On Thursday in Hershey, Pennsylvania, President-elect Donald Trump continued his “victory tour” around the country and made some interesting remarks. As reported by the Chicago Tribune:
Thursday’s rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, found the president-elect calling for the mostly white crowd to cheer for African-Americans who were “smart” to heed his message and therefore “didn’t come out to vote” for his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
“That was the big thing, so thank you to the African-American community,” Trump said.
Trump won only 8% of the black vote in November, compared to Hillary Clinton‘s 89%. However, that demographic accounted for 12% of total voters in 2016, as compared to 13% in both 2008 and 2012. While Trump slightly outpaced John McCain (4%) and Mitt Romney (6%) in their unsuccessful contests against the first black President, Trump also did the worst of any GOP candidate facing a white Democrat in recorded history.
George W. Bush won 9% and then 11% in his election and reelection campaigns, respectively. Bob Dole won 12% in 1996, while George H.W. Bush won 11% in 1988 and 10% in 1992. Ronald Reagan won 14% in 1980 and 9% in 1984. President Gerald Ford won 17% of the black vote in 1976.
Not as much data exists pertaining to voting habits and race prior to the 1976 election. It is generally believed by American historians that black voters first went to Democrats in 1932 with the election of Franklin Roosevelt. Republicans remained somewhat competitive in the thirty years after.
Beginning in 1964, however, following the signing of the Civil Rights Act by Democrat Lyndon Johnson, Republicans have struggled to even earn double-digit percentages among black voters. Trump’s comments likely won’t do the GOP any favors in that department.