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Black Churches Open Their Doors To Candidates, But What Do They Get In Return?

On Wednesday, most of the Democratic candidates spoke at a National Action Network Ministers’ Breakfast in South Carolina. The event was held at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, a predominantly black church in North Charleston. FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast host and reporter Galen Druke was there to speak with the attendees about the 2020 primary race.

Mount Moriah’s Senior Pastor, Rev. Byron Benton, sat down with Galen in the church’s sanctuary before the event. He talked about the changes he’d like the next president to make in his community, and how faith plays a role in his politics. He also addressed the lingering effects on his congregation of the 2015 white nationalist terrorist attack at Mother Emanuel, nearby in Charleston.

Black churches are a campaign stop. What do they get in return?

Later, Galen spoke with attendees at the breakfast. Pamala Rumph, a supporter of former Vice President Joe Biden, said that younger members of her church aren’t taking the primary race seriously.

South Carolina Biden supporter wants him to stop talking about Obama

Felisha Woodberry and her daughter, Quati Woodberry-Gadson, support Sen. Bernie Sanders. When asked about Biden appealing to black voters in the state, she said he is relying too much on his past with the Obama administration, and not doing enough to show that he is working for black communities today.

South Carolina Sanders supporter on Joe Biden’s appeal to black voters

For more of FiveThirtyEight’s coverage of the primary in South Carolina, subscribe to our channel on YouTube.

Anna Rothschild was FiveThirtyEight’s senior producer for video.

Galen Druke is FiveThirtyEight’s podcast producer and reporter.