Russian trolls tried to turn off African-American voters in 2016, when fewer African-Americans voted

Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 with the electoral college. But in three states (Michigan, Pennsylva...

Posted: Dec 18, 2018 1:03 PM
Updated: Dec 18, 2018 1:03 PM

Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 with the electoral college. But in three states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), his margin over opponent Hillary Clinton was less than 50,000 votes each. In fact, just 77,744 total votes in those three states separated the two candidates. If Clinton had won all three, she would've been victorious over Trump. But she wasn't. Every vote mattered in the 2016 election.

But not everyone voted. Not by a longshot. Exit polls show concern with both candidates. And helping to fuel that was the Russian election interference campaign, which in particular targeted African-Americans on social media and spread doubts about Clinton and specifically shought to decrease turnout, according to a new report commissioned for and released by the Senate Intelligence Committee Monday.

2016 Presidential election

African Americans

Corruption

Demographic groups

Donald Trump

Election fraud

Election results

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Minority and ethnic groups

Political candidates

Political corruption

Political Figures - US

Politics

Population and demographics

Society

US Federal elections

US Presidential elections

Voters and voting

Continents and regions

Eastern Europe

Europe

Hillary Clinton

Russia

It's impossible to say that the Russian influence campaign specifically changed the minds of African-American voters or turned them off to Clinton or that it didn't play into divisions that were already festering in the country and the party.

But it is absolutely true that the number of African-American voters who participated in the election declined sharply in 2016, according to the Current Population Survey. It was the largest decline in turnout among African-Americans since collection began on the data in 1988. Just 59.4% of eligible African-Americans voted in 2016, down from 66.2% who reported voting in 2012. The decline is likely in part due to the absence of President Barack Obama, the nation's first black President, on the ballot. He helped drive historic turnout in the African-American community in both 2008 and 2012. But 2016 was the first time there had been a decline in Black turnout since 1996.

Wisconsin, a state won by Trump by only 10,704 votes, saw the largest drop in turnout among African-Americans, down from 73.7% who voted in 2012 to 45.1% in 2016 -- a 27 point decrease. The decreases in Michigan and Pennsylvania weren't as significant. The next biggest decreases in turnout among African-Americans between 2012 and 2016 were in Indiana (down 20 points) and Mississippi (down 13 points).

Only 21% of Americans said they thought the elections in the United States were run and administered very well, with 53% who said they were run and administered somewhat well, according to a survey by Pew Research Center during the election in 2018. They were much more likely to think that elections in their own community, specifically, were run and administered very well (53%). Another quarter said that they were very confident that votes across the US were counted as voters intended.

In July 2017, 56% of Americans said they were extremely or very concerned about voter suppression, according to a Fox News poll. Non-white voters were much more likely to be concerned about voter suppression (71%) than white voters (51%).

A Quinnipiac poll from March 2017 found similar results, 35% of voters thought voter suppression was the biggest problem in presidential elections compared to voter fraud (30%) and outside interference (26%). Republicans were much more likely to cite voter fraud (55%), while Democrats said voter suppression (50%) and were more likely to think outside interference was a big problem (30% for Democrats, 21% for Republicans).

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111505

Reported Deaths: 3506
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20699758
Lake10217318
Elkhart6368109
St. Joseph604597
Allen5965200
Hamilton4676109
Vanderburgh334129
Hendricks2650122
Monroe240836
Johnson2257122
Tippecanoe221013
Clark211756
Porter205244
Cass19319
Delaware187061
Vigo176622
Madison157775
LaPorte136737
Floyd130361
Howard127563
Kosciusko119017
Bartholomew114957
Warrick114135
Marshall98524
Dubois94918
Boone94446
Hancock90542
Grant88233
Noble88132
Henry76324
Wayne73914
Jackson7349
Morgan69638
Shelby66529
Daviess64127
LaGrange63011
Dearborn62628
Clinton59112
Harrison56024
Putnam5329
Montgomery50521
Lawrence50328
Knox4869
White47914
Gibson4744
Decatur45339
DeKalb45011
Miami4243
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3822
Steuben3677
Scott35310
Sullivan32912
Jennings30912
Posey3020
Franklin29725
Clay2925
Orange28224
Ripley2788
Carroll27013
Wabash2638
Washington2581
Whitley2526
Starke2517
Wells2472
Adams2443
Jefferson2433
Fulton2352
Huntington2213
Spencer2194
Tipton21722
Perry20913
Randolph2067
Jay1700
Newton17011
Owen1641
Martin1620
Rush1514
Pike1411
Vermillion1260
Fountain1152
Pulaski1141
Blackford1132
Crawford1030
Brown1013
Parke932
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland680
Warren401
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 144309

Reported Deaths: 4615
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin25977603
Cuyahoga17092642
Hamilton12756308
Montgomery7501152
Lucas7119357
Butler563299
Summit5096249
Marion306347
Mahoning2991279
Warren291048
Stark2739168
Pickaway263344
Lorain226386
Delaware213520
Fairfield202050
Columbiana191980
Licking185762
Trumbull1848131
Clark172338
Wood170671
Clermont162620
Lake157649
Medina143038
Allen136767
Greene135228
Miami135049
Portage107466
Mercer105317
Tuscarawas91220
Wayne90166
Erie89944
Ross85622
Richland78419
Madison78012
Darke76039
Belmont70727
Geauga70347
Hancock6579
Ashtabula64348
Athens5972
Lawrence59418
Shelby5819
Auglaize5659
Sandusky55420
Putnam54123
Huron5237
Union4932
Ottawa46530
Scioto4646
Seneca43914
Preble42013
Holmes3717
Muskingum3712
Jefferson3184
Henry29712
Champaign2933
Logan2933
Perry2859
Defiance28110
Clinton27813
Knox27815
Brown2752
Hardin25013
Morrow2492
Washington24823
Fulton2341
Jackson2314
Coshocton23011
Fayette2256
Ashland2234
Highland2203
Crawford2186
Wyandot20112
Williams1983
Gallia18012
Meigs1729
Hocking1619
Pike1580
Guernsey1567
Carroll1507
Adams1214
Van Wert1113
Monroe10618
Paulding1010
Harrison611
Morgan470
Vinton453
Noble270
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 43°
Angola
46° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 44°
Huntington
Clear
40° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 40°
Decatur
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 37°
Van Wert
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 37°
Warming up for Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events