What to Know in Washington: Biden Lags With Black Georgia Voters

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President Joe Biden’s path to victory in Georgia is imperiled by lukewarm support from Black voters — the bloc that was crucial to his narrow triumph in the state in 2020.

In the Atlanta metro area — home to the second-largest Black population in the US — Black residents said the pain of inflation and setbacks on policies such as student loan forgiveness have left them with misgivings about Biden’s candidacy.

The tepid sentiment is a vulnerability for the president in an election that will likely hinge on voter turnout in a handful of swing states. It highlights the risk that uninspired Black voters stay home or look to third-party alternatives.

Photographer: Alyssa Pointer/Bloomberg

Additionally, it is a concerning signal for the Democratic Party, which has counted on Black voters for decades as a reliable part of its coalition but has recently seen a small erosion of support from this group, including in the 2022 midterm contests. A recent poll found less than one in five Black voters nationwide said they would feel enthusiastic about another four years of Biden.

To make the case that Biden’s economic policy is delivering for Black voters, the White House has often highlighted economic data points such as record-low unemployment for Black Americans. But the jobless rate for this group has edged up since hitting that milestone in April.

Meanwhile inflation — which has cooled recently after soaring to a four-decade high last year — continues to weigh heavily on perceptions of the health of the economy. Research has found that Black Americans, as well as Hispanic Americans, experienced higher rates of inflation last year than White Americans.

At the same time, Biden has been hemmed in on certain initiatives that are especially important to Black voters. His student-debt relief program was blocked by the Supreme Court, and voting rights bills he has championed failed to pass the Senate.

The GOP held onto the governor’s mansion in Georgia in 2022, offering a playbook for how the party can compete there next year. Perhaps more significant for Biden’s chances, though, is how many Black voters make a point to show up at the ballot box. Biden won Georgia by 11,779 votes in 2020. With Black voters making up 32.9% of the electorate, Georgia’s 16 electoral votes would have gone the other way if less than 1% of Black voters had voted for Donald Trump or simply stayed home. Read the full story from Christian Hall and Akayla Gardner.


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To contact the reporter on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

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