Hillary Clinton’s support among black voters is collapsing like a homebrewed server under a Russian hacker attack, and Bernie Sanders seems to be surging as a result.
A recent Huffington Post analysis pointed out that Clinton led Sanders among black voters by 52 points in late February, and that lead dissolved to a mere nine points a month later. She now trails by 11 points among black voters in Wisconsin, which holds its primary on Tuesday — a 63-point difference.
“It’s all part of a dramatic national trend that has seen Clinton’s support among nonwhite voters dwindle to well under a third of what it was just a month ago – not nearly enough support to carry her, as it did throughout the Deep South, to future electoral victories in the Midwest and Northeast,” according to the news site.
A Public Policy Polling survey of Wisconsin voters released yesterday “finds Bernie Sanders as the favorite in the state’s Democratic primary.
“Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 49-43, with 8% of voters undecided,” according to a news release.
“Clinton leads among actual Democratic voters in the state, 50-42. But Sanders has an overwhelming advantage with independents at 62/31, and that gives him the overall advantage in this open primary,” it continues. “Sanders is strong with voters under 45 (a 65/28 lead), those who identify as ‘very liberal’ (59/37), and men (56/39). The only group Clinton has a substantial lead with is seniors, at 63/30.”
Seth Abramson, University of New Hampshire professor and Huff Post blogger, argues Clinton’s support among blacks has been slipping since her March 1 victories across the south.
“…(I)t’s not a coincidence that, in the 18 state primary elections since March 1st, Bernie Sanders has won on Election Day in 12 of them,” he wrote, noting that Sanders took victories in Arizona, Illinois, and Missouri.
Abramson pointed to Clinton’s support among nonwhite voters crashing precipitously in Florida and North Carolina in the week leading up to the March 15 primary, as well as recent polling in New York, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky that seems to suggest the trend will continue.
In North Carolina, Clinton was heckled by Black Lives Matter protesters at a private fundraiser in late February. Days later, her campaign was criticized for a “Black Votes Matter” sign posted at a stop in Nebraska.
And the support Clinton enjoyed among black voters that propelled her to victory in southern states also seems to be drying up.
Between February 27th and March 26th, Clinton’s lead among Southerners — the group whose primary votes (and thus delegates) comprise the entirety of her 228-delegate lead over Bernie Sanders — decreased from 15 points to just 6. Given the percentage of Southern Democrats who are African-American, even without cross-tabs available there is reason to believe Clinton’s declining numbers among nonwhite voters are partially responsible for this decline. Certainly, it was the strength of Clinton’s support among this polling demographic that assured Clinton of massive delegate hauls in nearly every Southern state: according to CNN exit polling, on March 1st black voters in Mississippi favored Clinton by 77 points, in Georgia by 71 points, in Virginia by 68 points, in Texas by 68 points, in Tennessee by 79 points, in Arkansas by 66 points, and in Alabama by a whopping 85 points.
Now that Clinton’s lead among black voters nationwide is fluctuating between the high single-digits and the mid-teens, it appears the sort of voting margins among nonwhite voters that made Clinton’s present delegate lead possible are never coming back.
Case-in-point: last week, Sanders beat Clinton in three of the ten most diverse states in America (Hawaii, Washington, and Alaska) by 39.8 points, 45.6 points, and 61.5 points, respectively.