President Obama’s mythical black voter problem — in three charts
By Chris Cillizza,
A new North Carolina poll conducted by the automated pollster (and Democratic affiliated) Public Policy Polling has set the political world on its head — suggested that not only has former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney made up significant ground on President Obama in the swing state but that the incumbent is losing roughly one in every five black voters in the Tarheel State.
Here’s the problem: There’s no evidence — outside of this single PPP poll — that Obama is suffering any significant erosion among African American voters.
The story of Obama’s continued — and sustained — strength in the black community can be told in three charts, all of which examine Washington Post-ABC News polling conducted over the first three-plus years of Obama’s presidency. (HUGE thanks to the Post polling team for building out these charts; do yourself a favor and follow them on Twitter @postpolls.)
The first chart details President Obama’s job approval rating among African Americans — by quarter — since coming into office. While there have been slight dips over the years, his approval rating has never gone below 85 percent and currently stands at 90 percent, just six percent lower than in Obama’s first three months on office.
The second chart looks at the intensity behind the approval/disapproval of President Obama among black voters. Obviously those who strongly support him has dipped since the start of his presidency. But more than seven in ten African Americans still strongly approve of how the president is handling his job and that trend line has moved up — not down — in recent months.
The third chart shows the head to head matchup between President Obama and Romney among African Americans. In the second quarter of 2011, Obama took 92 percent to Romney’s five percent; in the second quarter of 2011, which we are currently in, Obama gets 91 percent to six percent for Romney. In short, there is no statistical difference between where Obama stood among blacks on the ballot test in 2011 and where he stands today.
The simple fact — as made clear by the three charts above — is that while Obama has lots (and lots) of things to worry about heading into November, his standing among African Americans just isn’t one of them.