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November 21st, 2012

NAACP releases poll data from battleground states

The NAACP, Latino Decisions, and pollsters at Silas Lee and Associates recently held a press briefing on African American polling data collected on election eve.

"This data underscores the decisive role we played in key battleground states," said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President & CEO of the NAACP. "It reveals opportunities for the GOP to improve its relationship with our community, and suggests the Democratic Party should not assume it will see the 2008 and 2012 levels of Black turnout in 2016."

Highlights from the data include a number of interesting statistics:

• Jobs and the Economy top the list of most important issues by a wide margin, with 60% of African American voters identifying this as the most important issue. In addition, 95% of all respondents believe the federal government should be engaging in job creation opportunities.

While respondents overwhelmingly believe that their success will be determined by self-reliance, they also see a very important role for the federal government.

• Issues important to African Americans must remain on the agenda for 2016. Currently, 93% of respondents remain enthusiastic about President Barack Obama and his administration. Seventy-nine percent of respondents are "very enthusiastic." However when President Barack Obama is no longer running in 2016, only 47% of respondents were "very enthusiastic" for a Democrat candidacy and 15% say they do not know how enthusiastic they will be.

• African Americans believe strongly in self-reliance to achieve success. 81% of respondents believe that success in this country depends on self-reliance and determination, while only 14% disagree. They also believe the federal government has a role to play in key areas, including education (95%), health care (96%), and job creation (96%).

• 93% of respondents favor the Dream Act, which would provide an opportunity for undocumented youth to seek US citizenship (71% strongly, 21% somewhat). In national polling, only Latinos come close to this level of support.

The data also found majority support for marriage equality for gays and lesbians. When asked about a constitutional right to marry, African American voters favor this 50%, and only 40% opposed.

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