The US Senate confirmed this nomination with 53 votes in favor (47 votes against), this Thursday 7 April. A first that was greeted by applause from the US House of Representatives, reports ABC newswhen it was the last step to be taken before Ketanji Brown was officially named Jackson.
Joe Biden there realizes one of his campaign promises, laid on the table after a catastrophic start to the primary and three failures in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. His proposal to appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court won him favor with the African American electorate by Caroline from the southto reverse the trend, win the Democratic primaries and then the presidential.
In the end, African Americans overwhelmingly voted for him against Republican Donald Trump in November 2020, with 92% of the vote. “This community has traditionally voted for Democrats,” recalls Marie-Christine Bonzom, a political scientist and former journalist in the United States. But in South Carolina, Georgia, or even Michigan, their support was decisive. Without them, Biden would never have been elected.”
Fall in the polls
Since then, the president has been disappointed. According to a Yougov poll (below)† the president fell from 76.2% positive opinion among African Americans in January 2021 to 67.9% at the end of March 2022, bottoming out in October 2021, at 65.9%. In fact, if we compare it to the percentage of votes won in the presidential election, it’s a 25-point drop, notes Marie-Christine Bonzom.
“He lost a lot of support, especially among young people under the age of 35. This significant drop can be explained by economic reasons: the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is considered a failure and perceived poorly by many African Americans in the military, the increase in the crime that directly affects them, or even the Covid disease where the mortality is 2.5 times higher for them than for the rest of the population,” she explains.
Other reasons for the dissatisfaction are the failure of the electoral reform that aimed to harmonize voting rules in order to avoid the impediment to which they are the victims, as well as the bill on the police which protects the rights and training of the forces of the order to tragedies like that of Breonna Taylor Where george floyd† Both failed to convince congressional lawmakers.
Biden, a standard voice
For Marie-Christine Bonzom, this drop in the polls is “not surprising”. “Even before the election, there was a reluctance towards Joe Biden. He has been criticized for his racism – during the campaign he said ‘You are not black if you intend to vote for Trump’ – his friendships with elected segregationist Democrats or his support of anti-crime policies in the 1990s, which allowed a minimum of to sentences louder.”
Conclusion: “If the majority of black people vote Democrat, there is no enthusiasm for Biden. He was elected because he was not Trump.” This sentiment is reflected at the level of the general population: Joe Biden does not even get 40% favorable opinions, below the level of his predecessor during the same period of his presidency.
Could Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination generate a burst of support, as it did during the campaign pledge? The question arises all the more as the midterm elections are set to take place in seven months and a bitter failure of the Democratic Party is already expected. “The nomination has been very well received, the opinions are very positive. This is an important step, a first, and it is by no means a favour, she is highly qualified,” emphasizes Nicole Bacharan, co-author of The Great Days That Changed America† An opinion shared by all the experts interviewed by the Huffpost.
In the Yougov poll, the announcement of Judge Stephen Breyer’s resignation and his replacement by Ketanji Brown Jackson also lifted the curve. Since then, progress has been slow but steady. However, Jean-Éric Branaa, a lecturer at Paris-2 University, refuses to see a real connection. “At the moment there is an increase, yes, but it must also be attributed to the Ukrainian crisis and the end of the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.
The intermediate testsan announced failure
What about the midterm elections? Another Morning Consult poll for Politico asked the African American community about their willingness to vote in November. In early March, 49% said they were “extremely” or “very” excited about the idea of going to the polls, an increase of 8 points since Ketanji Brown Jackson’s name was announced on Feb. 25.
If Morning Consult sees a connection between the two, Jean-Éric Branaa again does not want to jump to conclusions. “This research asks about the emotion of the moment. I see no connection there. All surveys on intermediate tests are void, we don’t even know the candidates we’ll have to vote for,” he explains.
Also for Marie-Christine Bonzom, the appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson will not be decisive: “There will be a small influence, on the margins, a renewed support in the coming days, but it will not be until November if the problems economy does not wear off.” . Biden is in limbo for all records.”
Nicole Bacharan shares this analysis. And adds: “The Democrats will highlight this achievement. It may motivate a small fraction of the African American electorate to come, but I doubt it will have a big impact.” the debacle of intermediate tests looks tough for Joe Biden.
See also on The HuffPost: One Year After Capitol Storm, Biden Blames Trump