After the shocking results of the 2016 election, most analysts focused on the shift among working-class whites towards Donald Trump. However, there was another seismic transformation on election day that may have longer repercussions: young black men are leaving the Democratic Party like never before.
Exit polls of the nationwide House races showed two important numbers, black men and millennials voted for the GOP in numbers that hadn’t been seen in decades.
According to CNN exit polls, 18 percent voted of black men for a Republican candidate for the U.S. House, which is more than three times the number of African American women. Meanwhile, only five percent voted for the GOP.
This is about a 40 percent increase from NBC’s exit polls in 2012 and CNN’s in 2014 when only 13 percent of black men voted Republican. Black women showed no change whatsoever. Only five percent voted for GOP candidates. Young African Americans also had a slow swing towards Republican House candidates. In 2012, only nine percent voted for the GOP. That number increased to 11 percent in 2014, and finally 15 percent in 2016.
In 2016, Black men voted Republican at nearly twice the rate of all African Americans, 18 percent to 10 percent respectively. If those percentages remained the same among all ages, it’s possible that about one-in-four young black men also cast their ballot for the GOP. Younger black men supported Trump at a higher rate in most 2016 polls.
While there’s no data or polling to confirm the exact number, exit polls over the years show there’s a clear sign that black millennial men are looking past the Democratic Party to provide them opportunities into the future.
Coinciding with the movement in House exit polls was a result that some majority black districts also saw a shift away from Democrats in 2012. Republican candidates increased their percentage of the vote in Michigan’s 13th and 14th district, Florida’s 20th district, Maryland’s 4th district, Georgia’s 2nd district, North Carolina’s 1st district, New Jersey’s 10th district, New York’s 5th district, and Missouri’s 1st district.
Winning 25 percent of young black men would be a gigantic win for Republicans, given that the African-American vote is a base of the Democratic Party.