Only 8 out of 24 Black Philadelphia Voters Plan to Vote for Biden: NYT


Only eight out of nearly two dozen Black Philadelphia voters interviewed by the New York Times last week plan to vote for President Joe Biden.

The outlet reports that the series of interviews, which indicate trouble for Biden’s reelection prospects in a state he only won by 81,660 votes in 2020, occurred in primarily Black neighborhoods.

“Just eight voters said they were committed to voting for Mr. Biden, while many others were debating staying home, or, in a few cases, supporting former President Donald J. Trump,” the Times’ Maya King and Katie Gleuck wrote.

Moreover, voters’ gripes about Biden resembled those heard at Trump rallies and echoed by Trump’s America First policy platform. The issues cited included “immigration, the cost of living and their sense that Mr. Biden was more focused on crises abroad than on fixing problems in their neighborhoods,” per the outlet.

President Joe Biden speaks at an economic event at Tioga Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Friday, Oct. 13, 2023. (Joe Lamberti/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

One voter, Latasha Humphrey, suggested to the Times that Biden is prioritizing other nations’ problems over issues in her community.

“I don’t care about what goes on overseas,” Humphrey, 36, said. “I care about where I live.”

Humphrey is weighing Trump as an option in November.

While the small sample size should be taken with a grain of salt, it could signal broader enthusiasm problems for Biden with Black voters in Philadelphia just six months out from the presidential election. As the Times noted:

Democrats have long banked on strong showings in Philadelphia — and more recently, its suburbs — to offset weakness in more conservative parts of this closely divided state. Their concern is not that the city’s Black voters will gravitate en masse toward Mr. Trump, but that too many of them, apathetic about their choices, might simply stay home.

This concern comes as Biden’s reelection chances are already being put in jeopardy by the “uncommitted” movement on the left. Some 600,000 Democrat voters, including Muslims, Arab-Americans, young voters, and far-left progressives, protested Biden’s handling of the Israel and Hamas war with “uncommitted” or “uninstructed” votes in primaries this year.

The Listen to Michigan campaign, which kicked off the uncommitted movement, emphasizes on its website that “primaries are an early litmus test for how much Biden’s stance on Gaza could hurt his reelection bid.”

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks onstage during the 2024 140th Morehouse College Commencement Ceremony at Morehouse College on May 19, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/WireImage)

President Joe Biden speaks onstage during the 2024 140th Morehouse College Commencement Ceremony at Morehouse College on May 19, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Paras Griffin/WireImage)

It adds, “the threat to Biden’s reelection isn’t that anti-war Democrats will vote for Trump; it’s that they won’t vote at all.”

The movement spread to Pennsylvania, where the group Uncomitted PA sought to garner 40,000 write-in “uncommitted” votes in the April 23 Democrat primary. While the breakdown of the write-in results is not available, over 60,000 write-in votes were submitted, and the campaign touts it “exceeded its goal.”

The figure is roughly three-quarters of the vote margin between Biden and Trump in 2020. Losing enthusiasm in other key components of the Democrat coalition — like Black voters in Philadelphia, as the Times’ small survey indicates — could spell disaster for Biden’s reelection hopes. At least one of the Times’ interviewees cited Biden’s support for Israel as a reason he did not presently have her support.

Meanwhile, Biden’s campaign has been working to appeal to Black voters. On Sunday, a day after the Times’ report came out, Biden delivered the commencement speech at Martin Luther King’s alma mater and historically Black school, Morehouse College. Later in the day, he traveled to Detroit, Michigan, and spoke at a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) dinner.

Nick Gilbertson
Nick Gilbertson
Journalist who focuses on national politics in the United States.

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