Being a significant part of the democratic coalition, black voters play an essential role in the elections. According to a recent poll, black voters gathered around 22% of votes for Donald Trump in six central battleground states.
Although 92% of voters had voted for Joe Biden during the elections of 2024, according to a recent poll, only 66% would have voted for Biden if the election were held that month. But, according to last month’s results, it has been revealed that black voters are playing a role in determining the candidacy of the Democratic candidates.
The black voters played a crucial role in glorifying the abortion rules in the Ohio state constitution and helping the democrats gain control over the Virginia state house. They also helped reject the Black Republican candidate from becoming a governor in Kentucky. Indeed, with their support and powers, they are answering their electoral strength as questions arise for this group’s support for Joe Biden.
Adrianne Shropshire, a Democratic strategist, said that blacks were undoubtedly crucial in Ohio, Kentucky, and other places. This has several implications for the 2024 elections. Here is how the black voters might play a significant role in the next year’s Presidential election.
‘We awakened the Sleeping Giant’
The Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights until viability. More than eight in ten black voters is a more considerable proportion than the white and Latino voters who supported the measure.
Prentiss Haney, co-executive director of the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, told USA Today that they awakened the sleeping giant in Ohio. Blacks make up around 11% of the total population of the state.
The abortion results in Ohio came after the Republicans tried to increase the threshold for amending the constitution of the stage from 50-60% earlier this year. The Republican Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill in January that required all the voters to present photo identification and limiting every county in Ohio to only one ballot box.
Haney said that what they saw is indeed an issue for the black community, which is finally reflected on the ballot. They did not have to wait for a politician to deliver a policy for them. Haney said that the blacks could provide it through direct democracy. The abortion victory this week might pave the way for the Democratic gains in 2024.
Next year, an anti-gerrymandering amendment might be passed on the ballot, replacing the Republican-dominated Ohio Redistricting Commission with a citizen-led body with bipartisan. Haney said there could be historic levels of black turnouts in Ohio because there might be another issue that can create more power for themselves.
Virginia’s Surprise Results
The threat of possible new abortion rules under the GOP-controlled legislature and Republican Governor helped to drive an upset that saw the Democrats hold the Senate and retake the State House. Youngkin had promised to institute a 15-week abortion ban except for severe medical emergencies, incest, and rape.
However, this would happen only if the Republicans captured the state senate controlled by the Democrats. Instead, they were on the losing side of the House, and Minority Leader Don Scott is set to become the first-ever Black House Speaker in Virginia. The experts say that the detailed turnout videos were not available.
However, a Democrat, Nadarius Clark, who had won the newly drawn house district outside Norfolk, said he saw a surprising turnout. One heavily Black situation where Clark’s campaign had expectations of 500 voters saw a whopping 800 plus voters. Clark had defeated his republican opponent by more than 1500 votes.
According to some reports, the voter turnout exceeded expectations in 13 of the 18 Clark district precincts, where Blacks constitute more than 40% of the voters.
There are lower turnout percentages in Virginia. But the abortion issues and women’s reproductive rights drove more people in what is called an off-year election than any other election, according to the President of Virginia NAACP.
Youngkin and Barnette’s abortion threats struck a chord with black voters in a state where black mothers have more chances of dying due to childbirth than white mothers. Barnette said that the issue made the day for the Democrats in Virginia.
A black Republican rejected in the Bluegrass State.
While the Republicans in Kentucky swept races for the secretary of the state and the Attorney General, Governor Andy Beshear defeated Attorney General Daniel Cameron by more than 60000 votes. Cameron is the first black candidate elected to the statewide office in Kentucky. He alienated many Black Voters by declining to charge several Louisville Police Officers in a fatal shooting of a technician of the emergency room named Breonna Taylor.
While the campaign officials say that it’s too early to decide how the black voters would impact the elections compared to the white voters, in Jefferson County, consisting of Louisville, the Black Voter Matter Fund estimated a turnout of around 41%, more than the state average of 38%. The Jefferson County is almost quarter filled with the Black.
The Blacks first featured in the Elections.
The elections of 2023 served some firsts for the Black Voters and the election candidates. Democrat Gabriel Amo in Rhode Island, a former deputy director of the White House, made history by becoming the first Black Member of Congress. The Philadelphia voters also elected Cherelle Parker as the first Black woman mayor.
However, even between the promising results in the swing states, Melvin Prince Johnakin, the vice president of NAACP in Philadelphia, described the economic issues that could keep away the Black Voters in the city. He said a presidential person who had just met with millionaires could never travel to the urban community. He might have never traveled to the small streets, but having a motorcade only to stop at the most affluent houses might not help him in the elections of 2024, as Johnakin said.
Johnakin said that he had seen many Black men voting for the Republicans even during the time of Black women leading the Democrats in Philadelphia. He further said that it would be a challenging battle in Pennsylvania.
Deep South Appointment
Mississippi had the first governor’s race since the 2020 referendum, which repealed a Jim Crow-era provision of the state constitution that eliminated and reduced the power of black voters in the statewide races. Republican governor Tate Reeves topped Democratic challenger Brandon Presley by 47%.
Blacks constitute around 40% of the population of Mississippi. However, 90% of the voters voted for Republicans. Although the state releases no official data, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee estimates that the turnout of black voters has decreased this year compared to 2019.
However, a series of events during the election day can play a role. In Hinds County, a shortage of ballots left many voters unable to vote for their respective leaders. There were also reports stating incomplete election purges before the election day. Regardless of the election results, everyone knows that Mississippi is one of the hottest states in the country.
Charles V. Taylor Junior said they would have to vote and do everything to change the country’s laws and create awareness. Even if the Presidential Election is one year away, Shropshire said that the 2023 election results indicate the policies that might animate the black voters.
During the last three elections, the black voters have been very clear about what is at stake for America. Shropshire said that they have turned up in different ways to change them and make things very clear.