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A Look at How Black Voters Affected the Election Results

blackvoteEven a solid turnout of Black voters for the midterm elections couldn’t help the Democrats keep control of the Senate.

Based on the pre-election forecasts, it was going to be a long shot for the Democratic candidates anyway.

Andra Gillespie, associate professor of Political Science at Emory University, associate professor of Political Science at Emory University, said African Americans came out to support Democratic candidates in predictable numbers.

“The Democratic candidates were getting 85 or more percent of the African-American vote, so African-Americans did turn out to vote for Democratic candidates in ways that they are used to,” said Gillespie, associate professor of Political Science at Emory University, who wrote a report before the election on Black turnout with Tyson King-Meadows, an associate professor of Political Science at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

“Our path in that paper was to identify whether or not it was a numerical possibility for Democrats to win with strong African-American support,” said Gillespie. “Just because it’s numerically possible, doesn’t mean it’s plausible.”

Nearly every candidate that had a majority of African-American support lost. CNN’s exit polls showed that the states with the highest percentage of African-American voters were Louisiana and Mississippi (30 percent). In Louisiana, 94 percent of Blacks voted for the incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. who will be in a runoff election because she fell short of 50 percent of the vote.

Despite having 92 percent of the Black vote in Mississippi, Democratic Senate candidate Travis Childers still lost to the incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.

In Georgia, Michelle Nunn, D-Ga., had 92 percent of the Black vote and still lost to David Perdue.

The only state where the choice of the majority of Black voters won a seat in the Senate was in Michigan, where 19 percent of Michigan voters were Black and 90 percent of them voted for Rep. Gary Peters.

President Obama’s uphill battle for his last two years just became increasingly difficult as the Republican Party gained control of the Senate last night.  The Republicans now hold 52 of the 100 seats in the senate. They took Colorado and Iowa back from the Democrats, along with victories in Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas, West Virginia and North Carolina—states that were previously held by the Democrats. They held on to their seats in Georgia and Kansas, which were vulnerable to upsets.

The Republican party still struggles to connect with Black voters. But it was the white voters who were predicted to vote for Democrats but didn’t that gave Republicans the extra push they needed to dominate the midterm elections.

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