By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)
It’s widely believed that Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is a racist, according to results from the first-ever, national scientific study focused exclusively on voters who identify as African-American, Afro-Hispanic or another Black identity.
Respondents to the poll hit hard at the controversial New York businessman, who in recent weeks has tried to convince Blacks to vote for him, repeatedly using the widely-viewed offensive remark, “What have you got to lose?”
“Race was important and inequality came up as a separate issue in this poll,” said Lorenzo Morris, a professor in the Department of Political Science Howard University, who was among the principal investigators on the interdisciplinary Howard research team.
“To ask about race – and whether Donald Trump is a racist – seems to have been appropriate,” Morris said.
Researchers made more than 22,000 calls to Black registered voters. Among the 27 questions posed was, “Do you think Donald Trump is a racist?” An overwhelming 84 percent of the 900 individuals who responded said,” yes.”
The findings were based on the sample taken between October 21 and October 30.
The poll tackled issues that have largely been ignored by mainstream media during this election and during the presidential debates, including criminal justice reform, education, and jobs.
Interestingly, researchers with the National Black Voters Poll tracked the potential impact of FBI director James Comey’s announcement that his agency would be looking into new revelations related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
While the effect that announcement might have on the election remains to be seen, it was apparent that Black voters were not swayed.
“It did seem that the FBI’s release only strengthened Clinton’s supporters,” said Dr. Terri Adams-Fuller, the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University, who was also one of the principal investigators for the poll.
“Researchers found that [after the FBI’s announcement] favorable feelings toward Clinton rose and those toward Trump were cut in half,” Adams said.
The goal of the research, which found that 96 percent of respondents vowed that they would cast ballots in this year’s election, was to develop a profile of Black American voters in a year when race is believed to be a defining factor in the outcome of presidential and congressional campaigns, said Dr. Benjamin Chavis, president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, which aligned with Howard University to conduct the poll.
The research was conducted using social science survey methods at Howard University, a leading historically Black college and university (HBCU) in the United States.
Pollsters found a high degree of engagement by registered Black voters in the election and, based on their data, predict a high voter turnout among Black American voters who have expressed a strong preference for Clinton over Trump.
“A strong majority — 89 percent — said they will vote for Clinton, and two-thirds — 67 percent — said they strongly favor Clinton,” Chavis told the assembled media gathered at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday for the release of the poll’s results.
“A slightly higher percent – 74 percent – said they have ‘overall favorable feelings’ for Clinton, compared to two percent who said they had favorable feelings for Trump,” Chavis said.
Howard University and NNPA officials said a detailed report about findings of the poll will be released on Friday.