Joe Biden dominating among African Americans; 42% would vote for him in 2020;
42% plurality of African Americans say their personal finances are
about the same under President Trump;
Illegal shooting of young black males the top issue for African Americans in 2020;
69% of African Americans support reparations; up 10% since 2016

Bethesda, MD//MAY 29, 2019// The RLJ Companies today announced the results of a nationwide African American survey and corresponding nationwide survey of adults conducted by Zogby Analytics. The surveys reveal current African American, and American adult sentiments on a range of issues that include the 2020 Presidential Election, opinions about national and current affairs, the Trump Presidency, race relations, and social issues. One thousand randomly selected African American adults nationwide and one thousand randomly selected American adults were polled by telephone and online survey.

Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies stated, "The RLJ Companies released its third survey in follow-up to our 2013 and 2016 surveys as part of our ongoing efforts to ascertain the opinions and views of African Americans. The 2019 surveys focused on issues most important to the African American community, as well as their attitudes and opinions towards a range of national, social and economic issues.
We hope the survey will bring attention to the prevailing attitudes of African Americans in the U.S. since their voices are often not heard in the national political debates, even though African Americans represent approximately 14 percent of the U.S. population. We also hope the results of this survey will insure African Americans that their opinions are important and will encourage African Americans to remain actively engaged in the debate about the status and the future direction of our country."


2020 Presidential Election

  • Joe Biden is the clear favorite of African American Democrats: 42% of surveyed African Americans say they would vote for him, followed by 11% who support Bernie Sanders and 10% who support Kamala Harris.
  • Biden has stronger support among African Americans than among Democrats nationally (among whom he has 37% support.
  • Intensity of support for Biden is higher among Biden-supporting African Americans than national Democrats as 65% say their support for Biden is definite (compared to 46% of Biden-supporting Democrats nationally).
  • African American support for Mr. Biden in the Democratic primary is driven by older voters. Thus, while Biden has the support of over 50% of voters over 50, only 29% of those aged 18-29 support him.

National Issues

  • Eliminating illegal police shootings of young black men remains the most important national issue to African American adults as 76% (a four-point drop compared to 2016) of those surveyed consider this to be a very important factor in deciding whom to vote for.
  • Ensuring voting rights (68%), income inequality (62%), affordable college tuition (61%), and Medicare for all (60%) follow in importance, while the "Green New Deal" (30%) and the #MeToo movement (38%) play a less important role.
  • With the exception of terrorism/ISIS and immigration reform, all the issues tested play a more significant role in the voting decisions of African Americans than those of the general population.
  • Eliminating illegal police shootings (32 point difference) and preserving Obamacare (23 point difference) are issues where the difference between African Americans and the general population are the largest.

Trump Presidency

  • A plurality (42%) said that their personal finances are about the same, a third said their personal finances are worse off (35%), and 18% said their personal finances are better off than before Trump became President. The numbers in the general population are almost exactly flipped: 33% said they are better off, 22% said worse off, and 41% said they are the same.
  • Similarly, but less extreme, while 16% of African Americans believe that the African American community is better off since Trump became President (50% believes it is worse off), 29% of Americans think that they are better off.

#MeToo, Socialism, and Reparations

  • African Americans have a more favorable view of the #MeToo movement than do Americans in general: 58% have at least a somewhat favorable impression compared to 46% of the general population. Consistent with that, African Americans are less likely to think that the movement has gone too far.
  • The number of African Americans who believe that Black Americans should advocate for financial reparations for past years of slavery has increased ten points since 2016 to 69%. The general population support for this view is much weaker at 31% ('strongly agree' and 'somewhat agree' combined).
  • African Americans have a more favorable view of socialism than Americans: 41% have at least a somewhat favorable view, compared to 30% of the general population; only 9% (vs. 27% of the general population) of African Americans have a very unfavorable view of socialism.
  • Consistent with that, African Americans are more likely to believe that the national Democratic Party should embrace socialism (33%), as opposed to capitalism (27%) as part of its economic platform: while 40% of the general population believes they should embrace capitalism, 27% of African Americans do.

The RLJ Nationwide African American Survey Report can be found at:

About The RLJ Companies: The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson, is an innovative business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse portfolio of companies. Within The RLJ Companies portfolio, Johnson owns or holds interests in businesses operating in a publicly traded hotel real estate investment trust (REIT); private equity; 401k financial services; automobile dealerships; content streaming; and video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming. The RLJ Companies is headquartered in Bethesda, MD. Prior to founding The RLJ Companies, Johnson founded Black Entertainment Television (BET). For more information visit: Media Inquiries: Jonathan Zogby, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Zogby Analytics: Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions. The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.

Media Contact: Michelle Curtis
The RLJ Companies
(301) 280-7701
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.