There were already reports showing that Black voters have been casting their ballots early in record numbers, but now we have a little bit more data about who exactly among them is fueling this outpouring of electoral activity. According to the top executive at a political analytics firm, older Black voters are not just making a serious difference, but they’re also doing so to historic proportions in key battleground states that are crucial to the election’s outcome.
The data provides a unique snapshot of a portion of one of the most coveted voting demographics as both Joe Biden and Donald Trump continue their relentless courting of Black voters up until the 11th hour with just five days before the presidential election.
The reason why Black voters are so important this time around is simple: The number of Black voters plunged in 2016, arguably helping to deliver — but not necessarily to blame for — Trump’s election. The working logic is that if more Black voters — who are disproportionately registered Democrats — participate this time around, Trump will be a one-term president.
While it’s obviously way too early to be making any real concrete predictions like that, Tom Bonier, the CEO of TargetSmart, has been tweeting out a nonstop stream of data associated with the early voting period currently underway that give a glimpse of certain trends among folks casting ballots; and where they’re casting those ballots.
According to Bonier, who is also an adjunct lecturer at Howard University, “black voters over the age of 65 have already exceeded their overall 2016 turnout numbers, thereby already setting turnout records” in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada and Texas. Those numbers are expected to keep growing as early voting continues through Monday.
This is important because pollsters have predicted that the election could come down to who wins those states, including Florida, North Carolina and Texas, in particular.
For example, a Democratic presidential candidate has not won Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992, making that state’s inclusion on the list that much more significant. Bonier also tweeted earlier this week that “More black voters over the age of 65 have already voted in Georgia (201,889) than voted in total in the 2016 presidential election (193,993),” something that could make all the difference and hand the traditionally red state that Trump won in 2016 to Biden.
The same was true with older Black voters in Texas, Bonier tweeted.
Polling compiled by Real Clear Politics shows tight contests in all of those states.
According to data analytics website Five Thirty Eight, older Black voters are Biden’s most trusty electorate among the entire voting demographic. Research determined “older Black people support Biden by a wide margin while younger Black people are more supportive of Trump.”
That reason is likely because voters who have lived longer may understand the stakes of this election in a more nuanced context, what with the ongoing voter suppression efforts that could revive some similarly unfortunate memories of their youth.
Oglatha Ingram, a 67-year-old social worker in Pennsylvania, told NBC News about her experience as a little girl learning about voting from her father. She said that he shared stories with her about segregation that Ingram suggested have inspired her to fully participate in the democratic process.
“My story around voting goes way back where it is viewed as a right that you must carry out,” Ingram said.