by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A left-wing advocacy group released a survey in April demonstrating that black voters could cost Joe Biden the nomination — once they are familiar with his record.
Data for Progress’s memo on “Joe Biden’s Electability” tests the assumption that the former vice president is the Democrats’ best chance for winning back the White House in 2020. The group surveyed 1,309 voters on their opinions of Biden before and after reading a number of statements critical of his record as vice president and senator.
Black voters who grew familiar with things such as Biden’s opposition to integrating Delaware’s public schools and initial support for the Iraq War became less likely to support him in a presidential election.
“These statements cause about five percent of black voters to move away from Biden, representing an 8 percent loss among black voters overall,” the study’s author Sean McElwee writes.
Before learning about Biden’s record, “61 percent of black voters reported they would support Biden, 15 percent said they would support Donald Trump, 17 percent said they would hold out for someone else, and 7 percent said they would not vote,” writes McElwee.
When the study’s participants were read statements from Biden’s past, his support dropped to 56%, while 22% of blacks said they would “hold out for someone else” and 8% said they would not vote entirely.