At a recent press briefing, the NAACP, Latino Decisions, and pollsters at Silas Lee and Associates presented information from their exclusive polling data during the Nov. 6th Presidential election. The findings pointed out the significant — and underreported — role that African-Americans played in Barack Obama being elected to a second term.
“This data underscores the decisive role [African-Americans] played in key battleground states,” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President & CEO of the NAACP. “It reveals opportunities for the GOP to improve its relationship with our community, and suggests the Democratic Party should not assume it will see the 2008 and 2012 levels of Black turnout in 2016.”
The NAACP battleground poll interviewed 1,600 African American voters who have already voted, or were certain to vote in the November 6, 2012 presidential election. Interviews were conducted via telephone with live callers from November 1-5, 2012. For the 4 individual states (Ohio, Virginia, Florida and Georgia), a minimum of 400 interviews were completed to provide state-specific reliable estimates, and each state is weighted to reflect the known Census demographics for African American voters.
The combined four state sample carries an overall margin of error of 2.5%, while each individual state carries a margin of error of 4.9%. Interviewing was administered and overseen by Pacific Market Research.
Among the highlights and recommendations from the data were these points:
Issues important to African Americans must remain on the agenda for 2016.
Currently, 93% of respondents remain enthusiastic about President Barack Obama and his administration. Seventy-nine percent of respondents are “very enthusiastic.”
However when President Barack Obama is no longer running in 2016, only 47% of respondents were “very enthusiastic” for a Democrat candidacy and 15% say they do not know how enthusiastic they will be.
National jobs program is essential to winning the African American vote.
Jobs and the Economy top off the list of most important issues by a wide margin, with 60% of African American voters identifying this, unprompted, as the most important issue. In addition, 95% of all respondents believe the federal government should be engaging in job creation opportunities for all Americans. While respondents overwhelmingly believe that success is determined by self-reliance, they see a very strong and important role for the federal government.
African Americans believe strongly in self-reliance to achieve success.
Eighty-One percent of respondents believe that success in this country depends on self-reliance and determination, while only 14% disagree. Respondents, however, believe that the federal government has a role to play in key areas, including education (95%), health care (96%), and job creation (96%).
Africans Americans support marriage equality and DREAM Act.
A full 93% of respondents favor the Dream Act, which would provide an opportunity for undocumented youth to seek US citizenship (71% strongly, 21% somewhat). In national polling, only Latinos come close to this level of support.
Republican party could gain more than 10% of African American voters in 2016.
Fourteen percent of African Americans said they are more likely to vote for a Republican in the future if the candidate has civil rights issues on their agenda. In Virginia and Ohio (15% and 13%) respondents said the same.
The data also found majority support for marriage equality for gays and lesbians. When asked about a constitutional right to marry, African American voters favor this 50%, and only 40% opposed.
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