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Black voters will help defeat Trump, Biden says in Philadelphia

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By Steve Holland and Jarrett Renshaw

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden began a new push in Philadelphia on Wednesday to court Black voters, a critical voting bloc that is showing signs of weakness for Democrats ahead of the November election, as he attacked his Republican opponent.

“With your vote in 2024, we’re gonna make Donald Trump a loser again,” Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, told a cheering crowd at Girard College, a historic boarding school founded to serve poor, white orphan boys that desegregated in 1968.

Black voters have historically turned out for Biden and Democrats, and were a key reason he beat Trump in 2020, but polls show they could be less supportive of him this year as the pair face each other again on Nov. 5.

Biden ran through a list of his policy achievements, including removing lead pipes, a diverse administration, the first Black woman Supreme Court justice and pardons for people sentenced for marijuana possession. “Promises made, promises kept,” Biden repeated frequently.

“I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let Donald Trump turn America into a place filled with anger, resentment and hate,” Biden told the crowd, his voice getting stronger as he closed his speech.

“My question to you is a simple one: Are you with me?” he asked. “Talk to your families,” he said. “Spread the word.”

Harris zeroed in on Black voters’ importance for Democrats this year as well, saying in opening remarks that “in 2024, with your voice and your power, we will win again.”

Democrats have long banked on strong voter turnout in Philadelphia — and more recently, its suburbs — to offset weakness in more conservative parts of Pennsylvania, a closely divided state that Biden narrowly won in 2020.

The campaign’s concern is not that the city’s Black voters will shift toward Trump, but that too many of them may sit out the election.

Black Democrats, including Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Steven Horsford, of Nevada joined the event, which marked what the campaign said was the official launch of “Black Voters for Biden-Harris.”

Earlier this month, Trump held a rally in the South Bronx neighborhood of New York City as part of an effort to exploit Biden’s weakening support among Hispanic and Black voters.

Black voters make up about 14% of the U.S.’s eligible voters in 2024, Pew Research shows, and significantly higher percentages in the battleground states of North Carolina and Georgia.

This is Biden’s third trip to Philadelphia and sixth to Pennsylvania this year, continuing a focus on the swing state where polling shows he narrowly trails Trump.

In Pennsylvania, Biden is doing slightly worse with Black voters than four years ago, though he still wins the vast majority, according to a New York Times/Philadelphia Inquirer/Siena College survey released last week.

He was the choice of 69% of Black voters, compared with 79% in June 2020.

Trump was ahead in the state overall in the most recent poll.

(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Leslie Adler, Alistair Bell and Daniel Wallis)

Brought to you by www.srnnews.com

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