In Virginia’s gubernatorial race last year, the Democrats campaigned heavily in black churches. Despite their obvious secularism, the Democrats deployed a self-described “souls to the polls” strategy, urging black churchgoers to vote after Sunday services. Kamala Harris, who normally insists on the separation of church and state, even cut a campaign ad for gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe that was shown in 300 black churches across Virginia.
But this gimmicky and hypocritical effort failed. Religious blacks did not carry McAuliffe to victory. Now we may know why. According to Pew Research Center, support for Biden among black Protestants is plunging, down almost thirty percent. It reports:
Roughly two-thirds of Black Protestants (65%) approve of the job that Biden is doing as president, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 10-17. That is down sharply from 92% in March 2021, shortly after he took office.
This is another canary in the coal mine for Democrats fearful of the upcoming elections. It appears that Biden is alienating many religious Americans once assumed to be permanent Democrats, from black Baptists to Hispanic evangelicals. Biden is not even holding his support among the so-called “religious nones,” those Americans who don’t attend churches.
It appears that Biden is alienating many religious Americans once assumed to be permanent Democrats, from black Baptists to Hispanic evangelicals.
“Religiously unaffiliated adults also are increasingly skeptical about Biden’s job performance,” reports Pew Research Center. “Today, 47% of religious ‘nones’ — respondents who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular’ — approve of Biden’s performance, down from 71% in April 2021 and 65% in March 2021. The share of ‘nones’ who now approve of Biden is the lowest it has been since his inauguration, falling below the previous low of 55% in September 2021.”
Biden is paying the price for his starkly anti-religious agenda, to which black and Hispanic Protestants particularly object. They do not share his enthusiasm for all things LGBTQ, which has been a centerpiece of his presidency. Obama’s circumspection about gay marriage — he hesitated for years before endorsing it — was due in part to his fears of alienating religious blacks. Biden famously endorsed gay marriage before Obama did, and has pursued a more radical course on transgenderism than the Obama administration favored. All of this is catching up with Biden.
Religious blacks will continue to defect to the Republicans, as long as they don’t adopt the wokeness of the Democrats. Contrary to the politically correct spinning of Bush-era GOP consultants, the party’s outreach to “people of color” depends not on diluting its platform but retaining it. In the end, good policy turns out to be good politics. The black stars in the GOP today, such as Virginia Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears, are not RINOs but conservative Republicans, who saw the party as a refuge from the flakiness of the Democrats. The “souls to the polls” strategy of the Democrats didn’t stop Sears from winning, another sign of their fading support among religious blacks.
Conventional wisdom held that Biden’s relentless identity politics would strengthen his hold on black voters. But many of them, particularly religious ones, seem to care less about his noisy racial agenda than his push for onerous vaccine mandates. His administration has stoutly refused religious exemptions from them.
The magazine New York sees the “unpopularity of his vaccine-mandate policy with a small but significant minority of Black Democrats” as a primary reason for their disaffection with him. It notes:
Morning Consult’s national tracking poll shows a stark inflection point in Biden’s Black support immediately after the announcement of the mandate. Between September 8 (the day before the mandate’s rollout) and September 20, Biden’s support among Black voters fell by 12 percentage points in the survey. One might write this off as a coincidence, had the pollster not specifically monitored Biden’s standing with unvaccinated Black voters — and found that he had lost 17 points with that segment of the electorate over those two weeks.
The Democrats have many reasons to panic. Biden’s pursuit of the most preposterous boutique causes, combined with a year of mandates and runaway inflation, is driving ordinary Americans into the arms of the GOP. His decline in support among black Protestants is one of many indications of a GOP sweep in the fall. The reason why the Democrats’ “souls to the polls” gambit fell flat is that they don’t care about souls. The party is wedded to an irreligious wokeness that baffles churchgoing minorities.
What Obama once said about evangelical Hispanics — that they gravitate to the GOP out of social conservatism — also holds true for religious blacks. Obama, whose political sense was keener than Biden’s, always made sure to camouflage his radicalism with a few feints toward the religious. But in Biden’s case, the mask is off. His contempt for the religious is clear, as evident in the fact that not a single member of the Navy has been granted a religious exemption from his vaccine mandate. “Moderate” Joe is increasingly seen as immoderate, a hack who sold his soul to the party’s secularists only to discover that their wokeness impedes winning.