Trump and Biden fight for Black male voters

Democrats, GOP fight for Black male voters
Democrats, GOP fight for Black male voters 04:52

A group of Black men in Nashville aren't taking their fitness or voice for granted.

"We're building health and wellness. We're also building brotherhood," Demetrius Short told CBS News correspondent Nikole Killion.

Every week, Short leads runners through the streets of Nashville, but it's the race for president that has the intergenerational group going the extra mile.

"Tonight is about voting and inspiring them to get out and vote," Short said.

Black men have increasingly become a coveted target of both campaigns in the run-up to Election Day. President Trump and Former Vice President Joe Biden defended their records on race during Thursday night's debate.

"Nobody has done more for the Black community than Donald Trump," the president said. "Criminal justice reform, prison reform, opportunity zones."

"We have to provide for economic opportunity, better education, better health care, better access to schooling, better access to opportunity to borrow money to start businesses," Biden said.

Both campaigns have unveiled specific plans appealing to the estimated 30 million eligible African-American voters. According to Pew Research Center, only 54% of eligible Black men voted in 2016. 

Thirteen percent of Black male voters supported President Trump in 2016, more than three times the rate of Black women.

Harold Rucker, a retired marine, said he didn't vote for Mr. Trump or Hillary Clinton during the last presidential election.

"I pretty much voted for the Libertarian. I couldn't see either one of those two," he said.

Myles Harris, a senior at Fisk University, said he sometimes feels ignored by politicians.

"I don't feel like anybody has really just came out and took an extremely strong position to not only protect African Americans but to progress African Americans," he said.

Stumping for Biden in Philadelphia this week, former President Barack Obama made an appeal to Black men.

"What I consistently try to communicate during this year, particularly when talking to young brothers ... is to acknowledge to them that government and voting alone isn't going to change everything," he said.

Short acknowledged there are a lot of Black men who don't vote. 

"That's why we're here tonight having this tough conversation," he said, "to encourage each other that there's power with the pen. And nothing's going to change if we all take a back seat."