In Final Push for Votes, Both Parties Court Black Men
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For a man as politically savvy as Hillary Clinton, this is an odd campaign season in California, where women, black people and Latinos are just as likely to vote as members of other minority groups, but where there’s been a steep drop-off in presidential voting among African Americans – especially black men.
According to exit polls conducted by Edison Research for NBC News, black men were the only major race category to fall behind the other demographic groups that voted in larger numbers.
The exit poll results are based on telephone surveys of 442,906 registered voters who were surveyed from May 4th through May 8th. The margin of error could be as high as 3.1 percent.
This is the first time in recent history that two of the top three spots haven’t gone to women or black people in the Democratic primaries. The other two are being claimed by Latinos in the Democratic race, and by Asian-Americans in the GOP field.
Exit polls conducted in Iowa and South Carolina earlier this month found that as many as four in 10 voters of each would vote for a candidate for President. In both states there were more Democratic than Republican voters who said they might support a candidate of the opposite party.
In comparison, the exit poll data for the Democratic primary suggests that black voters are about the same, if not slightly more likely to say they would choose a candidate for President who is African American as those who would choose a white man.
African American voters can be expected to vote much as they did in the 2008 election, when African American turnout in presidential elections went up – from 14 percent in the Democratic primaries to 16.6 percent in the general election.
In California, the Democratic primary electorate was 57 percent of the voting population. Exit polls taken in South Carolina, with about two-thirds of the Democratic electorate, showed a slightly smaller black turnout of