Majority of Black voters think Trump should face criminal charges: poll

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Sept. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

A new poll has found that a majority of Black voters believe former President Trump should face criminal charges for how he handled classified documents after leaving office. 

The poll, released Tuesday as part of the HIT Strategies monthly BlackTrack survey, found 81 percent of Black voters support the Department of Justice’s investigation into Trump and 80 percent want to see him charged.

Trump held more than 300 classified documents after leaving the White House, and an unsealed warrant in August revealed federal authorities were investigating him for possible violations of the Espionage Act.

But the number of Black voters who want to see the former president charged is significantly higher than the numbers of other voters who feel the same.

An August poll by The Economist and YouGov showed only 54 percent of the general population approved of the probe and only 45 percent believed Trump should face criminal charges. At the time, only 59 percent of Black voters believed he should face criminal charges.

“It’s likely a widely held understanding that the justice system operates one way for the rich and powerful and another way for everyone else,” Jermaine House, senior director of communications for HIT Strategies, said in a statement to The Hill. 

“Holding insurrectionists accountable for breaking into the Capitol, and Donald Trump here, for his flagrant abuses of power, is important to Black voters. They know if someone from their community committed similar crimes, legal action would be harsh and swift,” House continued.

The BlackTrack survey also showed support for President Biden and Congressional Democrats has increased. Fifty-six percent of Black voters said Biden has made progress on issues affecting Black voters, an increase of 12 points since July’s survey. 

Much of that comes from the 60 percent of Black voters who “strongly supported” Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. Another 26 percent “somewhat supported” it.

“President Biden’s loan forgiveness plan represents another promise fulfilled on one of the most critical economic priorities for Black voters,” said Terrance Woodbury, a founding partner at HIT Strategies. “Now, the President must message this plan directly to voters and continue to illustrate how his policies are improving the economic well-being of Black America.”

Eighty-two percent of Black voters said they plan to vote in November, an increase of 3 percentage points from August. And 67 percent now believe their vote has the power to effect change on the issues most important to them.

“Black voters’ increasing perceptions of political power is a direct combination of President Biden’s recent victories on major policy issue priorities for Black communities, like student loans and climate change, as well as other achievements over the past two years,” House said.

“The more that Black voters hear and learn of policy successes, the more they believe their vote means something and creates an environment for real change,” House added.

The survey was conducted online from Sept. 15 to Sept. 19 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Tags Biden Black voters criminal charges Donald Trump Donald Trump Joe Biden

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