Young black voters said they are not excited about the prospect of voting for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, according to a USA Today report.
Young black voters split from older black voters, with the latter being much more likely to cast their vote for the former vice president, USA Today reported Thursday. An analysis conducted by the Democracy Fund and UCLA Nationscape project found that 91% of black voters ages 65 and up said they were going to vote for Biden, while just 68% of black voters between ages 18 and 29 said the same.
Although polls still show the group favors the former Vice President over President Donald Trump, young black voters say they are hesitant.
Perry Green, a 34-year-old black voter from California who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primary, told USA Today that he’s undecided about voting for Biden. He took issue with Biden’s lack of support for the defunding the police, an idea that’s become popular during ongoing protests.
“You got Black youth across the country, calling for defunding the police and thinking differently about law enforcement, and … a couple days later, in the midst of all the protests … (Biden’s) campaign says ‘Let’s spend more money on community policing,’” Green said.
“I think that if I were to see the campaign attempt to engage with more grassroots leaders, that would make me feel a little more encouraged about voting for Biden,” he told USA Today, adding that if he were in a swing state like Ohio, Michigan, or Pennsylvania, he would vote for the former Vice President.
Nationwide protests began May 25 when George Floyd died after a Minneapolis Police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. The protests, which have been ongoing for several weeks, center around race relations and police brutality – issues that will play an important role in the upcoming presidential election.
“I need someone who could carry America with a little bit more dignity and I won’t be so ashamed to be like, ‘Oh, that’s my president. Period,’” said Aerial Langston, a 31-year-old from Houston, Texas. She told USA Today that she plans to vote for Biden because the alternative is voting for Trump, but that she wants Biden to be more careful with his words.
The former Vice President has become well-known for his gaffes, some of which have been offensive. He told black radio show host Charlamagne Tha God in May that “if you don’t know whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black!”
.@JoeBiden: "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black." @cthagod: "It don't have nothing to do with Trump, it has to do with the fact — I want something for my community." @breakfastclubam pic.twitter.com/endvWnOIV2
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) May 22, 2020
Bowdoin College assistant professor of government Chryl Laird said that young black voters likely want to see someone in office who is more progressive. They “are going to have some reservations about Joe Biden,” who is a “very clear image of a status quo politician within the Democratic party,” she said.
“They really don’t see him as the direction that takes the party in a more progressive lean.” However, young Black voters will still likely vote for Biden – they just won’t be happy about it, she said.
Laird also noted that older voters tend to be more practical because they’ve seen change take more time.
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