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Polls show increasing support for Warren from black voters

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is broadening her base with black voters, who were slow to warm to her campaign before.

A new poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal shows that Warren is in second place among black voters with 13 percent support, which is up from 8 percent in the previous survey from July. An Economist–YouGov survey released Wednesday found Warren’s support among black voters at 11 percent, up from 5 percent in July. And the latest Politico–Morning Consult survey found Warren gaining 5 points among black voters.

Joe Biden is still in first place with black voters, Biden pulled 49 percent support from black voters in the NBC-Journal poll, a 36-point lead over Warren. Democratic strategists say Warren’s gains indicate that black voters are at least open to considering her candidacy. “She’s expanding her coalition, and that’s a credit to her strategy and messaging and the bottom-up campaign she’s built to this point,” said Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright. The NBC-Journal poll found Biden in the lead at 31 percent support, followed by Warren at 25 percent and Sanders at 14 percent. The poll found Warren leading with 29 percent support from Hispanic voters, The Hill reports.

The new polling comes after a strong week for Warren – her campaign stated that more than 20,000 people attended her ally in Manhattan on Monday night, drawing dismissive remarks from President Trump, who said, “anybody could do that.”

Most of her support to date has come from college-educated white voters and many black Democrats feel a sense of loyalty to Biden, who was the vice president under the nation’s first black president. During the Obama administration, Biden made frequent trips to South Carolina, where black Democrats make up more than 50 percent of the primary electorate. “I think Warren and Biden have split the progressive constituency, and any Warren bump has been at the expense of Sanders and second-tier candidates, not Biden, whose base has remained steady,” said pollster Mark Penn.

“People forget, not only is Joe Biden’s coalition strong with African Americans, we call him Middle-Class Joe for a reason,” said Seawright. “Middle-class and working-class voters, both black and white, have always been his strength. He has a strong connection there.”

One South Carolina Democrat said: “Sen. Warren has a lot of momentum right now. You look at the field and where the energy is, it’s with her and she seems to be doing all the right things to capitalize on it, whether it’s her proposals, her message or connecting with people one-on-one. Any candidate willing to spend four hours taking selfies, that’s special for a lot of people.”