VP Harris seeks to energize Black voters with economic opportunity tour

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday will launch a multistate tour to tout economic opportunities for Black Americans in an effort to mobilize a critical voting base for Democrats ahead of November’s election.

A major focus of the tour is energizing and engaging Black men, according to a White House official, a key demographic shown by polls to have lost some faith in the Democratic Party. Winning them back will likely determine whether President Joe Biden returns to the White House.

A recent Wall Street Journal poll of seven swing states showed more Black men planned to support Republican Donald Trump than Biden in the rematch of the 2020 election.

Harris will participate in a moderated conversation with Earn Your Leisure’s Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings, who have used podcasts to increase financial literacy in Black communities.

The tour, which heads to Detroit next week, will focus on investing in communities, building wealth and ensuring Americans of all colors have economic opportunities, according to the White House. It will also highlight the administration’s achievements, including a $158 million federal grant for Atlanta that will reconnect Black communities cut off by major highways with the city’s downtown.

Biden pulled off a surprise victory in Georgia in 2020, winning by less than 12,000 votes. The state also delivered two Democrats to the U.S. Senate, which proved instrumental in passing Biden’s legislative agenda.

Democrats view Georgia as an uphill battle and any hope of carrying the state again would require strong turnout from Blacks, who make up 30% of the state’s population.

Monday will mark Harris’s third trip to Georgia in 2024 and her 12th since being sworn in.

Harris has made more than 35 trips to 16 states since the start of the year, including a Black History month tour of historically Black colleges and universities and a March trip to Black Wall Street in Durham, North Carolina, to announce $32 million to support historically under-served entrepreneurs.

(Reporting By Nandita Bose and Jarrett Renshaw; editing by Diane Craft)

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