Black voters in South Carolina feel Democratic Party has ‘failed them,’ strategists warn

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Democratic strategists and more warned that Black voters in South Carolina were questioning their Democratic Party loyalty, Politico reported on Tuesday, as President Biden continues to suffer from weak poll numbers. 

Politico detailed conversations with several Democrats in South Carolina as well as Democratic strategists about the Black vote. The outlet reported that the group of Democrats were concerned that Black voters were drifting from the Democratic Party all together. 

Marcurius Byrd, a Democratic strategist who founded the Young Democrats of the Central Midlands and worked on Marianne Williamson’s campaign, told the outlet that some Black business owners were frustrated over the focus on racial issues. 

“We’re treating them like their only issue is racial issues, and not all of us, but to some extent some of us have moved past that,” he said. He also said Black people were becoming “more educated.”

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“As Black people are becoming more and more educated, the monolith that we once were is dispersing, so we’re needing more and more different things,” Byrd said. 

Dylan Gunnels, the young Democrats’ chapter president, told the outlet that some Black voters feel the Democratic Party has “failed them.” 

“I think we’re seeing that in the numbers from these polls,” he added. 

A group of Black voters revealed a similar feeling to New York Times reporter Astead Herndon. “I honestly feel that the Democratic Party has forgot about the Black male,” one Black voter said. 

Vote here sign

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Jeremy Jones, a Democratic Party official from Lexington County, South Carolina, told Politico that the appeal of Former President Donald Trump was only part of the issue. He said some Black people who saw Trump’s name on stimulus checks believed he got something done “for the Black community.”

McKenzie Watson, a political strategist who does advocacy for people with disabilities, said people were having a hard time and suggested the party should focus on fixing their home, and less so on other countries. 

“We have people here who are suffering, who are struggling to keep a roof over their head,” she said. “We have people that are struggling to have food on the table for their kids, to buy a house. It’s a lot of struggling that is going on here in the nation … I support Ukraine and my heart goes out to the people of Ukraine. But it’s kind of like you need to fix your home. Your people here are suffering here as well.”

Politico also noted a letter that was brought up during a conversation Politico reporter David Siders had with Democratic Women of Greenville County president Laura Height. The letter was written by six Black Pastors and endorsed a Republican over a Democratic incumbent in a local election. 

Joe Biden and Donald Trump

“Our community,” the letter said, “gains nothing from being a reliable tool of one political party.”

“The Black community, they want somebody to give a sh– about their issues, and they don’t see that Democrats give a sh– about their issues,” Haight told Politico. 

A CNN poll released in November showed Trump’s support among Black voters was at 23%. 

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