Charlotte Talks: Black Voters Will Be Pivotal In Picking Democratic Nominee

Jul 8, 2019

Monday, July 8, 2019

22 of the Democratic presidential candidates appeared in June at the annual fish fry hosted by South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, the state's leading African American politician.
Credit Facebook / Jim Clyburn

African Americans will be a key voting bloc in picking the 2020 Democratic nominee. What are the candidates doing to court their support? 

South Carolina's February primary will be a pivotal gauge of candidates' strengths with African Americans, who represent about 60 percent of the Democratic electorate in the state.

"The road to heaven and the road to the White House runs through South Carolina," Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright told Politico. "Very likely, whoever wins South Carolina will be the Democratic nominee."

The Democratic race features two African American senators, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. Her debate clash with former Vice President Joe Biden over busing propelled Harris to second place in recent polls, which also showed erosion in Biden's African American support.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren "has been laying the groundwork herself to compete with Biden and Harris" for the African American vote, according to Politico, and is "playing a quieter game behind the scenes to win over black leaders."

What issues are on the minds of black Democrats as they sort through a sprawling and diverse field of candidates?

GUESTS

Keneshia Grant, associated professor of political science, Howard University; author of the forthcoming book, "The Great Migration and the Democratic Party: Black Voters and the Realignment of American Politics in the 20th Century" (@keneshiagrant)

Antjuan Seawright, Democratic strategist in South Carolina; president and CEO, Blueprint Strategy; CBS News and BuzzFeed News political contributor (@antjuansea)

Cleve Wootson, national political reporter, The Washington Post (@CleveWootson)