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Biden and Harris to launch efforts for Black voters amid signs of declining support

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are stepping up their reelection talk to Black voters, a key part of their 2020 winning coalition that is showing signs of fraying.

They will launch a new campaign for black voters on Wednesday during a visit to the battleground state of Pennsylvania. The two will stop at Girard College, an independent boarding school in Philadelphia with predominantly Black students, and visit a small business to speak with members of the Black Chamber of Commerce.

The stops in Philadelphia are the start of what the campaign describes as an eight-figure, summer-long effort to engage Black student organizations, community groups and faith centers.

“We will continue to be aggressive, innovative and thorough in our work to earn the support of the very voters who sent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House in 2020 and will do so again in 2024,” said Biden’s Rep. Quentin Fulks . chief deputy campaign manager.

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The push comes at a time when Biden sees his solid support among Black voters showing signs of erosion. Among Black adults, Biden’s approval has fallen from 94% when he began his term to just 55%, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released in March.

The economy in particular has been a thorn in Biden’s side since 2022, when inflation reached a forty-year high. But recently there have also been signs of dissatisfaction within the black community over Biden’s handling of the seven-month war between Israel and Hamas.

It turns out that black voters are crucial to Biden’s chances in what are expected to be among the most contested states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Biden defeated his predecessor and 2024 challenger, former President Donald Trump, in all six states in 2020, but he could face a tougher climb this year.

Trump, for his part, has offered himself as a better president for black voters than Biden. At a rally last week in the Bronx, he blasted Biden on immigration, saying that “the biggest negative impact” of the influx of migrants in New York is “on our Black population and our Hispanic population who are losing their jobs and losing their housing.” , losing everything they can lose.”

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The Biden campaign says it hopes to use the new engagement effort in part to remind Black voters of some of the Democratic administration’s achievements during his term.

According to the latest data from the federal government, the unemployment rate among Black people is 5.6%, compared to the average of about 8% between 2016 and 2020 and 11% between 2000 and 2015. Student loan debt has had a disproportionate impact on black borrowers.

Biden also points to his appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black female justice to the U.S. Supreme Court and his choice of Harris as the first Black woman to serve as vice president.

The president’s visit to Philadelphia follows a series of meetings with members of the black community in recent weeks, including hosting plaintiffs in the 1954 Supreme Court ruling that ended institutionalized racial segregation in public schools, a speech at Morehouse College in Atlanta, and a virtual meeting. address to Rev. Al Sharpton’s Racial Justice Conference.

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