Say Something Real
The Role of Black Men in the 2024 Elections
By Michelle Bryant
Without fail, the role of Black women in political elections has long been extolled, studied, and discussed. Electoral races have been made and broken by determined sistas, who decided to be civically engaged. Their participation, typically, swings blue and they are fiercely loyal. Mobilization and turnout, of Black voters, have been their calling card and they play it well. With 68% – 70% voter turnout among this demographic, Black women are a formidable voting bloc. Yet, as we look ahead to the 2024 presidential election, many are wondering if that will be enough to return a democrat to the White House.
It is reasonable to believe that we will see a repeat of the 2020 presidential matchup. While Republican nominee hopeful Nikki Haley is a better choice, she is not “the” choice. Former U.S. President Donald Trump is squarely and undeniably the guy that the overwhelming majority of the republicans support. And, for the record I mean “guy” figuratively and literally. Regardless of party, it doesn’t seem that the country is ready for a woman to lead at this level. But, I digress.
According to the Pew Research Center, Black Americans are projected to comprise 14% of U.S. eligible voters in 2024. In case you are wondering, that equals nearly 35 million voters and means that seven-in-ten Black people are eligible to vote. How those votes will be cast is now the question.
Data suggests that since 2012, the number of Black men voting as a Democrat in elections has dropped every election. The shift doesn’t reflect that more Black men are staying home but instead they are choosing to support the Republican Party. Understanding that decline, it must be noted that the majority of Black man continue to vote on the left. With the razor thin margins that we expect in this year’s upcoming election, however, any increase in defections to the right changes the outcome of the presidency. Trump was able to secure 8% of the Black male vote in 2016 and 12% of the Black male vote in 2020. There are a lot of us wondering why?
As a result of the Pew Research Center study, we know that U.S. President Joe Biden has a 69% approval rating with Black men. Pundits, analysts, thought-leaders, etc. have all grappled with finding the answer to the reason for the disconnect. We’ve heard that Black men need to be heard and included. We’ve been told that not enough is being done to address their specific needs. There are concerns about the last minute courting of the Black vote that is typically done by the Democratic Party. I’ve heard it all and some of it is true……but!
Most men want to ensure that they are able to take care of their families. Whether spouses/ partners, children or their parents, many are worried about the ability to provide housing, health care, heat, and a quality education for those that they love. Issues such as employment, safety, and family supporting wages usually dominate their concerns. For the justice impacted, there is a real need to address the restoration of rights and a justice system that works fairly for everyone. If we keep it real, a side by side comparison of policies, rhetoric, and records will easily reveal that Republicans don’t deliver meaningful solutions for Black men and the people they care about. I’m calling on my brothers to prove me wrong.