Donald Trump’s recent attempts at outreach to black voters may be in response to new poll data that shows that he is trailing behind Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green party candidate Jill Stein in the demographic. In an average of four live-interview surveys taken since the conventions, Clinton was polling at 86 percent, Stein at 5 percent, Johnson at 4 percent, and Trump at 2 percent among black voters.
As FiveThirtyEight notes, Trump is “polling worse among black voters than almost every single Republican presidential nominee since 1948 in polls taken between the party conventions and Election Day.” Since 1948, the average Republican nominee brought in about 10 percent of the black vote. Since the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act — which was passed by Democrats — the average Republican nominee received about 7 percent. Though John McCain’s numbers leading up to November 2008 were comparable to Trump’s — a paltry 1.4 percent of the black vote — he was running against the first black major party nominee in history.
The only Republican presidential candidate to poll lower with black voters in the lead up to his election than Trump was Barry Goldwater, who was polling at around zero percent. (Goldwater voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which he called unconstitutional, and sought to roll back earlier civil rights legislation.) Trump is the first Republican presidential nominee in history to poll below second place among black voters before the election.