LA Times Poll Narrative Ignores Finding: 10-Point Black Voter Shift to Trump

August 20th, 2016 9:06 AM

The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times "Daybreak" poll released Thursday had a stunning finding: Donald Trump's support among African-Americans had increased by over 10 points virtually overnight.

Armand Emamdjomeh and David Lauter, who wrote the narrative accompanying that poll, predictably ignored it, but they did even more. Readers here will see that their verbiage in the section specifically addressing "By race/ethnicity" pretended that the shift hasn't even occurred (dashed box around the "Black" box added by me):


Emamdjomeh and Lauter are hoping that readers don't see the visually small movement above.

While blacks still "lean heavily towards Clinton," a look at the change in the numbers during the past week shows that Trump's support among blacks has gone from a virtually nonexistent 1 in 30-40 to about 1 in 7:


The timing of the shift occurred just after the August 13-14 rioting in Milwaukee, even though the poll's methodology says that "We update the data each day based on the weighted average of poll responses over the previous week." In other words, even now, the poll results still don't fully include interviews conducted during or after the riots.

This could be an outlier, but if there has been similar double-digit shift to a Republican candidate and from a Democratic candidate among black voters in at least the past 40 years of presidential polling during the final 90 days before the election, I don't recall it.

Additionally, considering the poll's methodology, a look at the more easily decipherable table of daily numbers above shows that the shift occurred almost entirely before Trump's Tuesday, August 16 speech in West Bend, Wisconsin in the wake of the Milwaukee riots. calls it Trump's "Law and Order" speech. Some are already calling it "The Donald Trump Speech that if Everyone Saw, He Would Win." That speech could gain Trump even more black support.

2012 Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney won only 5 percent of the black vote in 2012. Significant erosion of the black vote for Democrats would pose a huge challenge for the Clinton campaign in several key states and could potentially endanger several supposedly safe Democrat-held Senate and House seats.

Armand Emamdjomeh, David Lauter and LA Times clearly do not want their readers to find any significance in what their own poll says.

Cross-posted at