Independent candidate Cornel West is targeting minority voters in Michigan for 2024, a crucial voting bloc for Democrats that President Joe Biden has lost support with, Politico reported Tuesday.
West’s campaign is setting up a ground game operation to be deployed in the diverse battleground state early next year where the candidate will seek support from “environmental justice advocates,” the indigenous population, black voters, college students and Arab Americans, according to Politico. The move comes as Biden is losing support from minority voters, as well as Muslims in the swing state following the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack, providing a potential opening for West to shore up support among the key groups.
“We’re the only major candidate, I think, who’s bringing any kind of sanity and sensitivity to the suffering in Gaza. Just strikes me that all the other three major candidates are living in a Neolithic Age when it comes to dealing with what’s going on in the Middle East,” West told Politico. “They would take us back, and I’m the only one who would take us forward.”
Recent polling, including two early November surveys conducted by New York Times/Sienna College and CBS News, found Biden losing significant support among Hispanics and blacks, as well as with youth voters. Minority support for the president has plummeted by 33 points for the president since the 2020 election.
The NYT survey — which polled voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — found that the more diverse a state was, the worse Biden fared against former President Donald Trump. Additionally, the CBS News poll indicated that the state of the economy is likely hurting Biden’s support among black and Hispanic voters, both crucial voting blocs for the Democratic Party.
Biden has also maintained a pro-Israel stance since the Israel-Hamas war began, compared to West calling for a ceasefire while expressing pro-Palestinian sentiment. Many left-wing Democrats, including Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, have threatened pulling support from Biden in 2024 if he doesn’t change his stance on the conflict.
“We’re following the lead of young folk and Arab Americans in a pivotal state who themselves have said they wouldn’t be voting for President Biden if the election was tomorrow,” Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright, a co-campaign manager of West’s, told Politico. “The same can be said by people in the environmental justice community.”
West faces significant fundraising headwinds against fellow independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., as well as Biden and Trump. The independent has only raised $321,808 since launching his campaign in early June, and currently has just over $100,000 cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
West started out as a People’s Party candidate before seeking the Green Party’s nomination, and has since changed his campaign to run as an independent — meaning he has to gain ballot access himself without the help of a political party. West has been polling anywhere from 2% to 6% in 2024 general election matchups with Biden, Trump and Kennedy.
Neither West nor Biden immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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