It is Super Tuesday with 14 states going to the polls today and while the biggest prizes are California and Texas all eyes should be on North Carolina where we can find out early if it is Biden or Sanders who gets the Black vote advantage. Former Vice President Joe Biden is coming off a huge win in South Carolina fueled by his overwhelming support from Black voters that boosted his big win and propelled him back into the Democratic Presidential Nomination race.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders remains the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination leading Biden in delegates by nine and the former Vice President leads in total votes. However, after tonight things will change and with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be on the ballot making for some very interesting Super Tuesday showdowns.
But here is why North Carolina is so important to the campaign of Sen. Sanders. His theory of the case has been thus far that he attracts a large number of younger black voters and that they help lead him to victory in the Tar Heel state.
The latest North Carolina polling that was released by Meredith College prior to Saturday’s Biden win in South Carolina had Biden has roughly double Sanders’ support among blacks – 32% to 17%, with Bloomberg, following close behind at 16%. The numbers aren’t far from Sanders’ 2016 performance, when he carried just 19% of black primary voters, while 80% backed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who easily won the state.
A quick look at Sanders numbers in South Carolina showed that he had 14 percent of the vote among all Black voters in 2016 and in 2020 he clocked in at 16 percent – only a 2 percent net gain. The Sanders camp quickly points out that South Carolina is a more conservative and also that in Nevada their candidate scored big with both the Blacks and Hispanics.
However, I still contend that since Nevada was a caucus state and that while Sen. Sanders did score well with Black as well as Hispanic voters, they were all part of unions. So my question is was their support for the Vermont senator based on what he was doing for their unions or because they support his many Progressive positions?
In poll after poll from California to Florida there are two main issues that both Black and Hispanic voters want addressed and they are number one beat President Donald Trump and two is health care.
Making this even more important is that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could result in all of Obamacare being thrown out, bringing the future of the law to the forefront as a central campaign issue.
The decision to take up the case, announced on Monday, before the resolution of litigation in the lower courts will give Democrats ammunition with which to attack Republicans on the issue of healthcare. President Trump has not provided a backup plan for the law, which increased the number of insured by 20 million, should it be invalidated in court.
The signature piece of landmark legislation put forth by President Barack Obama is supported by a stunning ten to one ratio among Black and Hispanic’s over Medicare for All.
Clearly there are plenty of other issues that both voting blocks are concerned about but by far the main two listed above hold the highest priority.
Let me be clear and that is the Black vote is as diverse and as issue oriented as any voting block in the United States. Black voters and lawmakers have voiced their support for all of the candidates in the Democratic Presidential Candidate field.
But they are the key to sending a Democrat to the White House in 2020 and whomever wins the nomination must lock down that support long before the fall comes.
So look for Sen. Sanders theory of the case on the Black voters being put to the test first and foremost in North Carolina, with Alabama, Tennessee, Virginal and Texas all not far behind.