Blaming Black Voters for the Defeat of Hillary Clinton Is Not Justified

Ballot-boxEarly analysis of the November 8 election finds that the number of Black voters was down 11 percent from the 2012 presidential election, when for the first time in history Blacks were more likely to vote than Whites. Some political pundits have made the case that if Blacks had increased their turnout rates in states such as Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, and Wisconsin, Hillary Clinton would have won the election.

This may be true, but placing the blame on African American voters is not justified. Blacks did give 88 percent of their votes to Clinton. Far more damaging to the Clinton campaign than the lower Black voter turnout rate, was the failure of the Democratic candidate to gain the support of a greater share of the much larger voting block of White women and her very low performance among White men.

More than 90 million people eligible to cast ballots did not vote in the 2016 election. As a result, only one quarter of the eligible electorate supported the Trump candidacy. With voter apathy at historical levels, pinning the Democrats’ defeat on African Americans hardly seems fair.

There is good news for African Americans from the results of the 2016 election. In January, for the first time in history there will be 50 African Americans in the U.S. Congress. With the election of Kamala Harris in California, there will be three Black U.S. senators. Forty-seven African Americans will hold seats in the House of Representatives. New Black members of the House include Val Demings and Al Lawson in Florida, Dwight Evans in Pennsylvania, Lisa Blunt Rochester in Delaware, Anthony Brown in Maryland, and Donald McEachin in Virginia.

Comments (2)

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  1. Anto says:

    Who is blaming black voters? Why must the factual attribution of a lower black voter turn out be construed as blaming? Even you admit the lower black voter turn out to vote was a contributing factor. So yes, the lower black voter turnout was a contributing factor. Why does your article take on such a defensive posture? Within that reality is a positive and powerful statement: that getting out the black vote and empowering black voters should be a challenge to each and everyone of us. I am tired of our defensiveness in the face of factual evidence. I am tired of our offensive two-step backwards one-step forward posturing and blaming of the other when it is only us, the so-called “black community” who can make the changes necessary to move forward.


    It is unfair to blame African Americans for Hillary Clinton’s defeat. Blame should be directed elsewhere. African Americans have been consistently loyal Democrats; and have turned out in large numbers; and voted for President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama.

    President Bill Clinton had a compelling personal story which chimed with the American Dream. His slogan ‘I can feel your pain’ was genuine, especially, when combined with his bear hug. With these emotional push factors he got just enough white and black votes to win.

    President Barack Obama had a terrific personal story which resonated with Black, white, Latino, Indian and different social classes. His slogan – ‘I’m fired up! I’m ready to go’ was pumped up with energy which drove millions of people to the polls. President Obama won more white male and female voters in the states that Hillary lost than Bill Clinton. Jim Messina, President Obama’s 2012 Presidential campaign manager said in an interview, after his victory that it is President Obama, himself, which made the difference.

    Did Hillary Clinton have a compelling story?
    Did she connect emotionally with white voters?
    Was Hillary Clinton carrying too much electorally damaging baggage?

    The three debates between Trump and Clinton were the most vicious, brutal and destructive
    ever seen by millions of voters on TV. During these three debates, Trump trashed and savaged Hillary Clinton’s credibility and reputation, and the results of the presidential election showed that Trump’s attacks were successful. His slogan ‘Crooked Hillary’ stuck to her like magic glue and the content of his attacks, plus the emails placed doubts in voters minds. Democrats used 84 different slogans against Trump. None of them stuck to him. He was like the Teflon Kid.

    That’s my take on why Hillary lost.

    What’s yours?

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