The power and importance of the Black vote was on display Election Day, as heavy turnout swept Democrats into office—from gubernatorial races to municipal contests. While official turnout figures were not immediately available based on race, Black voters were a key to the Democrats’ successful night.
All eyes were on the Virginia gubernatorial race, in which many analysts said the Black vote would be pivotal to victory for the Democrats. According to The Washington Post, turnout in Virginia was the highest in 20 years for a gubernatorial race that ended in triumph for the Democratic governor-elect Ralph Northam.
The Trump effect—the president’s embrace of White nationalists and attack on President Obama’s legacy—likely compelled more Black voters to the polls. In 2016, Black voter turnout declined for the first time in 20 years for a presidential election, according to the Pew Research Center. Low turnout last year was a contributing factor to Trump’s victory, after two presidential races when Black voters rallied behind Obama.
High turnout in the 2017 election was a key to Democrat Justin Fairfax winning Virginia’s lieutenant gubernatorial race—making him only the second African American to win a statewide office in Virginia, since L. Douglas Wilder won that same post before going on to become governor. Fairfax beat Republican Jill Vogel who embraced Trump’s positions in her campaign.
Meanwhile, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Melvin Carter won the mayoral race, beating out a field of 10 candidates to become the city’s first Black mayor.
In Honor Of President's Day, Here Are Photos That Will Make You Miss Barack Obama
1. Barack Gives Daughter Malia a KissSource:Getty 1 of 14
2. Michelle and Barack tell the kids a storySource:Getty 2 of 14
3. Michelle and Barack KissSource:Getty 3 of 14
4. Michelle and BarackSource:Getty 4 of 14
5. Two TermsSource:Getty 5 of 14
6. Michelle and Barack Host a State DinnerSource:Getty 6 of 14
7. Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaSource:Getty 7 of 14
8. Flashback To The Old DaysSource:Pete Souza 8 of 14
9. Candidly AwesomeSource:Pete Souza 9 of 14
10. TV TimeSource:Pete Souza 10 of 14
11. Reading TimeSource:Pete Souza 11 of 14
12. Supporting MomSource:Pete Souza 12 of 14
13. 50th Anniversary Of March On SelmaSource:Pete Souza 13 of 14
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Here’s What Happens When Black Folks Turn Up At The Polls was originally published on newsone.com