Black voters could tip the scale for Biden-Harris in battleground states

Data obtained from the U.S. census notes that in 2012, 66% of eligible Black voters came out to vote.

Presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris listens as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden speaks following a coronavirus briefing with health experts at the Hotel DuPont on August 13, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris will need heavy engagement in six battleground states in order to win the 2020 election. 

Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will need to increase their Black voter turnout, compared to what it was in 2016, in order to ensure a Democratic victory. 

READ MORE: Kamala Harris has a message for voters who aren’t feeling her and Joe Biden

According to a report by NBC News, increasing Black voter turnout in these states is “critical” to the success of the Biden/Harris campaign. 

The report notes that the 2016 election was largely decided by white voters, many of whom were previous Democrats, who chose to vote for Donald Trump. There was also a strong decline in turnout by Black voters. 

The data, obtained from the U.S. census, notes that in 2012, 66% of eligible Black voters came out to vote. They voted overwhelmingly (87%) for the reelection of President Barack Obama. However, in 2016, only 59% of eligible Black voters turned out and only 81% of them voted for Hillary Clinton

READ MORE: Despite virus threat, Black voters wary of voting by mail

Democrats are hopeful that Harris, the first Black woman and first South Asian woman to be nominated for Vice President of the United States, can energize younger voters of color.

A general view of a voting sign at the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building polling station on August 11, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

At 57 years old, Harris is 20 years younger than Biden and she has high favorability among a younger electorate. She is also popular in the Midwest, which is where two important battleground states sit. 

The Democratic National Convention, which is being held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, will give more insight into the direction of the election which is just two-and-a-half months away. 

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!