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Biden campaign works to woo Black voters in key swing state of Wisconsin

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(WASHINGTON) — In his fourth trip to Wisconsin already this year, President Joe Biden on Wednesday, at an intimate campaign event in the swing state, sought out Black voters to speak about the stakes in November.

The event was the first in a series of engagements the campaign has scheduled through the month of May that focus on deepening contacts with what it has deemed to be the core constituencies critical in the 2024 election.

“I got involved in politics because of the African American community,” Biden told the mainly Black audience of local supporters and community members in Racine County.

The president, who has faced criticism from key Democrats, including South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, for his lagging polling numbers in the Black community, sought to woo the key demographic in Wisconsin by drawing a sharp contrast with former President Donald Trump.

“Trump means what he says and he says he’s gonna get rid of all the stuff that we’ve done,” Biden said.

On a call with reporters, Biden’s deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks said the campaign is “attempting to earn every vote.”

“The general election is just starting to crystallize for voters across the country, and we’re taking advantage of the moment to meet them where they are,” Fulks said.

Racine Police Chief Art Howell, who introduced Biden at the event called the event “encouraging.”

“The folks that were there, were able to really connect with the president on an intimate level. Learn more about his past accomplishments, current agenda and vision moving forward,” Howell said.

Biden also touted his administration’s policies that have directly affected the Black community, including capping insulin out-of-pocket costs at $35.

In a memo released Wednesday, the campaign argued that Trump has failed the Black community, saying he’s supported legislation that cost the state more than 83,000 jobs.

“While Trump and his MAGA allies abandon efforts to reach Black voters, the Biden-Harris campaign has been showing up early and often,” said Wisconsin Director Garren Randolph in the memo. “President Biden and his campaign are committed to meeting voters where they are to earn their vote. That’s a stark contrast to Donald Trump, who has virtually no campaign infrastructure in the state and is driving away voters with his job-killing, extremist agenda.”

On Wednesday the campaign announced a new $14 million paid media investment for May that includes seven-figure investments into African American, Hispanic, and AAPI media.

Wisconsin has special political significance. It’s part of the critical “blue wall” in the Midwest that voted Democratic for decades before Trump’s candidacy. Biden only won the state over Trump in 2020 by some 20,000 votes. A loss in November would likely be a major blow to his reelection effort.

According to the latest Marquette Law School polling, just 37% of Black voters in Wisconsin say they’re “very enthusiastic” about November’s presidential election. The coveted group makes up nearly 7% of the state’s population, according to the 2020 census and 21% in Milwaukee.

In a recent Washington Post/Ipsos poll, Biden faces additional problems with Black Americans in terms of turnout. The poll found that 62% of Black Americans say they’re “absolutely certain to vote,” down from 74% in June 2020.

Shanice Jones, who has been out canvassing in Milwaukee for the group Black Leaders Organizing for the Community, or BLOC, said she’s “tired” of supporting presidential candidates who she said don’t support her community.

“I feel like everybody deserves a chance once they get that chance, but it’s up to what you do when you get to office to prove if you deserve another chance. And right now, the way he’s going, I really don’t feel like he should,” she said.

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