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.
Happy Birthday, Barack Obama: Photos That Will Make You Miss Your Favorite President
1. Barack Gives Daughter Malia a KissSource:Getty 1 of 29
2. Michelle and Barack tell the kids a storySource:Getty 2 of 29
3. Michelle and Barack KissSource:Getty 3 of 29
4. Michelle and BarackSource:Getty 4 of 29
5. First Family PortraitSource:Getty 5 of 29
6. Two TermsSource:Getty 6 of 29
7. Michelle and Barack host a State DinnerSource:Getty 7 of 29
8. Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaSource:Getty 8 of 29
9. Sunday ChurchSource:Getty 9 of 29
10. Barack Obama and his daughter Malia ObamaSource:Getty 10 of 29
11. A Family AffairSource:Getty 11 of 29
12. Flashback To The Old DaysSource:Pete Souza 12 of 29
13. Happy Birthday!Source:Getty 13 of 29
14. Candidly AwesomeSource:Pete Souza 14 of 29
15. Historic First FamilySource:Getty 15 of 29
16. Ice Cream TreatSource:Getty 16 of 29
17. TV TimeSource:Pete Souza 17 of 29
18. Hawaii Trip!Source:Getty 18 of 29
19. Obama Loves Team USA & His WifeSource:Getty 19 of 29
20. Reading TimeSource:Pete Souza 20 of 29
21. Family SupportSource:Getty 21 of 29
22. Supporting MomSource:Pete Souza 22 of 29
23. Giving Back On MLK DaySource:Getty 23 of 29
24. Obamas Give Back To The CommunitySource:Getty 24 of 29
25. Always Supporting Small BusinessesSource:Getty 25 of 29
26. Obama SwaggerSource:Getty 26 of 29
27. Laughs & TurkeysSource:Getty 27 of 29
28. Christmas With The ObamasSource:Getty 28 of 29
29. 50th Anniversary Of March On SelmaSource:Pete Souza 29 of 29
Here’s What Happens When Black Folks Turn Up At The Polls was originally published on newsone.com