South Carolina's black vote is crucial for candidates on both sides

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) Experts and politicians will be using these results to project how black voters are feeling about this Democratic field.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden meets with attendees during a campaign event, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

When black Americans head to the ballot box this election year, their concerns for a candidate can go beyond basic policy.

"There really are two Americas," said Greg Brown, a Howard University Law student.

Brown said a candidate who cares about securing rights for minorities is at the top of his list of priorities for 2020.

“Minorities across the board have been historically either not listened to, not taken care of, or had their rights just straight up violated.” Brown said.

In South Carolina, black citizens make up over a quarter of the population. That’s the most of any early primary state. But Georgetown University professor Mark Rom says it’s a mistake to treat all black voters the same.

“Do they make personal efforts to reach out to them?" Rom said. "Not merely as a constituency, but as humans of dignity and worth that need to be earned rather than pandered to.”

Of course, Democrats can’t count on every black vote come November.

“The president has made it a point to make sure all Americans, especially black Americans are doing well.” said Paris Dennard of Black Voices for Trump.

Dennard believes the commander-in-chief has earned that vote in his three years, with the help of Sen. Tim Scott and other black Republican leaders.

“It shows South Carolina that you can be African American and part of this party and really do good things.” Dennard said.

America will have to wait and see who wins that essential vote, and they will win the White House in November.
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