Updated: Nov 19, 2020
ISSUES FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTERS
Washington, DC—Today, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Vera Institute of Justice (Vera), and the African American Research Collaborative (AARC) released findings illustrating the vote choices and motivations of African American voters. The findings, which are based on data from the 2020 American Election Eve Poll completed by the African American Research Collaborative, Latino Decisions, and Asian American Decisions, set the record straight about Black Americans’ commitment to the Democratic Party and its candidates, dispelling the recently circulated notion that Black voters—and Black men in particular—support Donald Trump or the GOP.
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According to the poll, nearly nine out of ten African American voters supported Joe Biden. More than half of African American voters said the Coronavirus pandemic is the most important issue their community that politicians should address followed by discrimination and racial justice.
Opinion polling has consistently shown that mitigating the damage wrought by COVID-19 is the major issue of the 2020 election. This holds true regardless of race, but Black Americans continue to be disproportionately harmed by the pandemic, which influenced how and why they voted. In addition to it being a major issue, the pandemic is the lens through which voters understand and make sense of other important issues, such as health care, the economy, racial justice, and police brutality.
“The NAACP has spent the past 100 years mobilizing black people across the country to get out the vote,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP. “But this movement started long before: throughout the history of the United States, Black people have always led the charge to make this country live up to its ideals of fairness and equality. We have seen that in this poll and will continue to witness the trajectory of this country change for the better with the support of Black Americans.”
The poll proves that people of color, and Black Americans in particular, are a critical voting bloc that is often overlooked. The current conversation about young voters changing America is incomplete without emphasizing the fact the change is being driven by young voters of color. The data clearly shows young white voters are not particularly more progressive than older white voters. White Americans under age 40 vote for Trump at 55 percent—two points higher than whites older than 60. More than eight out of ten young Black Americans voted for Biden, which suggests their strong support for and commitment to ensuring the country delivers better health coverage, equitable economic opportunity, and comprehensive criminal justice reform.