Jeffries downplays ‘lack of enthusiasm’ for Biden among Black voters

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said he was not concerned about polling numbers showing President Biden performing worse among Black voters than he did in 2020.

In a CBS News poll this week, Biden led former President Trump among Black voters 76 to 23 percent support, while he carried about 90 percent of the group four years earlier.

“The polling has been all over the place,” Jeffries said in a CBS “Face the Nation” interview with Margaret Brennan on Sunday. “But I’m confident that at the end of the day in November, the overwhelming majority of African Americans, Caribbean Americans, Black voters throughout the country will support President Biden and understand that he has delivered over and over and over again on issues of concern.”

“Whether that’s the lowest rate of Black unemployment in decades, whether that’s historic investment in historically Black colleges and universities, making sure that he has been supportive incredibly of small business creation and entrepreneurship in the Black community, building upon the efforts that had been previously done by President Barack Obama,” he continued.

Jeffries rejected what Brennan called a “lack of enthusiasm” for Biden among Black voters, saying that betrays what he has seen in his district in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“I’ve traveled throughout the country and spent time of course in the district that I represent here in Brooklyn, and there is a high degree of enthusiasm for President Joe Biden, and it is growing,” he said.

The leader said Biden’s strong State of the Union address and focus on issues that matter, specifically reproductive rights, have engaged voters.

“He was strong, he was serious, and he was substantive, and he drew a clear contrast between his vision of moving America forward in an enlightened way that’s inclusive of everyone, and the contrast with the extreme MAGA Republicans who want to turn back the clock,” Jeffries added.

The Biden campaign has faced pressure regarding Black voters for months, with principal deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks chalking the issue up in January to people “expressing urgency.”

“They sense a sense of urgency because of the threat that Republicans pose to, you know, America right now, and that’s precisely why the president and the vice president are running for reelection to make sure that that doesn’t happen,” Fulks said in January. “When it comes to African American voters, I want to be very clear about this, that no administration has done as much for the African American community as President Biden and Vice President Harris.”

One in five Black voters said they would vote for “someone else” rather than Biden or Trump in the 2024 presidential election, according to a GenForward survey released in December.

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