Black Voters, Trump Support

Polls Show Trump Support Rising Among Black Voters

Trump's polling numbers have been slightly increasing over the past three election cycles he has been involved in, but he has never eclipsed 15% of Black support.

As the 2024 election approaches, more attention is being paid to polls, which currently indicate unprecedented levels of Black support for Donald Trump. His polling numbers have been slightly increasing over the past three election cycles he has been involved in, but he has never eclipsed 15% of Black support.

Trump’s support increased from 8% in 2016 to 12% in 2020. A January 2024 USA Today/Suffolk poll indicated that while Biden’s support among Black voters fell from 87% to 63%, Trump’s support has remained static at 12%. 

According to David Paleologos, Suffolk University’s Political Research Center director, the shift in Black voter percentage for Biden does not mean those voters are choosing Biden. Instead, he told USA Today, these voters tend to select third-party candidates, like Princeton professor Cornel West. 

Other polls, like a survey from Genforward, show much higher percentages of Black people, indicating that they are at least leaning toward Trump. Despite Republicans generally failing to capture over 14% of the Black vote in the general election, their survey indicated that 17% of Black voters would have voted for Trump if the election had been held when the poll was issued in December 2023. 

However, 20% of that same voting bloc indicated that they would vote for someone other than Trump or Biden, while 63% of voters, still a significant majority, would vote for Biden. Leah Wright Rigueur, an associate professor of history at Johns Hopkins University, told USA Today that the uptick in Trump support is not necessarily a vote for Trump but a vote against the Democratic Party as a whole. 

“Any kind of numbers that Donald Trump has picked up amongst Black voters is not because of anything that Donald Trump has done,” Rigueur said. “It’s because of things that the Democratic Party has done. That’s why Black voters are leaving, they’re saying you know what? I have a better shot voting for a third party candidate, or maybe even Donald Trump, because I’m so upset at the Democratic Party.”

Also, a recent New York Times/Siena survey revealed that voters, including Black voters, believed that the economic policies of Trump assisted them more than Biden’s policies have. Forty percent of the voters who responded to the poll said that Trump’s policies helped them, as compared to 43% of voters saying that Biden’s policies hurt them. 

Despite these feelings, economist Nouriel Roubini warned Business Insider that a Trump re-election could send the economy into a tailspin, increasing inflation even further from where it is now. Roubini indicated that Trump could replace the current Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, with someone who would be more amenable to Trump’s agenda, and could cut rates too soon and make inflation worse than it already is.

He also told the outlet, “A trade war would reduce growth and increase inflation, making it the largest geopolitical risk that markets should consider in the months ahead.” 

Other economists are similarly wary of Trump’s economic policies. Henry Tricks, an analyst for The Economist, told Vox that Trump’s plans to increase tariffs do not instill business leaders with confidence. 

“The danger is that his approach to economic policy actually risks exacerbating the economic problems that Americans are suffering from today. And particularly, we’re talking about high inflation there.”

Tricks continued, “What Trump wants to do is effectively triple the average rate of tariffs. He also wants to retaliate against countries with particularly high tariffs on American products by raising the American tariffs to the same height. And this could have a pretty detrimental impact on trade. Trade wars aren’t for the economy. They lower economic growth and tend to hit those on the lowest income hardest because tariffs raise the price of consumer goods, such as the sort of stuff you buy in the grocery store.”

Tim Scott seems to believe that Trump has a chance to eclipse the 20% mark for Black support, which would be a historic figure. The number is in play despite Trump’s recent comments about Blacks, which have been criticized by political figures and civil rights leaders as racist. An NBC News poll, which includes data from 2023, suggests that Black voters under 34 years old are fairly fervent supporters of Trump, supporting him at a 28% clip. 

Jeff Horwit, a Democratic pollster for Hart Research Associates, and Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster for Public Opinion Strategies, jointly conducted the NBC News poll. Horwit expressed concern to NBC News about the polls’ indications of the erosion of support for Biden. 

“What is most concerning is the erosion of Biden’s standing against Trump compared to four years ago,” Horwitt said. “On every measure compared to 2020, Biden has declined. Most damning, the belief that Biden is more likely to be up to the job — the chief tenet of the Biden candidacy — has evaporated.”