March 3, 2024 - 7:53pm

Donald Trump’s support among black voters has grown by nearly 500% in the last four years, a new poll has found.

According to a New York Times/Siena poll released this weekend, the former president’s support among black voters is now 23%, marking a 19 percentage point increase since the same poll taken in October 2020.

The turnaround in opinion among one of the Democrats’ most reliable voting blocs is a worrying sign for Joe Biden’s re-election prospects. He secured 92% of the black vote in the 2020 election, the highest out of any minority group in the country. But growing disillusionment with the President’s first term and concerns about his age threaten to undermine the Democrat’s hitherto strong relationship with black voters.

Biden largely held onto the black vote in the 2022 midterm elections, but young black voters moved a notable 22 percentage points towards Republicans. Inflation — a top issue for black voters that year — has since fallen, but food, gas and rent prices remain stubbornly high, which may encourage some to stay at home in November.

Since the midterms, there has been little indication that those voters are coming back. In fact, more appear to be drifting in the opposite direction. In a separate poll last month, Gallup found that among black Americans expressing a party preference, the Democratic lead over Republicans has dropped by almost 20% in only three years.

This in spite of the efforts made by Biden to elevate black Americans to positions of power, including nominating Kentanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. He also pushed to hold the first Democratic primary in South Carolina, which has a large black population, where he comfortably won the party’s nomination this weekend. “In 2024, the people of South Carolina have spoken again,” said Biden in a statement. “I have no doubt that you have set us on the path to winning the Presidency again — and making Donald Trump a loser — again.”

While the NYT poll in October 2020 found only 4% support for Trump, he went on to secure double that figure in the November election. Based on the most recent poll, it seems likely that he will build on those gains, with support growing among other minority groups too. Trump is also winning Latino voters outright over Biden by 46% to 40%, marking a 39 percentage point swing in the last four years (Biden won the Latino vote 65%-32% in 2020).

Though black Americans are by no means abandoning the current president, these polls are further confirmation that the voter bloc is not as reliable for the Democrats as it once was. Between the 2016 and 2020 elections, Donald Trump won a higher share of black and Latino voters compared to his predecessor by roughly three percentage points and two percentage points respective, helping him in battleground states such as Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.

The Republican is now leading in all seven swing states, and the election in November will be a test to see if he can hold onto these gains as the contest draws closer.

is UnHerd’s Newsroom editor.