News poll of Black voters finds more concerned about wages than jobs
(August 27, 2012) In the most comprehensive election-year study of
registered African-American voters in the battleground states, BET News'
original poll reveals overwhelming support for President Barack Obama
for a second term re-election and severe disapproval of Republican
Presidential nominee Governor Mitt Romney (R-Mass.). The poll was
conducted by nationally-recognized pollster Cornell Belcher.
"Black, Red, White & Blue," is a study of 800 registered black voters in
swing states that explores divisions within the black electorate on key
issues. The poll takes the pulse of African-American political opinion
in the remaining months of President Obama's first term in office.
"We've been inundated by polls that have remained surprisingly static
but none can answer the critical question of whether the heady days of
hope and change have come and gone," says Cornell Belcher, President of
Brilliant Corners Research and Strategies. "Now we have a poll that
shines a light on whether in the era of super PACs, voter ID laws &
shrinking early voting core Obama supporters will turn out like they did
in 2008. President Obama won in 2008 by expanding the electorate and the
battleground map and this poll gives a glimpse into whether a core
constituency is poised to do it again."
"Hope is still alive. President Obama's base is frustrated but still
optimistic and determined," Belcher added. "The President still has a
lot of work to do to achieve his historic 2008 performance, but
Republicans are increasingly poorly positioned to compete for Black
The study is the deepest exploration to date of the views of black
voters in the states on which the 2012 Election will probably turn. It
brings into focus their increasing alienation from the GOP despite
philosophical alignment on issues of social conservatism, challenges the
conventional wisdom about their level of enthusiasm and optimism in the
current election cycle, and suggests a clear distinction between
personal beliefs and "voting issues" in how they cast their ballots.
Below are some of the additional topline highlights from "Black, Red,
White & Blue," the 2012 BET News Poll of African American voters in the
•"IT'S THE COST OF LIVING, STUPID:" The top concern about the economy
for black voters is not jobs (21%), but rather salary and wages not
keeping pace with the cost of living (38%) and affordable health care
•ON THE GOP: Gov. Mitt Romney is currently positioned to garner an
historic low rate of support among African-American voters. Only two
percent of African-American voters in our poll currently support the
Romney/Ryan ticket. The data indicate the traits that are pushing
African-Americans away from the GOP, including the perception that too
many Republican leaders seem "hostile to minorities."
Even where significant percentages of black voters are philosophically
in line with traditional Republican Party positions on issues such as
same-sex marriage (40% favor/38% oppose), a decline in moral values as
biggest obstacle to black advancement (46%), and abortion (51%
pro-choice/44% pro-life), these views overwhelmingly do not translate
into GOP votes.
•ENTHUSIASM VS. APATHY: Despite conventional wisdom, black voters are
on track to vote in numbers equivalent to 2008. Only 4% say they are
less interested in voting in the upcoming election than they were in
2008. 85% say they are following the election closely.
•HOPE AMIDST DESPAIR: African-American voters are surprisingly
optimistic, despite an unemployment rate double that of whites, 69% are
optimistic about the economy rebounding in the next 12 months. 77% say
the US economy is stabilizing or improving.
•A PRESIDENT FOR ALL AMERICANS: Though a number of prominent
African-Americans have called on the President to more explicitly target
programs to address black unemployment, the overwhelming majority of
black voters accept that he must focus on repairing the national economy
and in that way help black Americans (76% vs 14%).
Findings from a survey conducted by Brilliant Corners Research &
Strategies on behalf of BET News. The survey was conducted by telephone
using professional interviewers between August 12th and August 19th
2012. The survey reached 800 African American likely voters in 11
battleground states, which included CO, FL, GA, MI, MO, NV, NC, OH, PA,
VA & WI. The margin of error on this survey is +/- 3.5%.
BET News will use the findings and analysis from the poll as the basis
for their LIVE on-air coverage of the RNC and Democratic National
Conventions. Titled Black, Red, White and Blue , the poll findings will
be given a human face with exclusive video interviews from focus groups
representing four cross-sections of black voters in North Carolina and
Florida, two key swing states. The 2012 election will be decided in a
handful of states, some of which have significant black electorates.
BET News is collaborating with Google to present results of BET News'
poll Black, Red, White and Blue via the Google.com/elections page. In
addition they will jointly co-sponsor a forum in Charlotte to promote
the results and explore the impact of the African American electorate in
North Carolina. Throughout the election cycle BET News content will be
posted on the Google.com/elections site.
Join the BET News Poll conversation on social media by logging onto
BET's multiple social media platforms:
On Twitter by using hashtag: #BETNewsPoll; and following us @BETVote and
@BETNews. On Facebook by liking the fan page at facebook.com/BETVote. On
Google plus at http://bet.us/gplusVOTE.
Go to Target Market News homepage
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