Black vote was key to Biden’s victory
Joseph R. Biden has been elected president of the United States with more than 75.6 million votes, the highest number ever cast for president. There is also another historically significant factor in this campaign. It is a factor that might be challenged or soon be considered to be less significant. This is the first time that the efforts of Black voters have been essentially responsible for the result.
Non-Hispanic Blacks are only 12.1% of the nation’s total population, so merely a solid Black vote on Election Day would not be enough to support the claim. However, Biden could not have won without the strategic involvement of Blacks at critical times. Biden was politically finished after losing caucuses in Iowa and Nevada and the primary in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg emerged as the Democratic Party leaders.
While Sanders was generating considerable support among younger Blacks, more experienced Black political activists knew that Sanders would not likely attract white voters leaning toward Trump, as well as more reserved Blacks. Jim Clyburn, a perennial member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina’s 6th District, decided that Joe Biden had the greatest chance of beating Donald Trump. So Representative Clyburn endorsed Biden and used his political clout to mobilize the South Carolina primary victory for Biden and add great potential to an otherwise moribund campaign. The solid vote of Black women inspired by Clyburn made the difference.
So Biden then had a winning luster when he entered the decisive competitions on March 3, the following Tuesday. There were 14 states competing on “Super Tuesday”: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.
Biden won 10 states and those competing against him began to see that victory for them would be elusive. The Democratic Party began to rally around Biden. There is a quality to Joe Biden that is uncommon to men who have access to the corridors of power. The personal loss in his life has made him empathetic to the pain and suffering of others. This trait generated support from African Americans who have suffered much to create a nation that actually lives up to the democratic ideal of America.
Then Blacks turned out for Biden in massive numbers in November. This solid vote was critical in many states, and Trump was able to tally only 71 million votes, primarily from disgruntled whites.
With such substantial opposition, Biden still faces an onerous task as he proposes policies that are more beneficial to the people.