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Is Trump really winning over black voters as claimed?

Is Trump really winning over black voters as claimed?

That narrative has scant polling basis.

A recent Politico article talks about how Trump might defeat Clinton. The article’s lede focuses on potential support among black voters:

If Donald Trump becomes the next president of the United States, there will be plenty of surprises along the way. One of the biggest will be the help he gets from black voters.

According to Republican pollsters and Trump’s allies, the GOP poll-leader — who has been dogged by accusations of racism, most recently for tweeting out a chart that exaggerated the share of murders committed by blacks — is poised to out-perform with this demographic group in a general-election matchup with Hillary Clinton.

However, although it quotes pollsters, the article doesn’t link to any actual polls that show Trump’s support from black voters. Nor do those pollsters mention any poll numbers that would support the contention that black voters support Trump.

Instead, the article says that Frank Luntz has talked to some black people who say they voted for Obama and that they would consider voting for Trump this time. But it is mum on any sort of quantification: what percentage of former Obama voters might feel that way, for example, and/or how many of them also said they would consider voting for the other Republicans. Was that question even asked?

There are not actually very many polls that attempt to measure the amount of Democratic and/or black support for the various GOP candidates, but there are a few. When I studied the numbers from one of those polls recently, this is what I found:

If you look closely at questions 22-25 in that poll, which was taken January 4-7…you will see that Trump does slightly worse against Hillary among Democrats and among black voters than the other leading GOP candidates do…and these are typical of results I’ve seen in earlier polls.

Against Hillary, Cruz gets 5% of the black vote, but Rubio gets 9% of the black vote…Bush gets 6% of the black vote against her. And Trump? 4% of the black vote. Again—except perhaps for Rubio—they all are very similar, but Trump does slightly worse.

Unlike that poll from the first week of January, the most recent nationwide poll available for the general election lacks a breakdown that measures black support for each GOP candidate. But it does have head-to-head numbers for the GOP lead candidates against Clinton (questions 33-35). I’ve listed the Clinton figure first in each case:

Clinton/Trump 51/41
Clinton/Rubio 47/46
Clinton/Cruz 49/45

This is consistent with every national poll I’ve seen during the last few months. Sometimes all the Republicans win in a certain poll, sometimes they all lose (except Rubio, who consistently beats Clinton), and sometimes it is mixed. But Trump virtually always does the worst of the leading Republican candidates against Clinton, and also against Sanders (see this, for example).

So, how to square this with the oft-repeated claim that Trump does well with black voters?

Aside from anecdotal evidence of black voters here and there who have declared support for him, there are polls such as this one from late December, conducted by Clout Research and reported in World Net Daily with the headline: “Minorities line up behind…Donald Trump: new poll shows billionaire solidifying support.” First of all, it’s easy to miss if you read the article quickly, but the poll concerns the Republican primary rather than the general election. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

…[A] new poll, which still has Trump leading the race, shows 40 percent of blacks are lining up behind Trump, as are 45 percent of Hispanics, and even nearly 19 percent of Asians.

Blacks and Hispanics, in fact, even support Trump at a higher level than whites.

The results are from a new WND/Clout poll by Clout Research, a national opinion research firm in Columbus, Ohio. The telephone survey of registered voters was taken Dec. 18-27.

The poll was reported by many writers (this one, for example, who doesn’t mention—and may not even perceive—that the poll refers to the primaries rather than the general). The poll questioned 365 Republicans about which candidate they would support in the GOP primary, and there was a smattering of Democrats (19) and Independents (61) as well. Among all the respondents there were 10 black voters, and the breakdown among them was as follows: 5 for Carson, 4 for Trump, and 1 for Cruz.

That’s how Trump got his “40% of black voters” in the poll—it was actually 40% of the 10 black voters asked who they would vote for in the Republican primary. You don’t have to be a pollster to recognize that this is a meaningless figure because the number of black voters polled was so very low.

The only poll I’ve been able to locate so far that shows Trump pulling a significant percentage of black voters in a general election is this rather curious one from September 6 (which was an awfully long time ago). I call it “curious” for several reasons.

It was conducted by SurveyUSA, which uses automated questions and touch-tone responses rather than live interviews. It never revealed the number of each group within the sample (at least, I could find nothing about it), so we have no way of knowing how many black voters were actually surveyed—and as you could see from the Clout survey I just described, this can be important. And SurveyUSA only asked about a general election between Trump and each Democrat, so there was no way to compare his results with those of the other GOP candidates, because there were no such results. Without all this information, the poll tells us little or nothing about other Republican candidates and their share of the black voters in a head-to-head general election—only Trump, who is reported to draw 25% of the black vote.

This sort of figure is such an extreme outlier—no other poll has found anything remotely like that figure—and the poll’s methodology, and lack of questions about any GOP candidates other than Trump, was unusual enough that, even if the poll were current (which it is not) it would be hard to fathom its meaning. And yet I suspect that some of the claims of black support are based on this poll and the Clout poll (with the four black Trump voters), because I could find no other polls indicating anything about the black vote that would cheer the Trump camp at all.

When the SurveyUSA poll was published, there were a number of articles such as this one that appeared in The Daily Beast. It stated:

Last week, Survey USA released an eye-catching poll showing how Donald Trump would fare in head-to-head matchups against potential Democratic nominees Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Al Gore. The most shocking result was not that he beat all four of the candidates. What made everyone’s jaw hit the floor is that he received more than 20 percent support among African-American voters in every matchup.

However, the article not only neglected to mention any of the odd things about the poll’s methodology, but the writer added, “…why isn’t Ben Carson, the only African-American presidential candidate—who according to a recent Monmouth poll is tied with Trump in Iowa with 23 percent, receiving a similar level of support among African-American voters?”

Why, indeed. Well, actually, that’s an easy one to answer, since the pollsters never asked respondents about a Carson/Clinton matchup, or anything about Carson at all—nor about any other GOP candidate except for Trump. So it would be impossible to know about their black support as measured by this poll, and to compare it to Trump’s.

All we really seem to know so far (other than anecdotal evidence) about the black vote and the Republican candidates, including Trump, is that more conventional polling has consistently indicated a small percentage of black support for all of them in a general election, with Rubio polling best with this demographic at about 9% in the latest poll that bothered to measure it.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]

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Comments

“Is Trump really winning over black voters as claimed?”

No. Why would he be?

Next question.

    Though I am not, as yet, a supporter for a candidate personally, I also see scant polling to indicate exactly who is taking what percentage share of the black demo or hispanic demo.

    Why is that? Good question. Likely there are campaign insider polls being done but the lack of released poll results is interesting.

    What percentage of democrat voters are jumping ship?

    Who knows… and why is that fuzzy?

    If the poll numbers were favorable to Hillary and unfavorable to GOP candidates, one would expect that data to be marching around in the media.

    All I can say is no news is bad news for the Democrats/Hillary and good news for one or more GOP candidates.

DINORightMarie | January 23, 2016 at 7:58 pm

There are also lots of things swirling around (yes, I get the inference) about Trump paying people to attend his events, to troll, and to in general create a buzz that is all hype.

It would be great if anyone can determine if there is any merit to that buzz, along with the hype about all these demographic groups going for Trump, like women, Latinos, blacks, independents….etc.

All I see, hear, and read coming the progressive-left is dislike that ranges from mere disdain to downright hate; and from establishment and tea partiers I get that both groups disgusted and distrustful for him – for different reasons, but the same reaction. Independents….they vary, depending on the poll.

Are all these Trumpsters just Ron Paul-ites who are now glomming onto this guy because he’s the closest thing to Dr. Ron they can get? (Rand has proven to be a dud at capturing Daddy’s “fans.”)

So, where are all these die-hard Trumpsters coming from? Is it real at all, or just hype? Depending on the polls, and pollsters, the data points vary wildly……

Answers needed; real people with real, and rational explanations would be a good start.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | January 23, 2016 at 8:07 pm

National Black Republican Association endorsed Trump apparently.
Don’t know how many people that is, but it may compare favorably to endorsements received by other Repub candidates.

who cares who those racists vote for ?

I’m going to press for an answer to my question above.

WHY would black voters support Duh Donald?

C’mon Trump suckers. Step up. Some of you idiots have been crowing about this without a shred of proof, so now here’s your chance to illuminate…!!!

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to Ragspierre. | January 24, 2016 at 12:45 am

    I’m not a Trump guy, but my expectation is that support would come because
    A) many blacks hurt by illegals, get shut out of jobs, esp kids trying to get a start. the kids won’t vote for Trump but the parents might
    B) due to celebrity (easier to support a celeb than a career politician, fewer accusations of being a race traitor)

    How are Ted, Rubio, Chriistie, et al, doing in terms of polls and endorsements? About the same? Better? Worse?

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Ragspierre. | January 24, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Rags, a whole lot of black people view Trump with extreme favorability. He is what they aspire to be. Maybe you can’t see that cuz you’re a white boy (yeah, I’m going there) who dislikes Trump and thinks he’s got nothing to offer. To black people around the world, not just in America, to Asians, also, Trump is a big deal. He’s what success is about. You may not have read his books cuz you are a know it all white boy scoffing at Trump. Well, lots of blacks and Asians have read Trump’s books, especially the Art of the Deal, and they aspire to be Trump.

    For them, the Art of the Deal is a how-to manual to success. I have a young African friend whom I call Mr, Trump Junior because Trump is to him what Nicklaus is to Tiger Woods. I also have a young Chinese friend who also thinks Trump is top o’ the trees. And they are not alone.

    What you don’t get, Rags, cuz you’re a white pajama boy pounding out insults to everyone on this board who disagrees with you so I’m handing some back to you, is that via The Apprentice, Trump has built up a huge reservoir of goodwill amongst people of all races. You look at him and see a blowhard reality show personality. They look at him and see a fair and just man who makes merit-based decisions. They see a man who wants them to succeed like nobody else has.

    So, Rags, park it up cuz you danged sure don’t know what the hell you’re talking about though you will continue blabbering on. And, I won’t respond to any further comment of yours on this because, from what I see of your “exchanges” with others, the fine art of debate is wasted on you.

    Folks, I’m not mad, just calling it as it is.

He doesn’t need the black vote. But, he absolutely needs black people to not turn out against him the way they did for Romney.

Endorsements from figures like Louis Farrakhan, 50 cent, Snoop Dogg, and Stacy Dash can’t hurt. He got the national black republican endorsement.

And his secret weapon is going to be campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson. She’s awesome.

I agree with rotten.

Meanwhile, the “nattering nabobs of negativism” have handed Trump the election, according to Doug Ibendahl.

    NR did what needed to be done to open some eyes about the empty promises from a non-conservative narcissist. True conservatives will read and research the progressive tendencies of this Caesarist. We certainly do not need another Democrat in the White House and I mean T-rump, as Rags calls him.

    The rest of you fools will rush headlong into the sea like all good lemmings do.

      janitor in reply to gad-fly. | January 24, 2016 at 8:22 am

      You have no basis upon which to say “empty” promises or call Trump a narcissist. Unbelievable how people just repeat drivel…

        Ragspierre in reply to janitor. | January 24, 2016 at 8:59 am

        Ah, the blind faith of the enthralled cultist. So trusting, so slavish.

        But really disgusting in someone who is supposed to be a thinking member of a republic.

        Oh, well…

After this clown stunt with Beck, it may not make any difference. Associating himself with weepy crazy Beck and on top of it blowing the Oath of Office stunt may have done what even RabidPierre’s filthy trolling could not — driven away a chunk of Cruz supporters at a critical time.
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/23/glenn-beck-administers-presidential-oath-of-office-to-ted-cruz-in-iowa/

Beck endorsing Cruz didn’t bother me at all, but he should have kept him at arms length. I used to listen to Beck during commutes. He’s often witty, funny, and occasionally insightful. He’s also borderline loonytoons. Talk about the black vote, Beck said Dr. Ben Carson was a “lunatic” for saying homosexuality was a choice.
http://buzz.eewmagazine.com/eew-magazine-buzz-blog/2015/3/10/glenn-beck-calls-brilliant-brain-surgeon-ben-carson-a-lunati.html

    Ragspierre in reply to DaMav. | January 24, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Oh, and that Trumbart headline isn’t just deceptive, it’s an outright lie, as the body of the snarky story shows.

    Beck’s point is that the office of President is not about “getting things done”. That is, in fact, a Progressive ideal.

    The POTUS has but one overarching duty, and that’s to the Constitution. Which T-rump neither understands or has any apparent affinity for.

    That was the TRUE story.

      Do you really think tying himself closely to Beck is a wise move for Cruz?

        Ragspierre in reply to DaMav. | January 24, 2016 at 12:33 pm

        1. do you really think that’s what he’s really doing? Really?

        2. dunno. I don’t follow Beck much. He’s been a force before now, but I can’t say.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Ragspierre. | January 24, 2016 at 1:50 pm

          Hooking with Beck is a bad idea overall, but good within Iowa. Beck has a huge radio audience, but is particularly strong with evangelicals, very important in Iowa. Evangelicals respect a devout Mormon over a casual church-only-on-Christmas-and-Easter candidate every day of the week.

          In the big picture, Beck becomes more of a liability. He’s a self-absorbed would-be prophet, constantly predicting end-of-the-world scenarios, too many to keep track of. He also uses the time-honored tricks of huckster psychics – he frequently points out times a prediction of his has proved out, however obliquely, but never points out the 99% of the times when they do not, the further trick being the claim that, well, those haven’t come true *yet*, meaning, of course, he has the rest of time immortal to claim a win. He does a lot of false whispery weeping about his predicted armeggedons – and then will segue in cheery voice to a commercial ad. To me he reeks of narcissistic would-be saviorism.

          As for polling, when Gallup – the historical king of polling – quits doing polls, citing the near impossibility of attaining accuracy, and when polling consistently errs in predicting winners, it is wise to take them with a grain of salt. Rick-freaking-Santorum won the 2012 Iowa primary, which no one saw coming.

          I’m gonna bust a nut laughing if neither Trump nor Cruz wins in Iowa.

          Beck’s stated choice after Cruz is Bernie Sanders. No, really.

          Hawkins has a decent point on Iowa specifically, but as he also implies, long term Beck is not likely to be an asset to Cruz.

The polls indicate Trump will secure the nomination in an historic fashion. The NR just added the rocket fuel the campaign needed. Just square that circle in your mind.

See, what’s interesting is that a thread following a very well written and researched piece PRETTY WELL showing that the whole “T-rump will bring in the black vote like nobody’s seen in decades” trope is just more fan boi flatulence…

is now being diverted to an attack on Glenn Beck, ALONG WITH trying to associate Beck and racism via an obscure allusion to Dr. Carson and a difference of opinion between the two.

BUT NO DEFENSE OF THE CLAIMS THAT T-RUMP HAS ANY UNUSAL SUPPORT FROM BLACKS BY THE PEOPLE WHO’VE BEEN CARRYING THAT WATER FOR MONTHS.

I find that interesting.

No need to analyze the data anymore. Trump is pulling away from the field. He’s up 11 in the latest Fox News Iowa poll. That’s the 3rd straight poll in Iowa that shows Trump with a double digit lead. Cruz is in big trouble in Iowa.

“So, where are all these die-hard Trumpsters coming from? Is it real at all, or just hype?”

They’ve been there all along. In fact, they come from a tradition, Taft Republicanism, that is much older and more grounded in this nation’s history than is that which passes for conservatism today by outlets like NR.

If you need an explanation, start with Limbaugh here referencing an excellent and 100% correct piece by Sam Francis years ago. http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2016/01/20/understanding_trump_s_appeal

If Francis’ explanation isn’t enough you could try this, by Professor Clyde Wilson http://www.amazon.com/From-Union-Empire-Jeffersonian-Tradition/dp/0962384216. Wilson’s work is a series of essays reaching back to the 70s which more than adequately grounds the Trump phenomenon in this nation’s past.

If Wilson’s writings aren’t enough for you, I suggest you read Jefferson’s writings more closely.

In other words, contra the bogus Jaffe & Hillsdale formulations of America as a ‘propositional nation’ it is most definitely not that. It is a nation of people with the same interest in maintaining its cultural profile as Italy or any other nation. Trump understands this. Conservatism Inc., as represented by NR and the establishment, does not. That’s your answer.

    Ragspierre in reply to Curle. | January 24, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Oh….

    OK.

    So the United States is NOT a nation apart from all others vis the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

    We’re just Italy. Or France. Or maybe Haiti.

    Got it….

      “So the United States is NOT a nation apart from all others vis the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.”

      “We’re just Italy. Or France. Or maybe Haiti.”

      Absolutely correct, except that we are a country created by Americans for THEIR posterity, e.g., AMERICANS as opposed to Italians, French or Haitians. America has no grand liberationist purpose of any kind be it bringing democracy to the world or any other grand objective. That is just romanticized twaddle to get the easily led on board with ruling class schemes and gambits.

      Here’s the founders saying it in their own words. Not a peep about propositions:

      “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

      Note ‘domestic tranquility’ an objective multiculturalism operates to undermine. Note ‘common defense’ as opposed to selling democracy to the world or any other grand scheme. Note ‘secure the Blessings of Liberty TO OURSELVES and OUR POSTERITY. Nothing about bringing squat to the rest of the world. Harry Jaffe was the biggest BS artist of the modern era and ‘propositional nation’ the biggest con.

      Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | January 24, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      AWWWWwwwwwwlll righty, then…

      You’re our Ronulin libertarian hold out coming out of the jungle to fight WW II.

      Got it, crazy… I thought I recognized that bad smell.

        “You’re our Ronulin libertarian hold out . . .”

        Libertarians are for open borders, paleo-conservatives are vehemently opposed. Paleo-conservatives are also opposed to attempts to re-cast the American founding as some sort of messianic world changing event (complete fiction by the way) as opposed to what it really was, a colonial people (for 160 years by that point) coming together to recognize their own national identity and form a Republic that would serve their needs and those of their posterity (just as they said in the constitution). The stuff about needing to save the world was invented in the mid-twentieth century to justify overseas expansion and, more importantly, to allow the state to serve the interests of the growing business class. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the business class, but one shouldn’t fictionalize a past that imagines the Republic’s first and foremost purpose is to water down the domestic interests of the American people in favor of some international business agenda or the desire for cheap labor. The United States and the Chamber of Commerce are not one in the same. The founders understood this, why can’t you?

        Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2016 at 9:11 am

        Anybody who reads the Declaration knows your are completely full of shit WRT the nation NOT being “propositional”.

        The Constitution was the SECOND experiment…and that’s what it WAS…at putting those propositions into a form that would allow a practical, limited CENTRAL government.

        From the FOUNDING, America…before there WAS a United States…and even BEFORE that, the whole of our national experience has been propositional.

        And we are NOT the moral equal of Italy, Russia, or even Great Britain. We started out being something else…NOT Europe, as I’ve often said…and often quite self-consciously. Again, propositional.

        And, buckwheat, you should not entertain the conceit you know much of anything I don’t know.

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