Premium

Vaccine Mandate Debate Has Provided Republicans Opportunity to Start Engaging Black Voters

Black Lives Matter activists and Trump supporters march together to protest Mayor Bill de Blasio's vaccine mandate.

President Joe Biden is quickly losing support – even among Democrats. His approval ratings have been flushed down the toilet and into the septic system. But one notable aspect of Biden’s flagging support is that he is losing favorability with a critical group: black voters.

Why is the president losing support among black Americans? According to a recent poll, it is mostly because of an issue on which the black community is in full agreement with conservatives: vaccine mandates. A Morning Consult poll conducted last month revealed:

….71% of Black voters approve of Biden’s job performance, down 5 points since the federal vaccine mandate, while the share who disapprove rose 7 points to 24%.

Of particular interest is that “Biden’s net approval rating among unvaccinated Black voters has plummeted 17 points since before the rollout of the mandates,” according to the study.

Even worse, about 61% of black voters still approve of the president’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is nine points lower than what it was at the end of August.

These findings should not be too surprising. RedState’s Jennifer Oliver O’Connell pointed out:

Now Ole Jim Crow Joe is not only ruining employment for Blacks, but if someone is already employed, he’s threatening that livelihood with this vaccine push.

Morning Consult’s poll also noted:

While Black voters, who helped push Biden over the top against President Donald Trump in key states last year, are unlikely to abandon the Democratic Party en masse to back Republicans on the ballot next year, low turnout from the group could have dire consequences for Democrats in Congress, who already face an early enthusiasm gap.

This leads to the lesson that the Republican Party should be taking at this moment. The vaccine mandate issue is one of several areas on which black America agrees with the conservative movement. In a video clip that the activist media would rather you didn’t see, Black Lives Matter activists and Trump supporters marched together in New York City to protest Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandates.

The debate over vaccines and mandates has provided a unique opportunity for Republicans and conservatives to engage with the black community. It is a hot-button issue that is having real-time consequences, especially for black Americans living in places like New York City. This could be an effective way to finally start doing meaningful outreach.

As I’ve explained many times over, the primary reason why black voters vote Democrat is not because they love the Democratic Party – it is because the Republican Party has been mostly ignoring black voters since the 1960s. I did a series in which I explained the history behind how the black vote gradually shifted to the Democrats. The first part is below:

Contrary to what many on the right have contended over the years, black people’s rejection of the GOP has nothing to do with mental slavery on some silly plantation or a desire for “free stuff.” It is the fact that the Republican Party has not put much effort into winning over black voters at the federal, state, and local levels.

Most black Americans living in areas with high black populations have never even seen a Republican politician in their communities trying to win votes. The conservatives who do run in black areas typically receive little to no support from the party. Black people cannot vote for a Republican mayor or city council member, if no Republicans are running. It is also unreasonable to expect any group of people to vote for a party that isn’t even trying to win their votes.

There are several areas of commonality between conservatives and black Americans. Distrust of government, entrepreneurship, and faith are just a few. But the vaccine mandate issue is a pressing issue that could provide an avenue through which conservatives could begin having more serious dialogues with the black community, if it wanted to. The question is: Are Republicans finally willing to widen the tent — or will it continue with business as usual?