From Covid-19 to racial justice, how the biggest issues of 2020 affected the black vote

National pollster Henry Fernandez spent the election cycle immersed in the minds of black voters.

Fernandez, an attorney and expert at the African American Research Collaboration (AARC), asked people across the country about their candidate selection, motivations, and political priorities.

So he wasn’t surprised that Black Americans voted “overwhelmingly” for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris, while “white people turned to President Donald Trump.” The Biden-Harris victory, he said, is a “maritime change in American politics.”

“These elections show that the country is no longer politically dominated by white voters,” Fernandez said. “A coalition of colorful people led by the prevailing political reality in the United States.”

In fact, one of the most critical, controversial choices in American history signaled the age of black voters. Experts say the voting array is consolidated in some ways, can be shaped and evolved in other ways. But most of all, black voters are aware of their long-underestimated power.

“We have spent the past 100 years mobilizing black people across the country to get out of the vote,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP president and CEO. “But this movement began much earlier. Throughout the history of the United States, black people have always led the accusation that this country conforms to the ideals of fairness and equality.”

Recently, the AARC, NAACP, and the Vera Institute of Justice published the results of the AARC’s 2020 U.S. election night poll, Latin and Asian-American decisions. More than a dozen other organizations also supported the survey, including the National City League, the Forward Project, Demos, the National Domestic Workers Association, and the International Union of Service Providers.

More than 15,000 American voters were sampled, including 4,100 African Americans from several battlefield states, including Georgia and Wisconsin.

Key Principles: More than half of black voters identified the coronavirus epidemic as a top priority to be addressed by elected officials, followed by discrimination and racial justice.

In the same year that George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others died at the hands of police, sparking Black Lives Matter protests, this demographic group of voters held strong views on law enforcement. Respondents referred to the need for accountability, reforms and policy change, including a ban on chokehold practices.

“61 percent of black voters indicated that they or someone they know had been unfairly stopped or harassed by police,” said Nick Turner, president of the Vera Institute. Voters “support the transfer of funds from law enforcement to community and family support.”

Black voters also expressed deep concern about systemic racism, particularly with regard to the criminal justice system and mass incarceration. The poll found that 8 out of 10 black voters were in favor of reducing the number of prisons and prisons and detaining immigrants.

Is there a gender divide?

According to a national exit poll shared by major news networks, including NBC News, about 9 percent of black women supported Trump in this election cycle, compared to 4 percent in 2016. About 91 percent of black women voted for Biden and Harris, with most exit poll data showing.

“We can see how strong and influential black women voters remain in voting,” said Glynda Carr, president and CEO of Higher Heights in politics, who works to elect and strengthen black women. Harris was approved early by the national organization. “We have even appeared against persistent attempts to suppress our voice and vote.”

About 80 percent of black male voters chose Biden, according to a NBC News exit poll. According to the Associated Press, 12 to 19 percent of black men voted for Trump. His potential gains (about 13 percent in 2016) continue to receive a slight shift among Republican presidential candidates over the past few election cycles.

If the higher figure is more accurate, “Trump received more black male votes than any Republican in modern history,” said Terrance Woodbury, partner at HIT Strategies, which specializes in polling millennia and colorful people.

Woodbury said the Trump campaign spent millions on Facebook ads and TV, radio and digital strategies to separate black men from Democrats this cycle.

“In our focus groups and polls, a small but significant percentage of black young men said they supported Trump,” he said, noting that some were “socially conservative” prone to issues such as marriage, abortion, and immigration. “A lot of people reject this as an inconsistency, but I don’t agree. The gains from every election add up. I think it’s important that the party appeals and tries to get these black men back. We need them.”

People at the American Way’s Defend the Black Vote initiative approached 5 million eligible black voters in 23 states through texts, town halls, and public service announcements. There were many young black men.

“What’s remarkable is that even though Trump isn’t a penitent racist, slightly more black men voted for him this time than last time,” said Ben Jealous, the organization’s president.

“Black people who vote for problematic, authoritarian Republicans are nothing new,” he added. “When I grew up, there was someone in every black family who voted for Nixon, and yet our families were great together.”

Jealous people are encouraged that more black men voted this year than in 2016 and that the overall turnout for African Americans was strong in this record-breaking election.

“Again, black women were the gold standard for U.S. voter turnout,” she said, referring to nearly 50 percent of black registered female voters who voted this year. The attention of the jealous is now being turned to the January 5 races of the Georgian Senate. “The holy grail for us as a community is sure to make black men vote in the same proportion as black women.”

Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition for Black Civic Participation and convener of its Black Women’s Roundtable, agreed. According to him, black women are the “secret sauces” that help candidates in elections.

“Our men turned out,” Campbell said. “We vote as a bloc and we vote about our interests.”

Coalition and Unity ’20 black voting and empowerment partners recently published their exit survey of more than 3,600 black women, men, transgender and ineligible voters from nationwide southern polling stations and battlefield states.

Respondents were asked what they wanted to say about the next president and the upcoming 117th Congress. Structural racism (71 per cent) topped the list, followed by the elimination of Covid-19 (63 per cent) and law enforcement / criminal justice reform (62 per cent), followed by the rescue of safety net programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Young and old vote

Voters under the age of 35 had a significant impact on the election. Sixty percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 voted for Biden, and 36 percent voted for Trump according to exit polls.

While younger voters were vital to Biden’s victory overall, young people of color played a particularly critical role. According to NBC News polls, black voters between the ages of 18 and 29 chose Biden by 89 percent of the vote.

Fernandez cited similar data among black and black voters, citing an AARC poll. According to him, important issues include better coverage of health care, fair economic opportunities and comprehensive judicial reform.

Black voters over the age of 60 were also part of this cycle of seismic voter turnout. Even before election day, black seniors broke records and their early voting jumped in several states. Finally, according to exit polls, about 92 percent chose Biden.

“We want to reap the benefits”

Quentin James and Stefanie Brown James are co-founders of The Collective, an umbrella organization whose political action committees and training initiatives are aimed at building equitable black elected representation across the country.

The Vote To Live Black voter engagement program of the Collective Education Fund was far-reaching. Efforts ranged from voter registration and education to celebrity promotion through a partnership between Tracee Ellis Ross, Nia Long and Common and the Black Churches, and provided 12,000 voters with free Lyft tours for polls.

“Black voters handed over the White House to Joe Biden,” Quentin James said. “That’s why we want to reap the benefits.”

Jennifer Epps-Addison, president of the network and co-executive director of the Center for People’s Democracy Action, echoed the mood.

“Once the Biden / Harris administration takes office, people will have to face a clear mandate,” he said. “They need to take action to change the flood of the Covid-19 epidemic, get out of the economic crisis into an economy for all, take bold steps to promote racial justice, implement a humane immigration policy, reshape our justice system, combat climate change and combat climate change. providing health care for all. “

The concerted action of countless organizers has brought American democracy back from the sidelines, he said. “Today we are celebrating the power of the people and tomorrow we will continue to fight for a country worthy of all their hopes and work.”

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