by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden heads into his 2024 reelection bid bleeding support from minority groups that were the backbone of his first White House victory.
Now, just days away from the first official Democratic primary election in South Carolina on Feb. 3, the incumbent president is seeking to energize black voters in the Palmetto State that he credits for reviving his 2020 campaign that defeated President Donald Trump.
There is virtually no question whether Biden will win South Carolina’s primary, but he does face pressure to maintain all-important minority support, especially going into the general election as a decrease in black and Latino voters could signal an erosion in enthusiasm for his reelection bid.
University of South Carolina political scientist David Darmofal predicts next month’s nominating contest will have a low voter turnout “across the board,” but noted that if it is down more among black and Latino voters than other groups, such information would be useful to Biden’s campaign.
Several polls have warned key voters may be abandoning Biden.
In a USA Today / Suffolk University poll released earlier this month, Biden only secured the support of 63% of black voters, a steep drop from the estimated number he boasted in 2020 at 87%. Furthermore, Biden trailed Trump with Hispanic voters, 39% to 34%. In 2020, Biden had the support of 65% of Hispanic voters.
In the Carolina Panorama, Oscar H. Blayton wrote last year of people of color, “It stinks, but we’re stuck,” going on to note that the most important priority is to protect “ourselves from another Trump presidency.”
Blayton said that “having to vote for Joe Biden is as grating as hearing fingernails being drawn across a blackboard, but I am out of options.”