African-Americans’ support for Hillary Clinton appears to be less intense than it was for Barack Obama, but their hostility to Donald Trump more than covers the gap and will drive them to the voting booth in large numbers.
Those are the findings of a poll by Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C., released Monday, the day before the election.
The poll found that 84 percent of black registered voters believe Trump is a racist and only 1.5 percent intend to vote for him.
The lowest percentage of African-Americans voting for the GOP candidate in any previous presidential election was 7 percent.
Trump’s low African American numbers could play a key role in states with large black populations, among them North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Michigan.
At the same time, only 89 percent of African-Americans said they would vote for Clinton, a decline from the 93 percent who cast ballots for Obama in 2012.
The results were based on a sample of more than 900 black voters called between Oct. 21 and Oct. 30.
The surge in voting in the last two presidential cycles among black voters should not be interpreted as the ‘Obama effect.’
Pollsters at Howard University
Ninety percent of those surveyed said they had a favorable view of President Obama.
That figure is higher than the 82 percent share who identified themselves as Democrats, but it is slightly down from the 93 percent of African-Americans who voted for Obama in 2012.
Obama’s favorability rating among all Americans stands at 54 percent, but it is at 90 percent with Democrats, according to Gallup.
Among all eligible voters in 2012 – not just registered ones – 66 percent cast ballots compared with 64.1 percent of eligible whites. It was the first time that a higher percentage of black than white voters had participated.
In the current campaign, 96 percent of registered black voters said they intended to cast ballots Tuesday, the same proportion as stated they planned to vote on the eve of the election four years ago.
“This shows that the surge in voting in the last two presidential cyles among black voters should not be interpreted as the ‘Obama effect,’ ” the pollsters concluded.
If turnout among African-Americans declines, it will not be because of less intense feelings about Clinton or Trump, but due to voter ID laws and minority-intimidation tactics in states with large black populations, the pollsters predicted.
Explaining the somewhat lower number of African-Americans who have voted early this year, they said: “What appears to be a factor in lowering black-voter turnout may be attributed to voter-suppression policies and practices in some states that make it more difficult for blacks to vote.”
84 The percentage of registered African-Americans who believe that Trump is a racist.
Support for Clinton appeared relatively soft, however, with only 73 percent of African-Americans in the sample saying they strongly support her. Obama had significantly higher strong support in November 2012.
Still, however softer support for Clinton may be, it’s more than made up for by opposition to Trump. Only 3 percent have a favorable view of the billionaire, and just half that group intends to vote for him.
Poll participants cited the economy and jobs as the most important issue in the current election, followed closely by college affordability, high-quality education, race relations and social justice and income inequality.
Seventy-three percent reported holding a favorable view of the Black Lives Matter movement.