With the 2018 and 2020 elections on the horizon, race and racism are becoming ever-larger issues among the most marginalized communities in America, making the Democratic coalition harder and harder to hold.
In 2018, black voters are finding out just what the hell they had to lose.
Nazis and Klansmen march openly and proudly, and hate crimes appear to be on the rise. Police killings of people—especially black people—remain largely the same year to year, and this iteration of the Justice Department has largely abdicated any federal responsibility in reducing brutality. An infant-mortality crisis is tightening its grip on the most marginalized communities, and across many economic metrics—from evictions to generational wealth, to segregation—disparities are either stagnating or trending in the wrong direction. Fifty years after the Kerner Commission’s report said the country was “moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal,” the prophecy has been all but fully realized.
As Americans head to the polls in primaries this year and prepare to do their civic duties this fall and in the fall of 2020, the 50 years of backlash against civil rights that helped fulfill that prediction might either be ratified or repudiated. Yet, in the middle of a nationwide conversation of diner visits and coal-miner profiles in service of understanding people who voted for President Trump and this regime, there’s been remarkably little analysis of the demographic that voted against him almost entirely. What drives and motivates black citizens to vote, and is simply being anti-Trump enough to get them out this fall?
A new poll due to be released by the independent political organization BlackPAC sheds light on the motivations of black voters. Conducted by former Obama and DNC pollster and strategist Cornell Belcher and his firm, Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies, the poll of 1,000 black voters in the battleground states of Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, North Carolina, Illinois, and Florida aims to “examine the factors essential to a Democratic wave in the 2018 elections,” according to a memo from BlackPAC. But it accomplishes much more than that, providing valuable insights on the role of race and racism of Trump’s presidency, and the partisan destiny of the country even beyond 2018.