Ever since election day Hillary and her former minions have attempted to reinforce a narrative that some combination of Russian hackers, James Comey and angry, sexist, xenophobic, white men were the cause of here staggering defeat in November 2016. That said, a new study highlighted by the Washington Post (of all places) today, confirms that it very well could have been black voters that ultimately crushed Hillary’s chances at the White House and not so much a sudden onset of racism.
Per the first chart below, precinct-level data gathered by Decision Desk HQ reveals that while Hillary lost ground with white voters compared to Obama’s performance in 2012, she also lost significant ground with black and hispanic voters as well.
But there’s another factor that bears mentioning. One of the reasons that Trump is president and Clinton isn’t is because of how black Americans voted relative to 2012.
After the 2016 election, Ryne Rohla gathered precinct-level vote tallies from nearly every neighborhood in the United States for Decision Desk HQ. This data, which he also collected for the 2012 race, offers a uniquely specific overview of how Americans voted that we’ve used to analyze where Americans were most likely to live in bubbles of shared political thought and how the candidates fared in the places where they raised the most money.
But, where Hillary lost minority votes is perhaps even more important than how many votes she lost. After analyzing precinct-level data for “majority-black” precincts across the country, Defense Desk HQ created the following maps showing areas where Clinton gained ground with black voters versus 2012 (blue circles) compared to where she lost ground (red circles). Anyone notice a theme?
Meanwhile, and perhaps most importantly, Hillary lost ground with minority voters in almost every “majority-black” precinct in the four states that ultimately ended up determining the outcome of the election: Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
And, just to put some numbers behind maps, roughly 130 million people voted in the 2016 presidential election. Of that, Wapo says that roughly 12%, or 15.6mm, of the people who cast their ballot were black. Finally, Hillary’s loss of 7 points with black voters versus Obama’s results in 2012 equates to a total of about 1.1 million votes lost…which, needless to say, was more than enough to swing an election that was determined by a few thousand votes in a couple of key states.
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.
While we haven’t had a chance to read it yet, we’re gonna go out on a limb and bet that none of this actual data from Wapo made it into Hillary’s latest book.