U.S. Elections: Why the Black vote is so crucial in some states

By Leroy Cleveland - July 15, 2022

(Main image courtesy of MotherJones.com)

Nevada serves as a fine example of why Black voters are so critical for Democratic candidates.

Only 9 percent of the state’s electorate is Black so it’s easy to overlook their relevance. However, because Blacks, as a racial demographic, are so overwhelmingly pro-Democratic, healthy Black voter turnout can make or break a political race.

So, how does this work?

Let’s look at some key facts about Nevada:

  • Whites, who comprise about 58 percent of the state’s voting electorate, gave Trump a 15 percent cushion over Biden.

  • Blacks represent about 9 percent of Nevada’s voting electorate

  • In this year’s presidential election in the Sagebrush State, a whopping 84 percent of Nevada’s Black voters supported Biden and about 12 percent supported Trump, according to the American Election Eve Poll which was conducted by a coalition of specialized political research groups.

  • In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Nevada by just 27,000 votes while Joe Biden, this year, won the state by about 34,000 votes.

To be clearer, Biden, who was supported by about 106,700 (of roughly 123,400) Black voters in Nevada, carried the state by less than 35,000 votes.

… And that is EXACTLY why Republican lawmakers sometimes try to thwart Black voter turnout.

“Obviously our numbers are pretty small in Nevada,” said Laura Martin, executive director of Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) Action Fund. “We’re not going to be the majority of your votes, but we can be the margin of victory.” (Source: Nevada Independent)

What about Hispanics?



In Nevada, Latinos comprise about 20 percent of the population, far outnumbering Blacks. However, they traditionally vote in lower percentages than Blacks and are not as partisan. Whereas only about 12 percent of Nevada Blacks supported Trump in 2020, 1 in 4 (25 percent) Hispanics voted for the president. In fact, Hispanic support for the president was well over 20 percent in several key states.

2020 U.S. Presidential RaceSupport for Trump by Race

Whites | Hispanics (Blacks)

Florida – 56% | 38% (9%)
Texas – 64% |29% (10%)
Georgia – 67% | 28% (9%)
Pennsylvania – 56% | 26% (5%)
North Carolina – 60% | 24% (6%)

Source: ElectionEve2020.com

N.B: Black voters in Nevada, the state we’ve chosen as our example to highlight the importance of the Black vote, were actually quite friendly to the Republican presidential candidate in 2020 compared to other swing states. Twelve percent supported Trump in 2020.

It’s also important to keep in mind that while Hispanics outnumber Blacks in Nevada and nationwide, Blacks still outnumber Hispanics in many key states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and North Carolina, making Black turnout even more critical in those locales.

If President Trump had received just 18 percent of the Black vote in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia, he would have carried those states and won the election.

… Just 18 percent.

“The African American vote is so crucial at this moment. In fact, it is so crucial that it will define democracy and save it from the posture that it was in,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in a briefing on Black voters two days after Election Day. (Source: Nevada Independent)

Black Women
So, why all the fuss about Black women this year? They typically vote at higher rates than Black men and are even more partisan. In Nevada, for example, only 8 percent of Black females supported Trump in 2020 compared to 17 percent of Black males. And in Pennsylvania, three times as many Black men (9 percent) voted for Trump than Black women (3 percent).

So, not only are Black women more likely to go to the polls than Black men, but they are also less likely to vote Republican.

Simply put, Black women are the most consistent voting bloc in American politics.

It’s no wonder Biden selected Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate as she was certainly key in turning out Black women voters. And let’s face it, Trump’s comments about Blacks and women through the years haven’t exactly endeared him to Black women, who were probably already energized to vote against him to some degree.

Tags: Stats / Facts, U.S. Presidential Race 2020