The Black vote is the soil that every Democrat needs for a candidacy to blossom into a presidency. Joe Biden won 92% of the Black vote in 2020, and he needs a similarly large share of that vote if he is to win re-election next year. But a new poll suggests that, so far, he hasn’t properly replenished the soil. In a Washington Post/Ipsos poll of more than 1,200 Black, non-Hispanic adults, almost half say Biden’s policies have “made no difference” to Black people’s lives.

Obviously, that’s not the feedback the president wishes he were getting less than a year and a half before Election Day 2024. But there’s a good chance that the widespread belief among Black people that Biden has made no difference in Black people’s lives will make little to no difference in how Black people vote. Because that same poll finds that an even greater share of Black adults would be “angry” if Donald Trump were planted back in the White House.

The poll sums up the frustration that is a near constant for Black Americans: While rarely enthusiastic about the Democrats and what they do, we are often brought to the brink of rage by the personalities, policies, and plans of the Republicans. It’s for that reason that a poll that has some bad news for Biden doesn’t necessarily translate into good news for Trump.

Here’s why Trump can’t gloat over Black people’s lukewarm assessment of Biden’s presidency. Despite believing that Biden hasn’t done much for Black people, 66% of Black people “somewhat approve” or “strongly approve” of “the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president.”

When the same Black people were asked if they’d even consider voting for Trump in 2024, 78% said no and 9% said yes. When asked how they’d feel if Trump were elected again, 54% said they’d be angry. Another 29% said they’d be dissatisfied.

Given the percentage of Black people who say they’d be angry if Trump was elected again, there probably aren’t that many Black voters who are willing to let their lack of enthusiasm for Biden cause them to sit out the next election.

Conventional wisdom says voters need to have a candidate to vote for, not just a candidate to vote against. Traditional thinking also says that voters decide whether to re-elect an incumbent based on whether they believe that their lives have improved or not. Biden would do well to run for re-election as if conventional wisdom applies; that is, he would do well to run like he’s way behind with Black voters.

“A red wave for Republicans doesn’t require a wave of Black voters voting Republican; it just requires a splintering of [our] coalition by 10,000 votes here or 20,000 votes there.”

Therein lies the importance of the Volusia County Black Caucus and all Black coalitions that have formed to reach out to the Black Community, whether it be online, through phone calls, one on one with our neighbors, holding breakfast forums that engage young voters, or any number of ways to connect.


Dr. L. Ronald Durham is a sought-after speaker and community leader. Also known as “The Voice of Daytona Beach on Joy Radio 106.3FM, you can tune in to his program Wednesdays and Thursdays at 12 noon.