Executive Summary 

Market Research Foundation commissioned a nationwide study of African-Americans in the United States.  The survey was conducted among 1,000 U.S. residents over the age of 18 who identify their race as “black”. Our study used sampling quotas and weighting to match Census figures age, gender and region. Data collection was conducted from June 28-July 8.

African-Americans are considered a base constituency for the Democratic Party.  However, there is evidence that this community is not completely enamored with Democrats but rather feel they have nowhere else to go.

  • Although 83% of African-American voters cast a ballot for Hilary Clinton in 2016, just 58% affiliate with the Democratic Party and only a slightly higher number approve of the Party (63%).
  • However, Democrats are significantly more popular among African-Americans than Republicans: just 5% self-identify with the party and 10% approve if it. One-half (50%) believe most Republicans are racist.
  • Still, the African-American community has significant reservations about the Democratic Party. Nearly nine-in-ten (88%) say “Blacks don’t have to be Democrats” and a similar figure (87%) says no party should assume they have the support of the African-American community showing a population that may be thinking it’s being used.  Over half (53%) believe the Democratic Party has left Blacks behind while counting on their support and this figure is significantly higher for older Millennials (ages 25-34; 61%).
  • Our survey showed 10% of African-Americans voted for Donald Trump (within the margin of error with CNN’s 2016 Exit Polls showing 8%). In spite of all of the negative press the President has received in the first half of his term, 65% of these voters stand behind their vote for Trump.
  • Of those who voted for President Trump, nearly half said it was due to his policy views with roughly one-quarter (24%) saying it was his attitude and personality and another one-quarter (22%) saying their vote was strictly against Hilary Clinton.
  • When talking about ideology instead of parties, twice as many African-Americans are willing to self-identify as conservatives on a variety of issues; moral such as gay marriage and abortion (26%), education (21%), economic (20%) and healthcare (19%). Indeed, two-thirds (64%) believe some conservative politics that promote individual freedom would benefit the African-American community – but the majority will not listen to them if they are being promoted by Republicans as 76% believe the Party talks down to them. School choice is a key policy example in this category (90% support).
  • African-Americans hold some values often thought of as conservative. Four-in-five (80%) believe that small business is the key to American success and the same number do not trust the government to spend tax dollars. There is near universal agreement (93%) on reducing individual tax rates.  However, the group also holds traditionally liberal economic viewpoints such as increasing the minimum wage (95%), providing free public university tuition (91%) and forcibly taking away power from large corporations (71%).
  • African-American voters are most likely to consider education and healthcare (28%) as the most important issues when deciding how to vote. Cultural and race issues were the top factors in determining votes for just 16% of African-Americans.  This figure did not differ significantly based on political affiliation or ideology.
  • Half of the African-American community would like to see stricter enforcement of immigration laws with the highest levels of support from those ages 55-64 (59%).
  • The vast majority, 88%, of African-Americans believe the best way to help the poor is with education and a good job, compared to government aid. This figure is still high, but significantly lower among those under 35 (81%).
  • Two-thirds (64%) of African-Americans believe their local community is strong although this is strongly correlated with income with lower-income Blacks less likely to agree. Only a slight majority (53%) believe it’s the responsibility of people in the community, and not the government, to provide for the neighborhood.
  • Three-quarters (75%) of African-Americans report being the victim of discrimination due to their race. This is significantly higher among men (81%) and gun owners (81%).

Norman Analytics and Research for Market Research Foundation August 2018