President Biden

Financial Woes Are Pushing Black Voters Away From Re-Electing President Biden 

Have you decided who you're voting for in November?

The lack of economic growth for Black voters is pushing their support away from President Joe Biden ahead of the November 2024 presidential election. 

As some are forced to work two or more jobs just to make ends meet, Black voters are threatening to shift their support toward other alternatives, like independent candidates. “I have to work two jobs overtime just to even try to cover my rent, which means I have no time to be able to enjoy life, period,” Cleveland, Ohio, voter Jennifer Garner said. 

“The only way things are going to get better is if people start talking and just let them know the economy sucks. We need better jobs and more money.”

Garner voted for Biden in 2020 but she’s not so sure he will receive her vote in 2024. However, the 46-year-old has ruled Republican nominee Donald Trump out. The overwhelming support from Black voters helped Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris secure the White House, but things have changed since. A poll from January 2024 revealed 75% of Black voters said they would vote for Biden in the upcoming general election, compared to 92% four years ago, according to a report from the Pew Research Center. 

In May 2023, a report from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that 30% of Black people attest to their financial situation declining in comparison to 44% who claim it had stayed the same. While analysts continue to push a narrative of a stable labor market, decreasing inflation, and wages on the rise, the Black community feels pressure from high prices of expenses like groceries, housing, and student loan payments

President Biden announced new plans for a student debt forgiveness proposal in early April 2024. If finalized, the plan will provide a one-time cancellation of all accrued interest for 23 million borrowers as well as the full amount of student loan debt for 4 million borrowers being canceled, according to News From The States. 

More than 10 million borrowers with a minimum of $5,000 in student debt will receive relief.

Staggering financial woes aren’t the only issues causing a lack of support. Amongst a focus group of 14 participants, one pointed out being disappointed in Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Shaleeya L. from Gastonia, North Carolina, said she was excited to back Biden in prior elections but isn’t sure this time. 

Out of four participants who admitted thinking of voting for a third-party or independent candidate, Shaleeya picked Dr. Cornel West, who recently selected BLM advocate Dr. Melina Abdullah, as his running mate.  But for now, things are up in the air. “For a fact, I’m not voting for Trump. So if I don’t want to vote for Biden either — then my choice is to not vote,” she said. 

“As of now, I have no preference. If we voted today, I probably wouldn’t vote.”

Abortion is another core issue that still confuses voters, as three out of the focus group mentioned they were unfamiliar with the President’s stance on abortion. All participants said that Trump was partially to blame for the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022 by appointing three of the five justices who supported the measure.