As he targets battleground states, Biden must energize South Carolina's Black voters(Part-2)

Younger Black Americans want Biden to focus their issues if he runs again. South Carolina State University sophomore Alexandrea B. Moore, 22, said Biden might have been more upfront about his struggles to fulfill his promise of broad student loan forgiveness, which the Supreme Court threw down.

"If Biden wants to regain the trust of U.S. citizens, then there needs to be a little bit of transparency on why things didn't go as promised," she added. Olivia Ratliff, a 19-year-old sophomore at the state's sole public historically Black college or university, wants Biden to address school safety and the teacher shortage.

South Carolina school districts had approximately 1,600 teacher openings at the start of the 2023-24 school year, up 9% from the year before, according to the South Carolina Education Association. Education major Ratliff remarked, “It's bad enough we send our children to schools with no teachers, but then they risk their lives every day going to school.

Kailyn Wrighten feels neglected by Biden because of his administration's silence on social justice topics related to 2020 police violence demonstrations. But having her mother's student debt erased before Biden's first proposal was thrown down was a relief and a bright point for the administration, so she'll vote for him in the primary.

Wrighten, a 22-year-old South Carolina State senior, felt the dissatisfaction of most younger voters that Biden ran for reelection rather than prepare for a new generation of Democrats. “We’ve worked up to this for 18 years and kind of finally being able to exercise it, and you’re like, ‘This is what I’m left with right now?’” she added. More than a dozen voters cited Biden's failed student debt forgiveness scheme and economic performance as key concerns.

Sheridan Johnson voted for Biden early in Columbia. She commended his administration for reducing debts but wants more. Johnson, 53, said, “I'm waiting for that to pass because I really need some student loans forgiven.” The Supreme Court overturned Biden's scheme. A repayment plan was created by the administration for this month. Under it, debtors who make regular payments won't accrue interest.

Inflation worries me. Despite recent price spikes cooling and the economy improving, it has not improved Americans' outlook or helped Biden. Laverne Brown, a 69-year-old Columbia retiree, said Biden needed clear messaging to show people what he has done to boost the economy and what he will do if reelected.

“As an American citizen, I feel good knowing that there is ongoing support for those who have worked hard and now live on a lower income,” she added. She said some city residents don't have close grocery outlets, which limits their finances.