Our new poll with BlackPAC, shows Virginian voters of color feel under siege in 2017, and want to send a message to Donald Trump when they vote for governor and other statewide offices Nov. 7. The poll, conducted by brilliant corners on behalf of BlackPAC, was put in the field weeks after white supremacists stormed Charlottesville, and indicates growing racial anxiety among Black, Latino, and Asian and Pacific Islander voters in the state. While Democratic statewide candidates lead among voters of color, they will all need to engage in intensive voter outreach to people of color on core issues of racial justice and economic populism to win. The majority of votes cast in Virginia for Hillary Clinton in 2016 were voters of color (51%). These voters are not just an important part of Democrats path to victory in Virginia, they are the only path to victory. Take a look:

Op-ed: Black Lives Matter represents a changing of the guard

By Cornell Belcher

Originally posted on MSNBC

I woke last Friday to pundits talking about whether former President Bill Clinton’s nearly 15 minute response to Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters at his event in Philadelphia was 2016’s “Sister Souljah moment.” You will recall that in 1992, the calling out of the former rap artist for her remarks about racist LA cops by then-nominee Governor Bill Clinton was seen as a signal to white independent voters that he was a different kind of Democrat. This new Democrat wasn’t going to kowtow to elements of the black community for political convenience — a necessary, if not unfortunate, bow to the so-called Reagan Democrats of the time.

In this case, I think the pundits are on to something, but they are missing the larger current context of the moment. It was a Sister Souljah moment, but not for Bill Clinton. It was a Sister Souljah moment in reverse. BLM, an intentionally decentralized cohort of young, vocal black leaders, announced that they are indeed a different type of movement, one that doesn’t kowtow to the establishment or abide by the conventional tactics defined in the post-Civil Rights era.

Putting leaders on the spot as the issues of the prison industrial complex and police brutality gain prominence in this year’s political contest is a testimony to BLM’s success regardless of whether or not you agree with their tactics. I don’t agree with the tactics of the Tea Party, but no student of politics can deny their impact on the country’s political discourse. Meanwhile, the movement’s influence continues to grow. BLM has in very short period of time evolved into a valid representational voice of the African-American community, particularly among millennials.


While there is, in general, a considerable amount of displeasure with the African-American community’s current leadership, our polling shows a community closely split: a slight 39 percent plurality of African-Americans agree that movements like BLM speak for and better represent their community, while 34 percent agree that the more traditional, iconic Civil Rights organizations, like the NAACP, represent the community. Unsurprisingly, this shift is being driven by millennials, with 47 percent of that age group identifying with BLM. BLM is now as legitimate a movement in the African-American community as the Tea Party is in the white electorate, if not more so. 

As public discourse in this presidential election year continues to unfold, at least in discussions involving the Democratic side of the aisle, the primary focus will be garnering a majority stake in the black electorate. Unfortunately for those wishing for the return of paradigms lost, there is no longer a means of escaping the necessity of a black agenda. Not even a former president, even one as historically popular and beloved as Bill Clinton, is immune from the strident demands of this new body. 

By now, it should be clear that the failure to address issues of importance to the black community will no longer be tolerated by a growing group of younger leaders who are now taking up the mantle of progress for the community, just as their forefathers before them did with just as much skepticism at the time.

While campaigns set loose an army of surrogates charged with engaging and mobilizing voters, each would be wise to take note of the sea change underway in the black community. The rise of BLM will influence the political discourse of the community as the first black president exits the stage.  Suddenly, the once-dependable cadre of Civil Rights-era leaders, icons and institutions that has for decades been acting as the community’s chief negotiators with our political leaders, has been rendered an uncertainty that must now compete with the rising tide of leaders who are just coming into their own with a new set of demands and different tactics. And frankly, a free market of competing ideas is ultimately good for the African-American community.

Phrases like Black Lives Matter connote more than a protest movement. For me, BLM is more like shorthand for a transformation in the black community’s desires and demands, which will now include a black community-specific agenda that can be used both to gauge a candidate’s commitment and to provide the community with a basis of measurement it can use to hold elected officials accountable. The effectiveness of this growing new movement to mobilize its ranks given its emphasis on decentralization is a fair question, but BLM is increasingly giving voice to an anxious group of young black Americans, and the political powers that be would be wise to take the kids seriously.




When asked what concerns them most – between the possibility of continued acts of terror by Islamic extremists on American soil or the possibility of increased discrimination and acts of violence toward Hispanics and other minorities because of heightened anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican rhetoric – a national sample of Hispanics are remarkably almost just as fearful of the increasing hateful rhetoric emerging from politics as they are about terrorism.

Opinion: South Carolina will decide Sanders’ and Clinton’s fates

South Carolina, the state that effectively decided the Democratic nomination in 2008, will do so again in 2016. For all the grandeur and hype around the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, and despite all the fury that followed in the spring state skirmishes, it is here in the most genteel of Southern states, where the shadow of racial matters is always present, that Hillary Clinton will essentially win the Democratic nomination or see it begin to slip from her grasp. It is also here where Sen. Bernie Sanders will either be able to break through and compete effectively for the African-American vote, or he will not be the Democratic nominee. If he cannot crack Clinton’s so-called “firewall” and compete effectively for the African-American vote in South Carolina this weekend, the contest is more or less over.

Black Votes Matter

Black Votes Matter is a description of recent research by brilliant corners Research & Strategies describing the intersection between the Obama Surge Voter coalitions of 2008/2012, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the 2016 election cycle. This research explores how the BLM movement will have resounding effects on this election cycle far greater than most progressives have acknowledged.


NEWS: As a black man, it’s hard to catch a cab. And my research shows even white people know that.

The “Hailing While Black” poll found that 62 percent of black Chicagoans and 55 percent of white Chicagoans believe minority communities are discriminated against by taxi service providers.

Barack Obama and Americans’ Racial Attitudes: Rallying and Polarization

During the 2008 presidential election, and briefly following it, researchers and pundits wondered whether the election of America’s first African-American President could create a post-racial America. But while political scientists have done much to analyze the election itself, we remain largely uninformed about the potential long-term effects of the Obama presidency on racial attitudes in America. This paper addresses the effects of the Obama presidency using multiple original surveys of the electoral battleground states conducted from 2008 through 2012. Using a measure of racial antagonism, the analysis tests the rally and presidential-popularity cycle theories of public opinion.