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"Black women are the base of the Democratic Party and are important players in deciding elections." Professor Akwugo Emejulu comments on the Alabama poll.

AkwugoCommenting on the news that, according to the exit polls, 98 per cent of Black women voters in Alabama voted for Doug Jones, Professor Akwugo Emejulu from the University of Warwick’s Department of Sociology said:

“According to exit polls, the Alabama Senate race was won by Doug Jones because of enthusiastic Black voter turnout, lower white rural turnout, and a swing of college-educated and suburban white voters to the Democrat candidate.

“African American voters—especially African American women—are reliable Democratic voters but in recent years have faced renewed efforts to suppress their vote through new voter identification laws, the closure of polling stations in majority Black areas and cutting back on early voting.

“With 98% of Black women voters opting for Doug Jones, this closely resembles voting patterns in the 2016 general election where, nation-wide, 93% of African American women voters broke for Hillary Clinton. Black women, though they often disappear in news coverage about elections, are the base of the Democratic Party and are important players in deciding elections.

“If these patterns continue, a slump in enthusiasm with Trump’s majority white base combined with energetic Black turnout, this could spell trouble for the Republicans in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.”

margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto;">Professor Akwugo Emejulu is a professor in the University of Warwick Department of Sociology. Before entering academia, Professor Emejulu worked in a variety of grassroots roles, including as a community organiser, a trade union organiser and a participatory action researcher, in both the United States and in Britain. Her research focuses on two areas: investigating racial, ethnic and gender social and economic inequalities in Europe and the United States, and exploring women of colour’s grassroots organising and activism for social citizenship and social justice.

13 December 2017

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