Black voters are not very happy with President Biden. Indeed, the Black electorate is frustrated with President Biden due to his inability to keep some of his promises. This makes Black voters question Biden’s motives toward the Black communities. President Biden began his re-election campaign this week vowing to “finish the job” he started in 2021. Black voters have been committed to President Biden and the Democratic Party as the party that promotes their welfare. Long the most loyal Democratic constituency, Black voters resurrected Mr. Biden’s struggling presidential campaign in South Carolina and sent him to the White House with his party in control of the Senate after two runoff victories in Georgia. In return, they hoped the administration would go beyond past presidents in trying to improve their communities—and they listened closely to his promises to do so.
Yet, some Black voters’ biggest policy priorities—stronger federal protections against voting laws, student loans, debt relief, and criminal justice and police accountability measures have failed some because Democrats have declined to bypass Senate filibuster rules. This disappointment is nothing new for the black electorate. Black Americans have always voted Democrat consistently since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and yet the party for which they vote consistently has always let them down on the most pressing issues. A few dozen of Black voters, organizers, and elected officials in recent weeks, leave open the question of just how enthusiastic Democrats’ most important group of voters will be in 2024. One entrepreneur, Martin Dutton, said:
“Mr. Biden needed to be a little bit sincere rather than pandering to us when it’s time to vote.”
Black voters have expressed the pattern of Democratic politicians approaching Black communities only during election cycles, and once elections are done, they no longer care about Black issues. Despite acknowledging this repeated political behavior that literally became a pattern, Black voters do continue to consistently vote Democrats. The reasoning behind this seemingly contradictory political behavior from the Black electorate can be explained by the faith that Blacks have in the federal government’s ability to optimize output. More importantly, the Black communities believe that the federal government is the organization that can promulgate equality of opportunity. Since the Democratic Party is the political party that promotes government intervention as the resource to optimize output and promote equality, thus Black voters continue to give their votes to Democratic politicians, although government in itself is ineffective at allocating resources efficiently to optimize output. More importantly, government is the fundamental source of social inequality because it engages in an arbitrary redistributive process that harms those whom it intended to help.
Voting Rates by Race, 1980-2016
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
In the 2016 presidential elections, Black voters demonstrated that they were not that naïve. Former Secretary of State and then-Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton thought that she had the Black vote secured. She took the Black vote for granted and found out the hard way that Blacks do not necessarily vote for any person that just runs under a Democratic ticket. According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, voter turnout substantially decreased for Black voters in the 2016 presidential election to 59.6% while in 2012, the Black vote was estimated at 66.6%. This represents a decline of 10.5% in the voting block for the Democratic Party. President Biden should be wary of what happened to Hillary Clinton in 2016 with the Black vote. It is now too early to determine the voter turnout of the Black electorate for the Democratic Party. If Black voters continue to grow uncertain about Biden’s commitment to Black issues, then Black voters would abstain from voting, which will substantially plummet Biden’s chance of getting re-elected.