Jun 2, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign courts Black voters in Michigan

Members of the audience wait for the start of a campaign rally for U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris at Girard College on May 29, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Members of the audience wait for the start of a campaign rally for U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris at Girard College on May 29, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

President Biden's re-election campaign appealed to Black voters in Michigan over the weekend, launching a new coalition to court the voting bloc.

The big picture: It's a part of a wider campaign strategy to regain ground among Black voters, who showed up for Biden in the 2020 election but could be less supportive of him this year.

Zoom in: The campaign hosted a series of events in Black communities across the swing state, including in Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids and officially launched The Black Voters for Biden coalition.

  • One such event included conversations with community leaders at salons and barbershops to discuss how the campaign can continue working to reach Black voters in Detroit.

What they're saying: "Black voters delivered Michigan for President Biden in 2020, and because of them, he's shown up and delivered on his promises throughout the past four years," campaign spokesperson Alyssa Bradley said in a statement on Friday.

  • "While President Biden has fought to close the racial wealth gap, deliver historic low Black unemployment, and ensure Black families can access affordable health care, Trump's policies failed Black Americans, and again threaten to take us backwards," she added.
  • The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
  • The former president said at an event in the Bronx last month that "African Americans are getting slaughtered."

Ja'Ron Smith, a Trump aide during his time in the White House, told the New York Times that for Black voters "it's a feel."

  • "They know what it's like to live under a Trump economy rather than a Biden economy," Smith said.

Zoom out: Biden has recently appeared at events geared toward Black communities and voters in an effort to energize the base, including a visit to Philadelphia this week.

  • He also gave a commencement address earlier this month at Morehouse College, an all-male historically Black institution, and invited Brown v. Board plaintiffs and their family members to the White House.

By the numbers: Black voters made up 13% of Michigan's eligible electorate in 2020, according to the Pew Research Center.

Go deeper: Biden launching new strategy to win Black voters

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