The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Donald Trump is getting ZERO percent of the black vote in polls in Pennsylvania and Ohio

In a moment when racial tensions are high, in an era with a stark divide between a mostly white Republican Party and a population of black Americans who are mostly Democrats, it's probably not surprising that new polls of the 2016 presidential race show a stark divide between how blacks and whites view the candidates.

What is surprising is just how stark stark can get.

A new national NBC News-Wall Street Journal-Marist poll shows Hillary Clinton with a slight lead, 42 to 39 percent. But Donald Trump gets almost half of the white vote in that poll, suggesting that Clinton must be doing very well with nonwhite voters.

And so she is. That poll suggests that only 6 percent of black voters nationally plan to support Donald Trump.

That's bad, but it could be worse. It could, for example, be the Quinnipiac poll released at the end of June. That survey showed Trump winning 47 percent of the white vote — and 1 percent of the vote from blacks.

That's not necessarily precise, of course. If you include the margin of error, it's possible that Trump is getting -10 percent of the black vote. (That's not a typo; the margin of error is 11 percent.)

But anyway, it can get worse than that. The Wall Street Journal's Neil King reports that in the Journal-NBC-Marist poll of Ohio, Donald Trump gets a nice round 0 percent of the vote from black Ohioans.

Zero percent. You are currently tied with Trump among black voters in Ohio — or, at least, you're in the margin of error.

But anyway, it can get worse than that, too. At least in Ohio, Trump is keeping Clinton under 90 percent with black voters. According to King, that's not happening in Pennsylvania.

This is all pretty remarkable, but clearly it's not the case that literally no black voters in Ohio or Pennsylvania will back Trump. It is also not the case, it seems pretty safe to assume, that Trump will win the black vote, as he has claimed in the past.

Unless he means the one, solitary black vote in Ohio or Pennsylvania. That one vote. If that's what he meant, he's probably right.


Speaking at a rally in Redding, Calif., Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pointed out a man and said, "look at my African American." (Video: Reuters)