Trump and the Black Vote

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by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  June 25, 2020   

Dems should be nervous

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - A reliable pollster is saying support for President Trump from black voters in the crucial swing state of Michigan has nearly doubled since 2016.

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Robert Cahaly

This is coming from Robert Cahaly, whose Trafalgar Group was the only polling firm in 2016 to foresee a Trump victory in Michigan. Cahaly reported on Monday, according to his June poll of Michiganders, nearly 12% of likely black voters in the state are backing President Donald Trump's bid for re-election. This marks a nearly twofold increase of the 6% support Trump garnered from African-American voters when he narrowly won the state in 2016.

Political analyst Michael Voris tells Church Militant that Cahaly's poll is significant, as it comes from a pollster with a proven track record and is a strong indicator of how black voters nationwide are rallying behind Trump.

"Cahaly was one of the very few pollsters who got it right in 2016," said Voris. "His findings are a strong indication of how the nation's black community as a whole will vote in November."

Cahaly agrees, saying the 12% of black voters' support for Trump in the Trafalgar poll is most likely a bellwether of the black vote across the country: "This finding bodes well for Trump as Republican presidential candidates typically need roughly 10% of the black vote to be seated in the oval office."

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Since 1976, 10% of black voters, on average, have cast their ballots for GOP presidential candidates, according to exit polls. The lowest support by African Americans for Republican presidential candidates was at 4% in the 2008 presidential race between the late Sen. John McCain and former President Barack Obama. But black support, however, is no guarantee of a Republican win. The highest black support for a GOP candidate was 17% in the 1976 race in which Democrat Jimmy Carter beat incumbent Gerald Ford.

The 12% of black voters' support for Trump in the Trafalgar poll is most likely a bellwether of the black vote across the country.

Since 1984, however, GOP presidential candidates have obtained only 9% of the black vote on average. George W. Bush averaged 10% while 10.5% of African-American voters backed his father, the late George H. Bush. The late President Ronald Reagan, to whom Trump is often compared, was supported by 11.5% of black voters in his two victories. 

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President Jimmy Carter

But Trump won the White House in 2016 with just 8% of the nation's black vote. This makes Cahaly's findings even more significant because, as Cahaly reports, only 6% of Michigan's black voters backed Trump in 2016.

Now Cahaly's survey reveals that exactly 11.8% of Michigan's black voters are supporting Trump's bid for the White House. If history repeats itself, nationwide black voter support for Trump may well exceed this current 12% margin and be a key factor in securing a Trump victory.

Michigan a 'Crucial' State

Apart from the black vote, Michigan is also a crucial swing state. Trump narrowly won this state in 2016, along with key battleground states of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. These wins were critical for Trump's campaign, according to Voris. And Cahaly's poll of Michiganders has Trump running neck and neck with Biden.

"Michigan is an important swing state, along with Pennsylvania and Wisconsin," remarked Voris. "If Trump is that close to beating Biden in Michigan, you can bet Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will most likely be close races as well."

"These three states were major victories for Trump in 2016 and were, in fact, the reason for his election — why he was able to breach the so-called blue wall of the Democrats," he added. "This poll shows the Democrats have a lot to worry about come November."

If  Trump is that close to beating Biden in Michigan, you can bet Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will most likely be close races as well.

Trump now has a much larger backing from black voters to help him secure these key battleground states. And earlier polls showed things weren't getting any better between African Americans and the Democratic party.

In November, an Emerson poll revealed a 34% approval rating for Trump among black voters. A similar poll in January by Gallup reported a 14% increase in satisfaction over race relations among Americans.

Brandon Straka, the founder of the exodus movement titled #WalkAway, explained in February some of the sentiments behind the out-migration of disenchanted blacks from the Democrat base.

"We've had this wild surge of new testimonials coming in the past few weeks, largely in the black community," remarked Straka. "They feel taken for granted, manipulated and lied to by Democrats. They're sick of the fearmongering."

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