Polls have, and will always be, a tricky business during election season. Sometimes they’re accurate to a fault, while they miss their marks by a long shot a mile wide — both of which Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns have demonstrated for the past year. Yet sometimes the publication of the latest Gallup or CNN polls coincides with an otherwise distinct news story whose pairing readers can’t help but notice. Like with several NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls reported by the paper’s Neil King (and noticed by the Washington Post‘s Philip Bump) along with the news that Trump won’t be attending the NAACP Annual Convention in Cincinnati.
Per King’s tweets, Bump noticed a rather startling discrepancy in the percentage of Pennsylvania and Ohio voters who were willing to cast their ballots for the New York real estate mogul. In the former, 40 percent of white voters polled said they were willing to vote for Trump. (The same goes for Clinton.) When it comes to black voters, however, the results reveal something extraordinary. A little over 90 percent of Pennsylvanian black voters respondents said they’d vote Clinton, whereas a whopping 0 percent ‘fessed up to picking Trump. Yes, that’s right — Trump has 0 percent of the black vote in Pennsylvania.
The same goes for Ohio, where Trump edged out Clinton’s 33 percent of white voters with 43 percent. As for black voters, however, Clinton triumphs with almost 90 percent. And Trump? Yet another bottom score of 0 percent. Regarding the nation at large, the same poll claims Clinton easily clenches the most black votes with 81 percent. Trump, on the other hand, only manages to squeak by with a measly 6 percent.
These answers may seem unbelievable, but these numbers aren’t skewed by either state’s nonexistent African-American populations. According to 2015 census numbers, 11.7 percent of Pennsylvania’s surveyed population described itself as “Black or African American alone.” For the same category in Ohio, the reported number was 12.7 percent. As for a margin of error, yes, these NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls have one. All polls do. However, said margins aren’t large enough to push the presumptive Republican nominee past his Democratic rival.
So what was that about the NAACP? Again, these new stats have no direct connection whatsoever, but their timing is all too noticeable. Why? Because NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks told CNN on Tuesday that Trump’s campaign declined his organization’s invitation to speak at its annual conference in Cincinnati. According to Brooks, the official reason given was a scheduling conflict — the NAACP’s meeting coincides with the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. However, as Brooks quipped, “We were hoping he would make the short trip from Cleveland to Cincinnati.”