Vaccine Mandate Hurting Biden With Black Voters
Pandemic theater is really popular with suburban white female voters, much less so with working-class white and minorities.
Biden has pivoted to pandemic identity politics when faced with the ongoing crisis and while poll numbers show that's playing really well with one half of his base, it's not playing as well with the other half of his base.
President Joe Biden’s sweeping federal rules to mandate vaccines hasn’t hurt him with the overall electorate, but it appears to have spurred a weakening of his standing with one of the most reliable pieces of the Democratic Party’s coalition: Black voters.
Since Morning Consult Political Intelligence surveys conducted immediately before Biden’s Sept. 9 mandate announcement, the president’s net approval rating – the share who approve of his job performance minus the share who disapprove – has fallen 12 percentage points among Black voters, driven by a 17-point drop among unvaccinated Black voters.
The rise in negative views came almost entirely from unvaccinated Black voters: 38 percent of Black voters who say they have not received their vaccine disapprove of Biden’s job performance, up 11 points since before he announced the mandate, while 56 percent approve, down 6 points over that time frame.
These aren't crippling numbers, but they're bad news for a party that is heavily dependent on black turnout. And that is sensitive to enthusiasm in a limited population.
Biden will take more of a hit among black men, who are much less likely to vote, but it's creating a dent in his wall.
Black voters are deeply loyal and it takes a lot to break that hold, but once they do, the weakening is corrosive. Just ask Hillary in 2008 and 2016. Black voters dragged Biden through the Democrat primaries, but his ability to keep the balance between white suburban female voters (#TheResistance) and black voters may be tilting.