Democratic 2020 Candidates Court South Carolina’s Black Voters

John Sommers II/Reuters

Four of the two dozen Democrats vying for the party’s 2020 U.S. presidential nomination will appear at a Black Economic Alliance forum in Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday, with an eye on the key role black voters will play in the early-voting state.

South Carolina, which will host the fourth nominating contest next year, will be the first state where a significant proportion of the Democratic electorate – about 60 percent – is black.

In a crowded Democratic field, the candidates are aiming for strong performances to show their messages resonate with black voters in the state and in nominating contests across the U.S. South.

Stephen Lam/Reuters

They also want to generate enthusiasm for their candidacies in the November general election against President Donald Trump, the presumed Republican nominee. Democrat Hillary Clinton’s stunning loss to Trump in 2016 was in part attributed to a decline in black voter turnout for the first time in 20 years.

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke and U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren will be in attendance on Saturday.

The Black Economic Alliance was launched last year ahead of the 2018 midterm congressional elections, when it endorsed 26 candidates in House of Representatives, Senate and gubernatorial races. The group has pivoted to policy development, said founding director Akunna Cook.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

“This forum is a part of that. We want to make sure that the top-tier presidential candidates are focused on the kitchen table issues that are top-of-mind for black voters,” such as racial disparities in wealth, employment rates and home ownership, Cook told Reuters.

South Carolina’s primary election is in late February, following the first three nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

More than 20 candidates are set to appear next weekend at a fish fry hosted by South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn, the first “cattle call” that will brings the bulk of the Democratic field to the state.

Brian Snyder/Reuters

Cook said the alliance decided to host its forum early in order to help set the agenda.

“Black voters are really hungry for candidates who will put forward concrete plans for these issues,” Cook said. “We wanted to make sure we were able to help mold and shape the conversation.”

(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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glenn stroupe
glenn stroupe

I have to vote for Mayor “PETE ” , If for no other Reason I MUST See him Introduce his WIFE To the SAUDIA ARABIAN KING !!! Or even the Leaders in IRAN , I`m sure His leaders of his party , OBAMA / JOHN KERRY,, Can make the Introduction .

Nancy Assaf

The Democrat Party has never been able to fix the problems of the Black Americans in this Country, and they never will.

Patti Harrison

So the black voters can stay on the plantation, and be beholden to the democrat overlords!!! I would rather have a black voter speaking for herself!!!


Why do Democrats even pretend to have a real primary? Anyone politically savvy knows Biden is their nominee.

Nan Phillips Puckett

“…the kitchen table issues that are top-of-mind for black voters,” such as racial disparities in wealth, employment rates and home ownership” Yep, the usual divisive, victimizing talking points—I dunno, I could be wrong, but last I heard, everyone of those ‘issues’ could be solved with hard work, common sense & self-respect–worked quite well for my parents & all my family–but of course, we were white, so those principles wouldn’t work for blacks, right?

Jason Alsbrook

“Democratic 2020 candidates attempt to PANDER to Black voters”


Let’s not forget the historic (record-breaking) low black unemployment, after 60+ years of Dim misrule. The Republitards would be wise to lead with this fact.

They’d also be stupid to ignore touting the recorded-low employment of women and Hispanics.





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