NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Black voters turned out big in swing states to support Joe Biden, likely helping propel the Democratic candidate into the lead.

Dr. A. Hannibal Leach at Fisk University in Nashville said the Black vote was crucial in this election cycle.

“This is one of the elections that we saw the black vote really take center stage. I’m saying that although we had President Barack Obama win in 08 and 2012,” Dr. Leach said. “We saw the Black vote take center stage this year pretty much because the black vote that allowed Joe Biden to finally pull ahead of Bernie Sanders.”

ABC News is calling the state of Michigan for Joe Biden and the Democratic party. Dr. Leach said votes in places like Detroit with concentrated communities of African Americans helped to turn the tide in that state. And, it’s helping to narrow the race in Georgia with votes still coming in from cities like Atlanta.

He added that you can already see the difference compared to the 2016 presidential race.

“I think in 2016 it was pretty much called before we even went to bed or the trend was going one way before we even went to bed,” said Dr. Leach. “Today, 4 years later in this election, we see that these battleground states, especially these areas where African Americans are highly concentrated, these battleground states are battleground states because of the voter turnout amongst African Americans.”

It was the same impact seen in places like Wisconsin with Black communities in Milwaukee.

“You didn’t see as robust mail voting in Milwaukee as you had elsewhere and Democrats were saying they were cautiously optimistic because they see their supporters in the black community as wanting to vote in person,” said Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Political Reporter Patrick Marley. “That did come out for them they did manage to get numbers in Milwaukee that helped put them over the top.”

According to Dr. Leach, both Biden and Trump tried appealing to Black voters, including Trump’s increased attempts to gain the demographic’s support.

He said whoever becomes elected needs to address key issues in the Black community like safety and the coronavirus.

“This is also tied to black security – the COVID-19 pandemic and all its intending consequences,” said Dr. Leach. “So healthcare, dealing with the COVID pandemic, and the way that it’s affecting black communities. Black communities need to have access to healthcare.”