BlackPAC
February 26, 2020

Latest BlackPAC Survey Shows Black Voters Highly Engaged, Historically Dissatisfied with Direction of Nation

BlackPAC

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Media Contact: Oliver Jones, oliver.jones@berlinrosen.com, 646.746.4325

Latest BlackPAC Survey Shows Black Voters Highly Engaged, Historically Dissatisfied with Direction of Nation

Results indicate that while disapproval of Trump is high, that alone is not enough to secure a general election victory

A recent, nationwide monitor poll of registered Black voters conducted by brilliant corners research and strategies for BlackPAC shows that while Black voters remain highly engaged, feel a deep sense of urgency, and are intensely opposed to Donald Trump, relying solely on dissatisfaction with Trump and congressional Republicans to mobilize this crucial voting bloc will not be enough. 

In the lead up to the South Carolina primary on February 29 and Super Tuesday on March 3, this survey illuminates Black voters’ top concerns and the qualities they are looking for in a presidential candidate.

“Black voters want a courageous moral leader who can unify the country,” said Adrianne Shropshire, BlackPAC executive director. “In addition to bold, progressive policies, Black voters are looking for a leader who will bring the nation together, meaningfully improve the economy, and defeat Trump. It’s clear that there is still a lot of work to do to demonstrate who can heal the nation and course correct our democracy.”

A strong majority (76 percent) of Black voters are dissatisfied with the nation’s direction. They harbor economic concerns as a plurality of voters (42 percent) feel the economy is getting worse for them. In contrast to this sense of anxiety, Black voters are paying close attention to the election and say nominating a Democratic candidate who can unify the country is a top priority (60 percent). 

“Democrats are in danger of repeating 2016 by failing to bring back together and unify key elements of the Obama coalition,” said Cornell Belcher, founder and president of brilliant corners research and strategies.

The following data show key lessons for candidates, campaigns and the progressive grassroots infrastructure.  

Key Takeaways from BlackPAC’s Findings

African Americans are exceedingly and historically dissatisfied with the country’s direction.

  • 76 percent of Black voters are dissatisfied with the country’s direction
  • Only 18 percent say they are getting ahead of the cost of living, while 38 percent say they are falling behind, and 40 percent say they are just keeping up with the cost of living

A plurality of African American voters think the economy is getting worse, countering the narrative of a historically great economy Trump is promoting.

  • 42 percent of African American voters believe the economy is getting worse, a plurality of voters
  • 35 percent of African American voters find it to remain the same
  • 38 percent of believe that they are falling behind economically

A majority of Black voters believe that not only is Trump a racist, but that Republicans in Congress are as well.

  • 77 percent of African American voters find Trump to be a racist
  • 61 percent of African American voters strongly or somewhat agree that the Republican Party is racist
  • -59 percent net job approval rating for Trump

There is some indication that Democrats are underperforming on a generic ballot, showing the need for the party to increase its engagement with segments of the Black electorate.

  • 70 percent of African American voters would vote for a generic Democrat running against Trump
  • 55 percent of voters are pleased with the current field of Democratic candidates
  • 12 percent of voters indicate that they would consider a 3rd party candidate at this time

Black voters associate positive values with Democrats, but believe the Democratic Party should do more for Black community.

  • While Black voters generally associate positive values, characteristics and qualities with the Democratic Party including having the right approach to the economy; having the right vision to move the country forward; will defend the constitution; and will fight for the interest of African Americans, there remains a sense among voters (54 percent) that the Democratic Party has not done enough for the African American community. 
  • A majority (62 percent) of Black voters approve of the job Democrats in Congress are doing

When asked about the most important qualities in a Democratic nominee, the majority of voters have a candidate who will unify the country as a top priority.

  • 60 percent of voters want a candidate who will unify the country
  • Voters indicate that they will use their votes to elect a candidate who can defeat Trump, improve the economy, clean up corruption, combat racism, and bring back hope.
  • 69 percent of voters believe that standing up for the Black community’s issues will help get a candidate elected.

Methodology

These findings are from a proprietary survey conducted by brilliant corners Research & Strategies on behalf of BlackPAC. This is a survey of 804 African American registered voters of at least 18 years old in the United States. The survey was conducted by phone, using professional interviewers starting on January 24, 2020 and ending on February 1, 2020. The survey’s sample was drawn randomly from voter file and geographically stratified for proportional representation. The margin of error is +/- 3.0 percent, with a 95 percent confidence interval. Notably, the margin of error for sub-groups will be higher depending on the size of the sub-group sample and the size of the actual response to any given question. 

ABOUT BLACKPAC:

BlackPAC is an independent, Black-led organization that uses the power of year-round political engagement and elections to change our economic, justice, and political systems. Since its founding in 2016, BlackPAC has helped galvanize Black voters to the polls to elect Governors, Lt. Governors, Attorneys General, US Senators, and State Legislators. We are committed to long-term, sustained engagement with Black voters by building lasting political infrastructure. We’re holding our public officials accountable to a policy agenda that defends our rights, promotes dignity, and ends white supremacy. Read more about BlackPAC’s impact here: https://blackpac.com/impact/

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