By Freddie Allen (Managing Editor, NNPA Newswire)
In a historic effort to measure the pulse of African American voters, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) partnered with Howard University to conduct the first scientific poll of the Black community during the 2016 election cycle.
“The NNPA was pleased to join with one of the nation’s leading historically Black colleges and universities, Howard University in Washington, D.C., to conduct, analyze, and present timely and strategic findings that pertain to the political, economic and social interests of Black Americans across the United States,” said Benjamin Chavis, the president and CEO of the NNPA.
The NNPA represents more than 200 Black-owned media companies that reach an estimated 20 million readers every week.
The 2016 Howard University/NNPA National Black Voters Poll covered a range of issues including racial inequality, criminal justice system, jobs and the economy, global trade, terrorism, education, immigration and environmental pollution.
Rubin Patterson, the chairman of the Department of Sociology and Criminology, said that the Black Voter Poll is of huge importance, not only because it is a collaborative product of two major Black institutions — Howard University and the National Newspaper Publishers Association — but also because it is the first scientific poll of the Black community concerning the 2016 election season.
“As a result of this poll, candidates and those who will be successful in occupying the White House and controlling Congress will know the prioritized issues and nuanced concerns of the complex Black community,” said Rubin Patterson, the chairman of the Department of Sociology and Criminology. “We hope that these findings will shape their policy and legislative agendas starting next year.”
Howard University faculty and students from multiple departments were represented including Economics, Political Science, Sociology, and Communications, Culture, and Media Studies.
“This multi-disciplinary team has drawn on its expertise to develop a comprehensive polling instrument designed to assess the opinions of Black Americans on the presidential candidates and other important issues facing the Black community and the nation,” said Terri Adams-Fuller, the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University.
William E. Spriggs, the chief economist at the AFL-CIO and an economics professor at Howard University, said that the national poll will let people see the motivation of registered Black voters to vote and the motivations behind their choice of candidates.
“Instead of hidden behind a mask of race as motivation, this survey will show how income, education, success in the job market, all act to motivate the Black vote,” said Spriggs.
Denise Rolark Barnes, the chairwoman of the NNPA, said that African Americans have a huge stake in this election and mainstream polls have often ignored their issues.
“This joint effort between Howard University and the NNPA shows just how much we care what African Americans think about the issues that will influence their voting choices on November 8,” said Rolark Barnes.
Rolark Barnes continued: “The Howard University faculty and students are to be commended for leading this historic and noteworthy effort. Their findings will show that Black voters will make a difference in the outcomes of this election in counties, cities and states where they live all across this country. It will show that Black voters matter and their votes do, too.”
According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted in September, 93 percent of likely Black voters favored former Secretary Hillary Clinton in the presidential race; just three percent of likely Black voters favored the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
“The Howard University/NNPA National Black Voter Poll is very important during this momentous season of political change,” said Chavis. “The NNPA newspapers reach more than 20 million Black American readers every week and we know there is a hunger and thirst for the vital information and perspectives that the results of this poll will reveal.”