Cornell Belcher, the CEO of Brilliant Corners Research, said that it’s no surprise that Black voters have presented a very clear mandate to the Congressional Black Caucus to oppose the Trump Administration, because 92 percent of African Americans voted against President Trump.
“However, to maintain this broad level of support among African American voters, Democrats more broadly will have to reevaluate the way they are engaging this critical section of [their] base,” Belcher said in a statement on February 9.
Belcher made a presentation and presented his new study to members of the Congressional Black Caucus at their retreat on February 7. House Democrats then departed to Baltimore for their annual three-day retreat the next day.
Belcher’s phone survey questioned 601 African Americans, at least 18 years-old, and registered to vote; the survey was conducted from January 4-8.
The results of the Belcher survey showed that African American voters were dissatisfied with President Trump and the direction of the country, and want more drastic tactics used to fight programs and policies that negatively impact their communities. The results also showed that protecting social security, reforming the criminal justice system, keeping the country safe from terrorists and other issues are priorities for African Americans.
“African Americans are the Democratic Party’s most loyal voters and they should be treated as such,” said Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), the chairman of the CBC, regarding the new study. “The results of this survey are clear marching orders for the Congressional Black Caucus — African Americans want Democrats to stop using the same old playbook and to make substantive progress on the issues that affect their communities.”
Here are some of the findings from Belcher’s study:
- A large majority of African American voters (63 percent) feel taken for granted by the Democratic Party. This startling majority represents a growing problem among one of the most critical components of Democrats winning coalition. The outcome of the 2016 election was widely the result of this coalition splintering away from the top of the ticket along the margins with younger and browner voters.
- The majority of African American voters (53 percent) want the Congressional Black Caucus to oppose President Trump. While 53 percent is not an overwhelming majority, it does represent an unusual decision for voters that normally prefer cooperation rather than obstruction from elected officials in Washington.
- African-American voters broadly support more drastic tactics to obstruct the Trump administration, including not confirming President Trump’s appointees (53 percent), sit-ins and other acts of civil disobedience.
- African-American voters are overwhelmingly dissatisfied (69 percent) with the direction of the country now, a drastic departure from the satisfaction they experienced during the Obama administration. Only 22 percent of African Americans are satisfied with direction of the country now, while 69 percent are dissatisfied.
- The list of important priorities for African American voters includes: Protecting Social Security (88 percent, very important), keeping us safe from terrorists (78 percent), criminal justice reform (74 percent), reforming the election process so the candidate with the majority wins (72 percent), investigating Russian interference with the 2016 election (72 percent), protecting Obama’s legacy (71 percent), banning assault weapons (61 percent), and blocking Sessions (60 percent) are the top legislative priorities for African Americans nationally.
Feature photo: Cornell Belcher, the CEO of Brilliant Corners Research, presented a new study on Black voters to members of the Congressional Black Caucus. This photo was taken during the National Urban League 3rd annual urban ideas forum. (Freddie Allen)
Lauren Victoria Burke, Contributor
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist who analyses politics and justice reform. She created Crewof42.com, a blog that covers the work of African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke has also been a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears weekly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin. She has also appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton and Up with Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. She is also a contributing writer for NBCNews.com and TheRoot.com
Ms. Burke has also authored three books of photography including two on President Obama’s 2008 campaign for the presidency and one with Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee.
Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University.