Poll: Blacks independent but will not vote for Trump

By Robert "Rob" Redding Jr.

Editor & Publisher

Nov. 7, 2016, 3 p.m. - A poll conducted by Howard University scholars and the National Newspaper Publishers found that black people are independent or "other" but will not be voting for Donald Trump for president.

The lowest percentage of blacks voting Republican in any previous presidential election is 7 percent, according to the poll. Findings from this poll indicate that less than 2 percent expect to vote for Trump as the Republican candidate for president.

What's more, the evidence of strong support for Hillary Clinton is supported by the data. There is positive sentiment for her (74 percent strongly favor the candidate), compared to what is reported for her in the larger electorate. Millennials’ favorability for Clinton is softer than for older blacks. However, the lack of enthusiasm for Clinton among black millennials does not appear to transfer into support for the other candidates.

When asked if race was a deciding factor in voting preference in 2008 and/or 2012, less than a quarter reported that race was a deciding factor. This finding shows that there were a number of reasons why blacks supported President Obama and race was only one factor. This finding also helps to explain so explains why voter turnout may remain high without President Obama on the ballot.

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Support for President Obama’s policies and leadership remains strong (90 percent favorable), with the overwhelming majority of African Americans having a favorable view of his job performance.

While much has been reported in the press that both major party candidates are viewed negatively, this is not true among African Americans. Favorable views for Clinton are held by a large majority of African American registered voters (75 percent favorable), but Trump’s favorably is substantially lower at just 3 percent.

The findings indicate that blacks have positive feelings about the direction of the economy. Over 4 out of 5 respondents report that the current economic conditions of the country are fair to excellent.

The top five issues influencing preferences for candidates include high quality K-12 education, the economy and jobs, race relations and social justice, college affordability, and income inequality.

A rather unexpected finding in the poll suggests that black voters reacted to the news of the FBI reopening of the Clinton email investigation by rebounding in her favor. Trump's already minute support among black voters expressed before Friday’s news reports (Oct. 30) was cut from 2 percent to 1.5 percent.

The poll which predicts a strong turnout of black voters in the 2016 election, with 96 percent of the respondents reporting that they had voted in the past two elections, and 94 perecent reporting they believe their friends will vote in this year’s election.

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