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Poll: Biden Lags Hillary’s 2016 Numbers among Young Black Voters

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop in Flint, Michigan, March 9, 2020. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Just over half of black registered voters ages 18 to 29 say they have a favorable opinion of former vice president Joe Biden, according to new data from the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape project, which has conducted weekly surveys of thousands of potential voters for nearly a year.

Data collected from April 2 to May 13 shows that only 57 percent of young black voters have a favorable opinion of Biden, compared to 21 percent for President Trump. Among older African Americans, the divide widens considerably, as 88 percent of black seniors say they view the former vice president favorably, compared to just nine percent for Trump.

Biden’s numbers among young black voters trail Hillary Clinton’s polling from 2016. While 68 percent of black voters ages 18 to 29 say they intend to vote for Biden, 85 percent of the same demographic reported voting for Clinton in 2016. For 2020, 13 percent of young African Americans say they will vote for Trump, while 18 percent are still unsure.

The numbers do not capture the impact of Biden’s “you ain’t black” comment from an interview last week. After tough questioning from radio DJ Charlamagne tha God, Biden retorted that “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” He later apologized for the racially insensitive remarks, saying he should not have been “so cavalier.”

In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Tuesday, Biden said that Charlamagne had been a “wise guy” for pressing him on his record with African Americans.

“I was smiling when he asked me the question. I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy with him. He was being a wise guy, and I responded in kind. I shouldn’t have done that. It was a mistake,” Biden stated.

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