Biden campaign ratchets up courting of Black voters, specifically Black men

Biden campaign ratchets up courting of Black voters, specifically Black men
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With 50 days until Election Day, the Biden campaign has kicked into high gear its efforts to reach Black voters, a bloc that had a 20-year low in voter participation in the last presidential election.

In a virtual press call Monday, senior members of the former vice president’s campaign reiterated its commitment to reaching all voters of color but explained that certain blocs needed to be reached more efficiently.

Biden senior adviser Symone SandersSymone SandersBiden campaign ratchets up courting of Black voters, specifically Black men The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump, Biden renew push for Latino support Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response MORE highlighted Black men as a voting bloc that had “become more disillusioned and disaffected with the Democratic Party over the last couple of cycles.” 

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“Black men are concerned about their children. They’re concerned about their economic status. They’re concerned about the next generation in terms of education, in terms of their interaction with police,” said Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondHillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close Underwood takes over as chair of House cybersecurity panel Rep. Bill Pascrell named chair of House oversight panel MORE (D-La.), co-chairman of the Biden campaign.

He added that while those concerns were shared by other Black voters, the messaging for Black men has been concerted and targeted.

Despite losing the Black vote by a wide margin to former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump furor stokes fears of unrest Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida Hillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close MORE in 2016, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE did poll in the double digits with Black men.

A Hill-HarrisX poll released during the Republican National Convention found an uptick in Black support for Trump after the GOP used much of its programming to paint Trump as sympathetic to Black people.

The effort was intended to offset criticism that Trump is a racist given his descriptions of African countries as "shithole countries," his equivocal response to white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va., and his more recent rhetoric about Black Lives Matter protests that mirrored words used by opponents of the 1960s-era Civil Rights movement.

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“Nobody is saying that we think that we’re going to get all of the Black vote because we’re the Democratic [ticket],” Richmond said.

One of these direct appeals was the launching of “Shop Talk,” a recurring program that “features roundtable discussions on the challenges impacting Black men across the country,” according to Sanders.

The initiative, which will have its next iteration Thursday evening, was launched right after Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back at close range by police in Kenosha, Wis., three weeks ago.

In addition to “Shop Talk,” the campaign noted that it released new ads focused on the Black experience in 2020.

“This latest ad release shows that the campaign has continued to reach Black voters while offering a snapshot of how different groups of African Americans and demographics of Black Americans are dealing with the reality of the current climate,” said Cameron Trimble, director of African American paid media for the campaign.