America’s electorate should continue to grow 3 to 4 points less white with each presidential election moving forward. According to 2008 exit polls, white voters made up roughly 74 percent of the electorate that year. If Democrats are able to generate turnout among voters of color, the electorate should be around 65 percent white in 2024.
Realistically, the Biden campaign must lean into persuading, mobilizing, and maximizing the votes of America’s growing diverse electorate if it is to again garner a majority. Trump will win a solid majority of white voters regardless of how many indictments—and convictions—he has. And when we look at the current Biden versus Trump polling that has much of the progressive community hand-wringing in anguish and fear, it’s among the ascending diverse electorate, not among white voters, where Biden is most lagging behind his 2020 performance, and where he must make up the most ground. In a January 2023 USA Today/Suffolk University poll, Biden is a whopping 24 points off his 2020 winning performance among African American voters, and a staggering 31 points off his performance among Hispanic voters. If the Biden campaign can’t close these sizable gaps in performance among voters of color, he will lose the election.
Therefore, the Biden campaign and the progressive community’s messaging should lean into the issues of democracy and freedom. Since Trump’s election in 2016, minorities in America have seen and felt the horrifying rise of hate crimes against their communities and the threats to hard-won rights, from voting rights to the right to teach the truth about our history. And the right for a woman, not the government, to make decisions about her body absolutely has antebellum echoes for Black women. So, while gas prices will always poll high as an issue, the Biden campaign must raise the stakes of the 2024 election by making it about bigger things. The campaign needs to explain in simple terms the existential threat that a Trump win would mean—a dictatorship by a man standing with white nationalists is not going to turn out well for you voters of color. And a vote for a third-party candidate who has zero chance of winning is in reality a vote for Trump.