, a subway rider wears a mask and a bandana to protect himself against COVID-19 in New York
In this April 7, 2020, photo, a subway rider wears a mask and a bandana to protect himself against COVID-19 in New York - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.02.2022
While African Americans are believed to have helped Joe Biden get elected in 2020, their support for the US president has been steadily fading in recent months. This spells trouble not only for Biden but also for the Democratic Party's election odds in the upcoming 2022 midterms.
US President Joe Biden's approval rating among African Americans saw a double-digit drop, going from 86 percent in January 2021 to 76 percent in 2022, according to Navigator Research, a left-of-centre polling and public opinion research organisation. What's more, Biden's approval among Black youths plummeted by a whopping 25 percent over the same time period, from 88 percent to just 63 percent.
African Americans have long been viewed as Biden's base. Joe Biden owed his election victory to six key battleground states, including Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin. The US mainstream media unanimously claimed that Biden's win in 2020 "reveal[ed] the power of Black voters".

"By overwhelmingly backing Biden and showing up in strong numbers, Black voters not only helped deliver familiar battleground states to the Democrat, but they also created a new one in the longtime GOP bastion of Georgia — potentially remaking presidential politics for years to come", the Associated Press noted on 9 November 2020.

Thus, African Americans represented over 50 percent of all Democratic voters in Georgia, 20 percent of all Democratic voters in Michigan, and 21 percent of all Democratic voters in Pennsylvania, as the Brookings Institution revealed the same month, citing exit poll data.
However, since the start of Joe Biden's presidency, Black Americans' support has been steadily fading throughout the year. A poll by HIT Strategies indicated that while 66 percent of Black voters said in June 2021 that Biden was addressing their needs, just 48 percent of African Americans said the same in November 2021. A January 2022 survey by NBC News showed that Biden’s approval rating among Blacks had declined markedly, from 83 percent to 64 percent.
The Hill's Niall Stanage explained this phenomenon by Biden's failure to pass his signature initiatives including the voting rights bill and police reform. Moreover, the US president appears to have quietly swept under the rug his election pledge to form a national police oversight commission, according to Stanage. Raging COVID-19 and inflation are complicating matters even further.
The Hill journalist does not think that Black voters – who traditionally cast their ballots for Democrats – will switch sides and vote for the GOP. However, "even a moderate lapse in Black turnout could doom many congressional Democrats in November", he stressed.
Stanage quotes civil rights attorney Shavar Jeffries, who insists that Biden still has a chance of winning Black voters' support back. According to Jeffries, Biden and his aides "could do a much better job of communicating his wins" to African Americans. The lawyer particularly refers to the expanded child tax credit, the pause on student loan payments, and investments in clean-water infrastructure, which could hugely benefit Black voters.
© LaTosha Brown/ TwitterScreenshot of the LaTosha Brown's tweet
Screenshot of the LaTosha Brown's tweet - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.02.2022
Screenshot of the LaTosha Brown's tweet
Yet another opportunity to reinvigorate enthusiasm among African Americans is to appoint a Black Supreme Court justice, according to CNN. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement announcement last week could help him gain ground with his base, argues the media outlet. To that end, Biden has apparently pledged to put the first Black woman on the Supreme Court this week.
Yet, it is unclear whether Biden's SCOTUS appointments or improved communication of the president's wins would counterbalance growing socio-economic frustration among African Americans, Democratic voters, and independents.
© Rasmussen Reports/ TwitterScreenshot of the Rasmussen Reports' tweet
Screenshot of the Rasmussen Reports' tweet - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.02.2022
Screenshot of the Rasmussen Reports' tweet
The slide in the US president's poll numbers shows no signs of letting up. A recent Harvard-Harris study shows just 39 percent approval for the president's policies, while a Pew Research Centre poll warns that Biden's approval rating among Democrats has slumped to just 76 percent.
For its part, Rasmussen Reports, an American conservative polling company, has found that a whopping 50 percent of likely voters want to see Biden impeached. Meanwhile, the latest national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports and The National Pulse indicated that 54 percent of likely US voters think Biden "will be remembered as one of the worst presidents in American history".
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