Cornel West Focuses on Battleground State Michigan In His Presidential Campaign

The renowned scholar and activist is hoping to appeal to Black and Arab-American voters who are disgruntled with the Biden Administration.

Presidential candidate Cornel West is heading to Michigan to court voters in a state where President Joe Biden is struggling to gain a clear advantage in the polls, Politico

According to recent polls, Biden’s support from Black voters has been in decline and West is campaigning in Dearborn, a Detroit suburb which is the most densely Muslim municipality in the nation. The Islamic community there and in other battleground states have been highly critical of the President’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

A prominent scholar and a long-time critic of the Israeli activity with Palestine, West believes he’s in a position to draw support from Black and Muslim voters as he anticipates visiting Michigan.

“We’re the only major candidate, I think, who’s bringing any kind of sanity and sensitivity to the suffering in Gaza. Just strikes me that all the other three major candidates are living in a Neolithic Age when it comes to dealing with what’s going on in the Middle East,” West said in an interview with Politico. “They would take us back, and I’m the only one who would take us forward.”

West’s itinerary includes stops in Flint to spotlight the town’s water crisis and environmental justice issues, rallies at the University of Michigan and Michigan State, and he plans to visit with Indigenous populations in the Upper Peninsula of the state. 

The Israel–Palestine crisis continues.

Israel-Hamas War: An Explainer About This Battle, the Key Players and What’s Really At Stake

“By speaking to Michiganders, we will be speaking to pretty much the entire country at the same time,” said Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright, West’s co-campaign manager. “This is a very critical state. Whoever wins that state is going to be the president.”

“We’re following the lead of young folk and Arab-Americans in a pivotal state who themselves have said they wouldn’t be voting for President Biden if the election was tomorrow,” he said. “The same can be said by people in the environmental justice community.”

While West has aspirations to leave his political imprint on Michigan, his non-traditional campaign lacks the infrastructure in comparison with other candidates. After four months of campaigning, West has raised just over $320,000 lagging behind  Robert F. Kennedy Jr., another independent who has raised millions.

Launching his 2024 presidential bid on the People’s Party ticket, West then moved to the Green Party, and is now classified as an independent. After several shake-ups in the leadership of his team, West replaced campaign manager Peter Daou with four co-campaign managers; Rogers-Wright, Ceyanna Dent, and former Bernie Sanders campaign staffers Edwin DeJesus and Madeline Merritt.

Claiming he is the only “free” candidate, West is running his campaign based on principles and not just organizational structure. 

“I am in no way an ordinary politician,” West said. “Therefore, it’s a matter of making sure that we have people in place who are willing to be unorthodox and cut against the grain, organizationally, internally and politically and morally.”

“We want to be jazz-like, in terms of raising all of the different voices,” he added.

With his progressive message, West hopes to appeal to voters who are frustrated with the two-party system. 

Currently polling at 3.8 percent in a four-way race with Biden, Donald Trump, and Kennedy, If he wins a state, he will be the first third-party candidate to achieve the feat since Geroge Wallace in 1968.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.