Black Voices

Biden and the Black Vote: Record Turnout in Key States for Former VP


Biden and the Black Vote: Record Turnout in Key States for Former VP

Raise your hand if you spent most of the week glued to the TV and checking your phone for the latest election results — an activity now known as “doomscrolling.” (See also: “Gleefreshing.”)

Though we were warned that definitive results for the presidential election could take days, expectations for a swift outcome ran high. 

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

In the crucial states Georgia and Pennsylvania, the remaining mail-in ballots were largely favoring Joe Biden, which many attribute to Black voters. Rachel Hinton of the Chicago Sun-Times says she thinks mail-in voting played a role in the increased participation this election.

“I think what we’re seeing is a pushback — a rebuke, maybe, especially in some districts — of President Trump and his policies,” Hinton said. “I think that we’re seeing more people come out to the polls especially because now … a lot of states have made it easier to vote by mail. So I think we’re seeing people really want to weigh in right now, and … in all the states that’s being made easier, I think we’re really seeing people take advantage of that.”

However close to a monolith the Black vote may be, there are always outliers. This year, at least one exit poll seemed to indicate that the number of Black Americans voting for Trump increased since the 2016 election. Rachel Hawkins, co-editor-in-chief of the Chicago Reader, gives the GOP credit for that bump.

“Kudos to the Trump campaign for reaching out to the right demographic of Black folks,” Hawkins said. “Folks who feel like they could be hurt by Biden’s tax policies, i.e., really wealthy folks. The more conservative part of the community, people who believe this notion that the law-and-order president is a real thing, folks who support his immigration stance. I do think they were successful at using celebrities, particularly, to reach out to those conservative parts of the community.”

Bronzeville resident Sharifa Wicks-Lot voted at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library voting location and said she’s been voting since she turned 18 years old. “I have two children, a 11-year-old and a two-year-old, and I would want the best for their future in the coming years,” Wicks-Lot said. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)Bronzeville resident Sharifa Wicks-Lot voted at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library voting location and said she’s been voting since she turned 18 years old. “I have two children, a 11-year-old and a two-year-old, and I would want the best for their future in the coming years,” Wicks-Lot said. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Though Chicago is well-known as a deeply blue region in an otherwise red state, within the city’s boundaries, election maps reveal pockets of strong Republican support in a few precincts — voters who favored Trump, voted against State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, and voted down the “fair tax” amendment, which was unsuccessful.

WBEZ political reporter Becky Vevea says that those precincts have some longstanding commonalities.

“We do know historically, the Far Northwest of the city and Southwest Side of the city have been more conservative. It’s also where a lot of Chicago police officers live,” said Vevea. “So what we do see in those areas is, I think, Trump’s message about law and order really resonating. Those are areas where I think the ‘fair tax’ maybe didn’t resonate quite as much either because you do have a little bit better-off folks who are living in those parts of the city.”


Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

randomness