According to the American National Election Studies, more than 6 in 10 (62 percent) of black voters 50 and older identify strongly with the Democratic Party. But that number is only 41 percent for black voters younger than 35.
And polling data from BlackPAC, an independent organization focused on politically engaging black voters, revealed that though 83 percent of black baby boomers said they were “very likely” to vote in the 2018 midterm elections, 65 percent of black millennials said the same.
Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC, told The Fix that Pelosi’s response to the NFL ban on protests is part of the reason.
“There is a set of issues that are deeply personal, deeply significant in the lives of young black voters,” Shropshire said. “What they are expressing is they are not hearing urgency around those issues. They are not hearing the kind of policy solutions — long-term structural policy solutions — to the issues that they care about most. This is a good example of that. This is obviously not just about football. It is about a demonstration, a protest against police violence and police misconduct.”
Democrats can change the perception that black millennials have of them before this fall’s general election, Shropshire said.
“Democrats need to develop a message that incorporates the critical economic security issues along with a message that acknowledges the impact of the rise in racism in the country on younger voters and have actual solutions on how they plan to deal with that,” she said. “But any message that fails to incorporate those two things will land on deaf ears.”