Have you kept track of everyone that Hillary Clinton blamed for her loss in November? She’s blamed Bernie Sanders, James Comey, voter suppression, racism, Russian hackers, “white people” (also known as “deplorables”), fake news … You name it, and she’s blamed it.
But there’s one group that’s singularly responsible for some key losses in important states that she’s managed to avoid for obvious reasons: Black people.
African American turnout and their voting choices in the 2016 election was dramatic enough compared to 2012 to change the outcome in several states and cost Hillary Clinton the presidency.
Of course, she’s not going to blame “black people.” That would be political suicide (not that she hasn’t done that already), but the studies suggest it’s true.
Hillary Clinton lost minority votes compared to Barack Obama in 2012. That was almost to be expected. But what’s more important than the numbers is exactly where Hillary lost those votes.
Here’s a map of the majority-black voting census tracts and their voting change. The Blue circles mean more blacks voted for Hillary than Obama and a red circle indicates more votes for Obama than Hillary.
Take a closer look at the states that Trump won by a slim margin that Obama won in 2012.
See all those light-red and dark-red dots in those states? Those are shifts away from Hillary Clinton and toward Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton lost 1.1 million black votes out of a total of 15.6 million votes cast by African Americans. That would have been enough to swing the election in those key states. As The Washington Post points out:
But a small uptick in support for Trump vs. Romney combined with less support for Clinton means that Obama’s 87-point margin became an 80-point margin for Clinton. That mattered.
Notice, too, that exit polling suggests a decrease in how much of the electorate was black in 2016. The Census Bureau collects data on that, too, which the University of Florida’s Michael McDonald used to estimate turnout percentages and composition of the electorate for the past 30 years.
In 2016, the turnout rate for black Americans dropped about 8 points, McDonald estimates — meaning that 8 percent fewer black Americans who were registered to vote came out to cast a ballot. That’s a lower rate than in 2004. The percentage of white voters turning out increased slightly.
Support for the Democratic candidate was down five percent among African Americans between 2012 and 2016 and was up for the Republican candidate by two percent.
In addition, while blacks turned out in record numbers for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, rising to 13 percent of the total electorate in both election years, their turnout actually dropped one point in 2016.
There are lots of reasons why Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. Most of them start with “Because Hillary Clinton …” even though she won’t admit it, ever.
But you can be damn sure she’s not going to blame African Americans for her defeat, no matter what the numbers say.
What do you think? Why didn’t Hillary get the African American vote she needed to push her over the top? Sound off below!