According to a new poll that might not surprise any Black folks, 50 percent of all white voters would cast their ballots to re-elect Donald Trump if Election Day was held today. The poll comes amid nationwide protests against racism and indications that more white people care about racial injustice than seemingly ever before.
The new Hill-HarrisX poll casts some doubt on the stated authenticity behind the seemingly growing white allyship displayed across the country in the wake of George Floyd‘s police killing in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.
That’s the bad news.
But, depending on who is reading this, there is some good news: The poll, which has Biden clinging to what seems like an ever-shrinking lead of 43 percent to Trump’s 40 percent, also finds that the president would lose the election if it were held today.
For Black voters, who overwhelmingly oppose all-things Trump, the poll will probably be somewhat of a disappointment, but certainly not a surprise, what with 59 percent of white people voting for Trump in 2016, according to data from Pew Research Center.
Biden had been routinely enjoying double-digit polling leads over Trump, but in recent weeks the polling tide has seemingly turned on the presumptive Democratic nominee. Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that Biden has less support among Black voters at this stage in the campaign that Hillary Clinton did four years ago, according to a CNN analysis of “well more than 1,000 interviews” with Black voters.
This, despite Trump’s clear and apparent mishandling of the coronavirus — something that he recently shrugged off, saying “it is what it is,” and continues to downplay while lying that the country has COVID-19 under control.
All indications have been that white people have been having a racial awakening the likes of which they’d never experienced before after the horrific footage of Floyd’s killing went viral, as NPR’s Gene Demby noted. Considering Trump has gone on the record and encouraged police against being “too nice” to criminal suspects — even those allegedly guilty of the nonviolent crime of using a counterfeit $20 bill — what happened to Floyd seemed like it got a bunch of white people aware of the police violence against Black people, even though it’s far from a new phenomenon.
But not everything is always what it seems to be, now is it?
The new poll came as the deadline was rapidly approaching for Biden to announce his running mate. He has promised to pick a woman as calls grow louder for his choice to be an African American. Choosing a Black woman could certainly endear Biden to more voters of color, but it could also prompt more white people who are on the fence to vote for Trump.
To be sure, the new poll’s sample size of 2,850 registered voters is not a large one and probably doesn’t offer a complete picture of where all voters stand today. But, as separate opinion pieces published in the Washington Post and the New York Times recently noted, there are certainly ways that Trump can still win the election.
With all that said, if the 2016 election’s results showed America anything, it was that polling is not far from a foolproof science and can many times just be flat-out wrong.
See the full results from the poll by clicking here.