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Biden Surrogate’s Appeals to Black Voters Unintentionally Reach the Ears of White Danish Tourists

Biden Surrogate's Appeals to Black Voters Unintentionally Reach the Ears of White Danish Tourists
Credits: Politico

In Charleston, South Carolina, Hannibal’s Kitchen stands as a prominent destination for Democrats campaigning in the Palmetto State. Frequenting this renowned family-owned soul food restaurant, politicians, including President Joe Biden, seek to connect with voters.

However, as the final days of the primary approached, attempts to generate excitement among South Carolina Democrats faced challenges, posing potential issues for the Biden campaign, which relies on robust support from the state’s Black electorate to dispel concerns about enthusiasm.

Austin Davis, Pennsylvania’s first Black lieutenant governor, visited Hannibal’s Kitchen, urging patrons to support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, but the response was muted.

Biden Surrogate's Appeals to Black Voters Unintentionally Reach the Ears of White Danish Tourists

Biden Surrogate’s Appeals to Black Voters (Credits: ABC News)

The difficulty in igniting enthusiasm among South Carolina Democrats could be problematic for Biden, with some questioning his appeal to the party’s most loyal voting bloc.

Party officials traversed the state in the days leading up to the primary, engaging Black voters. However, attendance at these events was often sparse, and outside party-backed gatherings, many Black voters seemed unaware or unenthusiastic about the approaching election.

The challenge is not only the perceived lack of excitement for Biden but also the perception that the primary is not a competitive contest.

According to Sam Skardon, chair of the Charleston County Democrats, the election lacks the competitive edge that drew a significant turnout in 2020.

Predicting a much lower voter turnout in Charleston County, he views this as a sign of support for Biden. The argument for the election’s importance, he notes, relies on political process arguments, which may not resonate strongly with voters.

The Biden campaign, aware of this challenge, recognizes the need for party officials to deliver votes, even if voter enthusiasm appears to be lacking. According to Clay Middleton, a senior adviser to the Biden reelection campaign based in Charleston, there is more pressure on party officials to secure votes than an intrinsic motivation for voters to participate actively.

Critics point to a recent special election for a state House district, where less than 5 percent of eligible voters cast their votes. Tiffany Spann-Wilder, the winner of the state House seat, criticized the Democratic Party for not effectively informing voters about the special election, revealing concerns about the party’s structure and outreach to new potential voters.

The Democratic turnout operation faces skepticism, and there are concerns about a potential strategy where Democrats might participate in the Republican primary to counter former President Donald Trump.

Jay Parmley, the South Carolina Democrats executive director, dismisses this idea as “stupid,” emphasizing that Democrats should not interfere in the Republican primary.

As the primary approaches, the party aims to inform voters about the election and motivate them to care. However, reaching Black voters, a crucial constituency, proves challenging, with many either unaware or unenthusiastic about the primary.

Efforts to generate excitement for Biden face obstacles, and the outcome on Saturday will likely reveal the extent of voter engagement and support for the president.

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