Is a federal reparations commission Biden's key to winning crucial swing states in 2024?

Washington DC - A new poll has revealed that a federal reparations commission may be what it takes for President Joe Biden to win the Black vote in key swing states in 2024.

President Joe Biden stands to gain with Black voters in key swing states if he uses his executive authority to create a federal reparations commission, a new poll has found.
President Joe Biden stands to gain with Black voters in key swing states if he uses his executive authority to create a federal reparations commission, a new poll has found.  © REUTERS

Biden won Michigan in 2020 by just around 154,000 ballots – with the support of 93% of African American voters.

This year, as a rematch with Donald Trump looms, data indicate Black voters may turn out in far fewer numbers, imperiling Biden's chances of success in critical battleground states.

But a new survey commissioned by the Earn the Black Vote Collaborative suggests there is still time for the Biden-Harris campaign to turn things around – if the president takes executive action on reparations.

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The report, entitled The Creation of a Reparations Commission: A Path to Victory in Key States, found that nearly 60% of infrequent Black voters – or an additional 150,000 Black Americans – said they would vote for Biden in November if he were to sign an executive order to create a reparations commission. The body would be tasked with crafting a blueprint to address the ongoing legacy of enslavement and anti-Black racism.

This trend may hold true for other swing states as well. Earn the Black Vote projected that 55,000 additional voters would turn out for Biden in Pennsylvania – a state he won by just 80,000 votes in 2020 – if his administration establishes a commission.

The same thing goes for Wisconsin, which Biden claimed by 20,000 votes in 2020. By acting on reparations, he has a chance of winning over 100,000 infrequent Black voters in 2024, according to the collective.

"The creation of a Reparations Commission presents a unique opportunity to not only address historical injustices but also to mobilize Black voters in key battleground states," Kamm Howard, Reparations United executive director and Earn the Black Vote spokesperson, said in a press release.

"President Biden stands to benefit significantly from prioritizing reparative justice, as evidenced by the overwhelming support among infrequent Black voters surveyed."

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The poll results come as the reparations movement sweeps communities around the US, even as it remains stalled at the federal level.

"With the creation of commissions in key states and cities across the nation, the importance of the reparations issue to African American and progressive communities cannot credibly be denied anymore," insisted Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, lead sponsor of HR 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.

"Though we face limitations in Congress, President Biden, through his executive authority, has the power to consolidate and build on the important work completed at the state and local levels, contributing a critical federal perspective," she continued.

"Simply put, reparations can drive Black voter turnout to transformative levels. I salute the work of Earn the Black Vote and hope that their message can clarify discussions about the importance of an executive order as we approach the Juneteenth holiday."

Cover photo: REUTERS

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