Juking the Stats: Black Men and the 2020 Election

Edison Exit Polls

Good afternoon, everyone. As of this moment, the 2020 election is still in limbo. Despite Biden leading in the electoral college count, a number of battleground states have still not been called.

In the meantime, while we wait, a narrative is being spun. In all actuality, this narrative extends from one data point that some political observers just keep harping on. It’s time to ask why.

Namely, this piece is referring to the support of Trump by Black men. As we wait and watch for the absentee ballots to come in, there is this emerging narrative that a sizeable amount of Black men have supported Trump. According to the exit polls, 18 percent of Black men who responded to the exit polls, voted for Trump. One, why is the focus on 18 percent, and not the 82 percent who voted against? Why the hoopla about this number?

The problem here is that, it fits into a narrative that speaks against Black men, and looks for reasons to attack. Here’s yet another problem with the polls, especially this year. As we should all be aware of, the coronavirus pandemic played a big role in many people opting to send in their absentee ballots via mail. That is a large cohort that didn’t have the opportunity to respond to an exit poll. What does this mean? It means that the exit polls done this year come from a much smaller sample size than in past presidential elections. This is yet another factor to think about before jumping out the window, and making ironclad assertions on reduced amounts of data.

Furthermore, if you actually go and read the exit poll for yourself, it tells you that of those who voted, Black men made up 5 percent. Within that percentage, 18 percent voted for Trump and 80 percent voted for Biden.

Black men are not the reason this election is this close. To try to make Black men into some kind of fifth column is absurd, and is deflecting from a lot of other conversations that we need to be having right now.

To make matters worse, some are choosing to “juke the stats” and round up.

How did 17 percent all of a sudden become 20 percent? Are some of us going to make a political “80/20” rule out of this now? Seriously?

Using the exit polls to beat people in the head, is profoundly unhealthy at this moment. Cherry picking for the worse stats on Black men is unfortunately part of the ongoing narrative of those who say they’re for the Black community. This is why these emerging talking points are not to be trusted.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.