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Black voters aren't happy with President Trump or Democrats
Poll reveals misgivings on both sides of aisle
Published Saturday, February 11, 2017 10:23 am
by Herbert L. White

African American voters feel taken advantage of by Democrats and nervous about President Donald Trump’s leadership, according to a national poll conducted for the Congressional Black Caucus.

Black lawmakers discussed the results last week at their retreat in Washington as a guide for the 115th Congress. The results showed African Americans’ dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party, Trump and want more far-reaching programs and policies to improve their communities.

“African Americans are the Democratic Party’s most loyal voters and they should be treated as such,” CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) said. “The results of this survey are clear marching orders for the Congressional Black Caucus – African Americans want Democrats to stop using the same old playbook and to make substantive progress on the issues that affect their communities.”

Black voters, a bedrock constituent of the Democratic Party, are disenchanted, with 63 percent saying they feel taken advantage of. That discontent played out in the 2016 presidential election when African American turnout fell back to 2004 levels – the last cycle before former president Barack Obama’s historic campaign. As a result, the so-called “Obama Coalition” of people of color, young adults and white liberals splintered. African Americans’ perception that Democrats aren’t working to earn their support could pose an issue going into the 2018 mid-term elections.  

A majority of African Americans – 53 percent – want the CBC to oppose Trump. Black voters are open to obstructionist tactics, such as not confirming Trump’s appointees (53 percent) and acts of disobedience. They are also more willing to call for impeachment, with 57 percent saying it’s very important and 62 percent responding it’s important.

“It is no surprise that African American voters have presented a very clear mandate to the Congressional Black Caucus to oppose the Trump administration since 92 percent of African Americans voted against President Trump,” said Cornell Belcher, CEO of Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies, which conducted the survey. “However, to maintain this broad level of support among African American voters, Democrats more broadly will have to reevaluate the way they are engaging this critical section of its base.”

Among other survey findings:

• 69 percent of respondents are dissatisfied with the country’s direction. Only 22 percent  are satisfied, compared to 68 percent last March.

•  The shift in satisfaction is directly associated with Trump’s election. When asked the reason for their dissatisfaction, 42 percent of respondents cited the president. Blacks were most concerned Trump would increase the prospects of war (40 percent), open the door to more racism (28 percent) and undermine Obama’s legacy (21 percent).

• Maintaining Social Security (88 percent very important), dealing with terrorism (78 percent) and criminal justice reform (74 percent) are black voters’ top legislative priorities. Further down the list were elections reform (72 percent), protecting Obama’s legacy (71 percent) and banning assault weapons (61 percent).

The phone survey was conducted January 4-8. The poll sample of 601 registered African American voters across the U.S. was drawn randomly and has a margin of error of 4 points.


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