Black Voters Were Key to Reelection of the District Attorney Who Is Prosecuting Three White Students at Duke University for the Rape of a Black Woman

Mike Nifong won reelection as district attorney in Durham, North Carolina, despite the fact that a majority of voters preferred other candidates. Nifong has been severely criticized for his prosecution of three white Duke University students who he alleges raped a black woman from North Carolina Central University at a party held by the Duke lacrosse team. The woman had come to the party to perform as an exotic dancer. Despite the fact that no DNA evidence was found linking the three white students to the crime and that there was some conflicting testimony by the black student’s companion, the prosecution has proceeded.

Nifong won 80 percent of the vote in the city’s 13 predominantly black voting precincts. The 12 precincts in which Nifong received less than 35 percent of the total vote were all predominantly white.

The precinct in which many Duke students and faculty reside cast a majority of its votes for Nifong. At the precinct closest to the North Carolina Central University campus, 96 percent of the vote went to Nifong.