DENVER (CBS4)– In an election that will be decided by razor thin margins in a handful of swing states, the assertion “every vote counts” has maybe never resonated more. African Americans one of the voting blocks that turned out in record numbers.
They broke overwhelmingly for Joe Biden and will be a deciding factor in the states still counting.
“The reason why we are seeing these victories in swing states that have large African American and large Latinx populations is because Black and brown folks came out and voted in historic numbers,” says State Representative Leslie Herod, a top surrogate for the Biden-Harris campaign in Colorado.
She says the Black Lives Matter movement galvanized voters of color but, she says, the addition of Kamala Harris to the ticket was a turning point.
“What it meant was that we have a president who is willing to walk the talk, who is willing to not only say Black lives matter, but then prove it by putting a Black woman at the top of the ticket with him. He didn’t have do that, especially with the numbers we had back then, you know, we were going be trouncing Trump, but that’s not how it came out.”
In fact, exit polls show President Trump improving on his 2016 turnout among Black men but his appeal to suburban voters on law and order appears to have backfired, especially in Colorado.
“Because he was using the same campaign tactics, language of past when he talked about law and order that makes folks feel like they should be scared of us and that didn’t work.”
But she says Democrats years of paying lip service to racial inequality won’t stand either, especially with young voters who also turned out in historic numbers.
“I guarantee you if the Democrats don’t step up and continue for racial justice, for climate justice and lowering student debt, I don’t know if they’ll be coming back in same numbers 2022.”
As for the 2020 election, she says, “I’m very confident in what results will be and I’m looking forward to cracking open that champagne and celebrating virtually with friends.”
If Biden wins, it will be the second time African American voters saved his campaign. He was losing in the primary until Black voters in South Carolina came to his rescue. Latino voters also helping power Biden’s campaign although the margin is much tighter with this voting bloc.
Among those who turned out in big numbers for the President are evangelicals and white working class voters, especially men.
While we are still waiting to learn who won the election, one thing we do know is the polls were off, again.
They showed a blowout win for Joe Biden. If he does win, it will be by a slim margin in swing states.
Exit polls show the economy was the number one issue for about a third of all voters and the President won on that issue.
The second and third most important issues were coronavirus and racial inequality and voters broke for Biden on those issues.