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An effort to divide the Black voting bloc?

Melvin B. Miller

The Black voter turnout dropped in the 2016 presidential election to 59.6%. This was 7 points lower than the rate of 66.6% four years earlier in 2012. Analysts have concluded that this drop enabled Trump to win four years ago. Some have also concluded that the drop resulted from the loss of Black male voters who had been tricked by digital ads that caused them to lose support for Hillary Clinton.

Now, four years later, some analysts have asserted that the Black male turnout was once again deficient. One wonders how that fact can be established. The best way to determine the race and gender of voters is with exit polls. However, with 45% of the vote coming in by mail or drop boxes, exit polls might not be statistically reliable.

In 2016, political opinion polls were substantially unreliable. Their conclusions had Hillary a shoo-in. While polling was considerably improved in 2020 because most picked the right winner, the margins in some races were way off. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was supposed to get trounced and Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina was predicted to lose to a Democrat. Both of them won.

Blacks should be concerned about inaccurate evaluations that suggest a flaw in the solid Black vote that has become a significant element of the Democratic Party. It is strategically important for Blacks to maintain a political solidarity that is not impaired on the basis of gender.