Exclusive poll: Black voters not thrilled with Biden but dislike Trump more | The Excerpt

On Monday’s episode of The Excerpt podcast: USA TODAY Campaign 2024 Breaking News Editor Austin Bogues discusses how President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are approaching Black voters. Culture war clashes in Congress risk stalling must-pass bills. A crazy week of weather is on the way. USA TODAY Health Reporter Karen Weintraub puts the bird flu outbreak in context. Bryson DeChambeau wins the U.S. Open. Angelina Jolie and Daniel Radcliffe win their first Tony Awards.

Hit play on the player below to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript beneath it.  This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

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Taylor Wilson:

Good morning. I'm Taylor Wilson, and today is Monday, June 17th, 2024. This is The Excerpt. Today, a look at Black voters' preferences when it comes to Trump and Biden. Plus, a wild weather week is on the way. And we look at the latest surrounding bird flu.

Black voters helped put President Joe Biden in the White House four years ago. They may not vote to give him a second term, though they dislike former President Donald Trump more according to an exclusive new USA TODAY Suffolk University poll, the poll of Black voters in the swing states of Pennsylvania and Michigan found that Biden is still the first or second choice of the majority, while most would avoid Trump, I caught up with USA TODAY campaign 2024 breaking news editor Austin Bogues to discuss some of the poll findings and how Biden and Trump are approaching Black voters.

Austin, thanks for hopping on The Excerpt today.

Austin Bogues:

Thanks so much. It's a pleasure to be here with you, Taylor.

Taylor Wilson:

So Austin, let's just start with this. Where do Black voters stand right now, especially as we look at polling when it comes to Biden and Trump?

Austin Bogues:

So as of right now, Black voters, like many voters across the United States, they're deeply dissatisfied with the choices that they have so far in the 2024 election. However, the polling shows right now that, as is typical in most presidential years, President Biden retains the advantage with Black voters as of right now. They still overwhelmingly support him, however, he's just not especially popular with them at the moment, especially in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania. So Trump is polling somewhat higher, our reporting shows, than in the 2020 exit polls. He's getting about 15% of the Black vote in Michigan, and it looks like he's getting about 11% in Pennsylvania compared to single digits in the last election, that's what our reporters found. But it still shows Biden really retaining the overwhelming majority of Black voters.

Taylor Wilson:

Speaking of Biden, he's credited Black voters for his win four years ago, Austin. What is his campaign doing this time around to try and court Black voters?

Austin Bogues:

The Biden campaign, they say that they're putting on a full court press. They say that they're not taking any votes for granted in this election cycle. And everybody remembers from the night when President Biden was declared president-elect in 2020, he made a big show saying that the African-American community had rallied to his side again.

So this time again, they're looking to make a strong showing with African-American voters. They've recently put in a lot of efforts into outlets like Black radio. You've also seen the president recently visiting some Black-owned businesses. In the last month, he went to Georgia and the Michigan. He recently spoke at an NAACP dinner in Detroit. He gave the commencement address as well at Morehouse College, which is a historically Black college in Georgia. They've also been sending out the Vice President Harris using some of her notoriety to try to help shore up some African-American support. She's been on the road in places like Detroit, Milwaukee, and also in Michigan as well. She's recently visited a small Black-owned business in Michigan dedicated to African-American literature. She's also been through Charlotte, North Carolina, Atlanta, and she spoke at the 100 Black Men of America Conference, it's one of the most prominent venues for Black mentorship in the country,

Taylor Wilson:

And we've also seen some recent moves from Trump aimed at reaching Black voters. How is his campaign approaching this?

Austin Bogues:

The Trump campaign, they're portraying very optimistic messaging in terms of their support among the Black community. They think that they see room for growth. They've recently opened up a field office in Philadelphia. MAGA Inc, the main super PAC backing Trump. Our reporters showed it's going out and it's blitzing the radio waves in states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, which we know are going to be very, very important in this election. They're targeting issues where they think they can find some wedge issues. They're looking at things like immigration. They're trying to drive wedges in terms of issues like transgender rights. So they're looking at all these things and seeing if they can find some openings to really make some appeals to Black voters and seeing if they can move the margins.

Taylor Wilson:

Do elections experts feel these candidates are doing enough for Black voters to, let's say make a difference this fall?

Austin Bogues:

By and large, a lot of the political scientists, they're saying that Black voters, again, they're reflective of what the general public is showing this election. They're broadly dissatisfied with the choices that they have. When presented with the range of options, there's still a good amount of them that are showing that they're undecided. It looks so far like the bigger worry for the Biden campaign isn't as much that some of his voters might defect to Donald Trump. It's that they might stay home or they might go for a third party candidate like Cornell West or perhaps Robert F. Kennedy Jr. But by and large, outreach is always one of those things that political scientists are tracking whether or not they can make substantial impact with the Black community. Even the advocates for both sides are saying it's not a community that you can take for granted and you have to go out there and aggressively pursue their vote, just like any other community in the country.

Taylor Wilson:

You mentioned the third party candidate wrinkle in all this, Austin. How might a third party candidate appeal more to Black voters and how could that play out?

Austin Bogues:

There's a range of polling right now out there. The most recent polling shows, if I'm not mistaken, there's still more voters who indicate that they're undecided than voters who say that they would vote for Robert F. Kennedy Jr, per se, right? There shows that there may be movement for Cornell West. But again, it's not really gaining traction. It seems that Biden is still really the overwhelming favorite when it comes to Black voters. The bigger question is whether or not these voters are going to turn out in the numbers that he needs in the fall.

Taylor Wilson:

Austin Bogues is USA TODAY's campaign 2024 breaking news editor joining us here on The Excerpt. Thank you, Austin.

Austin Bogues:

Thanks so much. Appreciate you, Taylor.

Taylor Wilson:

The House on Friday passed its annual Pentagon policy bill, the National Defense Authorization Act. Though the bill is a traditionally bipartisan endeavor to greenlight hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the defense department, GOP lawmakers packed the legislation with so-called culture war amendments, targeting transgender healthcare policies, diversity programs, and climate change initiatives. All those provisions are dead on arrival in the Democrat controlled Senate that champions those kinds of government efforts. Almost the same thing happened in last year's NDAA when that series of Republican sponsored amendments got taken out of the final compromise that President Joe Biden ultimately signed into law in December.

House Republicans made a similar move earlier this month when the lower chamber passed one of 12 spending bills needed to fund the government. Their funding bill for military construction and Veterans Affairs passed along mostly party lines as Democrats called out the legislation for including provisions that target abortion care, diversity programs and transgender care among others. You can read more about the culture war clashes in Congress that risk stalling must pass bills with a link in today's show notes.

A potentially crazy week of weather is on the way for parts of the US the coming week will bring weather extremes from a baking heat wave in the Midwest and Northeast to an unseasonable chilly start in the Pacific Northwest, and in the Rockies. Possible June snow. Cities like Seattle and Portland will see highs in the mid-sixties today, while parts of the Midwest will feel 90 degree temperatures for the first time this summer, the Rockies snow will mostly be at higher elevations.

A bird flu outbreak has reached six continents and is wreaking havoc in US farms. As it spread around the world, it forced the deaths of tens of millions of chickens and turkeys and has killed or sickened thousands of birds along with land-based and marine mammals. I spoke with USA TODAY health reporter Karen Weintraub, to catch us up to speed and discuss whether it poses a risk to humans. Karen, thanks for hopping on.

Karen Weintraub:

Thanks for having me.

Taylor Wilson:

Let's just start with this. How widespread is this bird flu outbreak and just where do things stand right now?

Karen Weintraub:

Yeah, it's really widespread. So in my colleague Dinah Pulver's reporting, she's found that there are 94 cattle herds across 12 states. Since 2022, infections have been reported in 14 million turkeys and 80 million chickens, including 71 million egg layers. So if you're wondering why the price of eggs has increased, that is why, because they've had to kill a lot of chickens to get rid of this virus to try to contain the virus.

Taylor Wilson:

And Karen, how is it spreading?

Karen Weintraub:

They're not exactly sure how it spreads. It spreads in a number of different ways. One is the poop of animals. So a wild bird might poop in the water supply of a cattle herd, for instance, and that might be how it would transmit. Or farm equipment might travel from one farm to another and carry the virus on its tires. Or a farm worker might carry it on their clothes from one farm to another.

Taylor Wilson:

Can you talk through some of the potential contributing factors here when it comes to climate change and also shrinking space for a lot of birds?

Karen Weintraub:

So climate change we know is driving up temperatures and the warmer the temperature, it can weaken some animals and make them more vulnerable to things like viruses. So that could be a factor. Also, as we expand agricultural farms, we're eating up wetlands and land that had been used for wild birds, and so we're encroaching on land that had been used by waterfowl limiting their terrain and increasing the overlap between wild birds and domestic animals. And so there's more overlap between these wild animals and domestic ones, and so increasing the interaction between them and therefore increasing the likelihood that viruses will spread from one to the other.

Taylor Wilson:

And Karen, we're living in a time after the height of the COVID pandemic I think folks think about outbreaks like these in different ways nowadays. How worried should humans really be about flu?

Karen Weintraub:

So we really don't have to worry about it as long as we can contain bird flu, which means keeping it to as few farms as possible and keeping it to animals and as few animals as possible. The problem is it's hard to do that. And the federal government, for instance, doesn't have control over those farms, so they can't tell the farmers what to do. So the more that the farmers are responsible about it and do the right thing with encouragement from government and some financial support, the more we can contain it to those farms. But the less that the farm workers, say have protections, have masks, have gloves, have eyewear that protects them from infection. The longer this goes on, the more animals are infected, the higher the risk becomes to all of us.

Taylor Wilson:

All right, Karen Weintraub covers health for USA TODAY. Thanks, Karen.

Karen Weintraub:

Thanks.

Taylor Wilson:

For the second time. In five years, Bryson DeChambeau has won the US Open. The American golfer battled back and forth yesterday with Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy to win his second career Major title, this one at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. He held off McElroy by just one stroke to win the tournament. This marks the second major title won by an active LIV golf member, joining Brooks Koepka's victory at the 2023 PGA Championship. DeChambeau last won the 2020 US Open, which was played with limited spectators because of COVID pandemic restrictions.

Angelina Jolie is now a Tony Award winner. The actress picked up her first Tony as a producer of The Outsiders, which took home Broadway's biggest prize for Best Musical. The gritty new show adapted from S.E. Hinton's 1967 novel won four awards including Best Direction, Lighting and Sound Design at last night's award show. Meanwhile, after five Broadway shows over 16 years, Daniel Radcliffe won his first Tony for Merrily We Roll Along, a revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical. And Hillary Clinton, a producer of the new historical musical Suffs, made a surprise appearance and received a standing ovation. You can read more about Broadway's Big Night in the entertainment section on USAToday.com.

And millions of Muslims in the US and many more around the world are celebrating Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice. Eid al-Adha commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's, devotion and obedience to Allah, and marks the completion of the annual Holy Pilgrimage of Hajj.

Thanks for listening to The Excerpt. You can get the podcast wherever you get your pods, and if you're on a smart speaker, just ask for The Excerpt. I'm Taylor Wilson. Back tomorrow with more of The Excerpt from USA TODAY.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Black voters not thrilled with Biden, dislike Trump more | The Excerpt