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Hillary stung by unexpected ‘supporters’

Hillary Clinton campaigns with Barack Obama in Charlotte, North Carolina, Tuesday, July 5, 2016 (Twitter)

Hillary Clinton campaigns with Barack Obama in Charlotte, North Carolina, Tuesday, July 5, 2016 (Twitter)

Black Americans did not come to the polls in 2016 at the same rate they did in 2012 or 2008, possibly contributing to Hillary Clinton’s defeat at the hands of Donald Trump.

The black voter turnout rate declined from 67 percent to 60 percent nationwide from 2012 to 2016, returning to pre-Obama levels, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies. Despite Trump’s strong rhetoric against illegal immigration, Hispanic turnout did not significantly increase or decrease nationwide.

While some had predicted a surge in white voter turnout, it never materialized, including among those without a college degree. Overall, white turnout crept up from 64 percent to 65 percent.

Meanwhile, in the six states that flipped from Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016 (Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin), turnout among both blacks and Hispanics declined significantly. The black turnout rate decreased from 64 percent to 58 percent, while the Hispanic turnout rate dropped from 59 percent to 52 percent.

As in the nation as a whole, white turnout did not significantly change in these six states from the previous election to the 2016 election.

Florida saw an especially sharp drop in Hispanic turnout, falling from 62 percent to 54 percent. Steven Camarota, the co-author of the CIS report, said Florida accounts for most of the Hispanic turnout decline in the states Trump flipped, because the other five states have small Hispanic populations while Florida’s electorate was 18 percent Hispanic in 2016.

Camarota, the director of research at CIS, said the decline in black turnout likely played the biggest role, among demographic factors, in Hillary Clinton’s election defeat. However, he cautioned against concluding the decline in Hispanic turnout made any difference outside of Florida.

“What really cost Hillary the election, based on the demographic analysis, was the decline in black turnout nationally and in key states, as well as the decline in Hispanic turnout in Florida and an uptick in white turnout in some places like Florida and Ohio,” Camarota told WND in an interview.

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Ohio, a state no Republican has ever won the presidency without capturing, experienced an especially steep drop in black turnout, falling from 73 percent to 65 percent. The white voter turnout rate in Ohio, meanwhile, increased more than in many other states, rising from 61.9 percent to 64.4 percent.

Although the Hispanic turnout rate remained virtually unchanged nationwide, Hispanics continued to increase their share of the electorate. In 2004, Hispanics made up 6 percent of the electorate, then 7 percent in 2008, 8 percent in 2012 and 9 percent in 2016. As a result, the number of Hispanics who voted continued to increase in 2016, even though their turnout rate ticked slightly down from 48 percent to 47.6 percent.

In contrast, the number of blacks who voted actually decreased, from 17.1 million to 16.4 million. This was in spite of the fact more blacks were eligible to vote in 2016 than in 2012.

Camarota said it’s easy to forget the Hispanic community is somewhat divided on the immigration issue, which might help explain why Hispanics did not turn out en masse to vote against Trump. He added that immigration is not as important to ordinary Hispanics as it is to Hispanic leaders, who have the loudest voices in the media.

Regarding black turnout, Camarota pointed out the rate simply fell back to roughly where it was in 2004, the last time the Democrats ran a white candidate. The black turnout rate was 60 percent in 2004, then jumped to 65 percent in 2008, when Obama ran on the Democratic ticket. It crept up to 67 percent in 2012 before falling back to 60 percent in 2016.

“What we saw was an unusually high black turnout rate when Obama ran, but without Obama, Hillary Clinton just didn’t excite them,” Camarota said.

CIS noted that due to prior immigration policies and low fertility, the white share of the national electorate has been declining for some time. However, it declined by only 0.4 points in 2016, dropping from 73.7 percent to 73.3 percent. In comparison, the white percentage of the national electorate had dropped 2.5 points from 2008 to 2012 and 2.9 percent from 2004 to 2008.

The CIS report attributes the difference to the slight increase in the share of eligible whites who voted and the large decline in black turnout.

CIS derived its data from the Voting and Registration Supplement of the Current Population Survey collected by the Census Bureau. The supplement reports who was eligible to vote, who was registered to vote and who actually voted. It does not, however, report who people voted for. Exit polls indicated 88 percent of blacks and 65 percent of Hispanics voted for Clinton, so the decline in turnout among those groups most likely cost Clinton much more than it cost Trump.

Meanwhile, Pew Research Center shed some light on the reasons people sat out the 2016 election. According to Pew, one-fourth of registered Hispanic voters who didn’t vote in 2016 said they didn’t like the candidates or campaign issues. Only 9 percent of Hispanic nonvoters cited that reason in 2012.

Similarly, 19 percent of blacks who didn’t vote in 2016 said they didn’t like the candidates or campaign issues, whereas only 3 percent gave that reason in 2012 after the Obama-Romney election. Another 19 percent of black nonvoters said they were not interested or believed their votes would not make a difference.

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