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If Historic Trends Hold, Democrats Could See Black Voter Turnout Drop 30 percent in 2018

November 27, 2017

In his article today, Voting at black colleges has tumbled. Can Dems fix the apathy in time for 2018?,  Tony Pugh for McClatchy quoted our recent report with the progressive firm Lake Research Partners:

Once prized fighters in the battle for voting rights, students at America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities dropped their guard in the 2016 elections.

Voter turnout among the estimated 300,000 students at HBCUs fell nearly 11 percent from 2012 to 2016, according to a national survey by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University. The decline, while consistent with a fall off among black voters of all ages in 2016, was a sharp departure …

Certainly, the lower turnout reflected the absence of President Barack Obama from the Democratic ticket in 2016, a lack of enthusiasm for the new standard bearer, Hillary Clinton, and a weakening of the longtime allegiance between the party and African American youth. But the worst may be yet to come.

If historic trends hold, Democrats could see black voter turnout drop 30 percent in 2018, resulting in 5.2 million fewer African American voters, according to a report by the non-partisan Voter Participation Center and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake.

Turnout among millennials, ages 18 to 34, could fall 35 percent next year, for a loss of 25.4 million voters, the report found.

Declines of this magnitude among overlapping groups who largely support Democrats could dash the party’s hopes of re-taking Congress in next year’s mid-term elections when turnout typically falters and Republicans usually vote in higher numbers.

“It’s a big warning” for Democrats, said Lake. “It’s a big wake-up call. I think people have no idea the volume we’re talking about.”


Read the full article here.


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