Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

In Philadelphia Visit, Biden Says ‘Black Voters Will Help Defeat Trump’ 

Published: May 31, 2024
(Image: U.S. President Joe Biden applauds during a campaign event at Girard College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., May 29, 2024. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz)

U.S. President Joe Biden began a new push in Philadelphia on Wednesday (May 29) to court Black voters, a critical voting bloc that is showing signs of weakness for Democrats ahead of the November election, as he attacked his Republican opponent.

Black voters have historically turned out for Biden and Democrats, but polls show they could be less supportive of him this year.

Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, told a cheering crowd at Girard College: “With your vote in 2024, we’re gonna make Donald Trump a loser again.”

Biden ran through a list of his policy achievements, including removing lead pipes, a diverse administration, the first Black woman Supreme Court justice and pardons for people sentenced for marijuana possession. 

“Promises made, promises kept,” Biden repeated frequently.

“I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let Donald Trump turn America into a place filled with anger, resentment and hate,” Biden told the crowd.

Harris zeroed in on Black voters’ importance for Democrats this year as well. In her opening remarks she stated that “in 2024, with your voice and your power, we will win again.”

Democrats have long banked on strong voter turnout in Philadelphia — and more recently, its suburbs — to offset weakness in more conservative parts of Pennsylvania, a closely divided state that Biden narrowly won in 2020.

The campaign’s concern is not that the city’s Black voters will shift toward Trump, but that too many of them may sit out the election entirely.

In 2020, Biden had said of African-American voters that “if you don’t vote for me, you ain’t Black.”

Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Steven Horsford of Nevada joined the event, which marked what the campaign said was the official launch of “Black Voters for Biden-Harris.”

Trump held a rally in the South Bronx neighborhood of New York City earlier this month, as part of an effort to exploit Biden’s weakening support among Hispanic and Black voters.

Black voters make up about 14 percent of the U.S.’s eligible voters in 2024, Pew Research shows, and significantly higher percentages in the battleground states of North Carolina and Georgia.

According to a New York Times/Philadelphia Inquirer/Siena College survey released last week, In Pennsylvania Biden is doing slightly worse with Black voters than four years ago, though he still wins the vast majority.

He was the choice of 69 percent of Black voters, compared with 79% in June 2020.

Trump was ahead in the state overall in the most recent poll.

Reuters contributed to this report.