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September 4, 2012

Joint Center Reports on African American Voters and their Ties to the Democratic Party

WASHINGTON, DC—The Joint Center for Political and Economic studies today released its quadrennial report, Blacks and the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which tracks both African American participation at the event and, more broadly, the relationship between African Americans and the Democratic Party.

The report shows that there are 1,452 black delegates at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, or 26.2 percent of the 5,551 total number of delegates. That is 346 more black delegates than the number that took part in the Democratic Convention in Denver in 2008. Blacks make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population.

By comparison, there were about 47 African American delegates, or 2. 1 percent, out of 2,286 in all at the Republican Convention in Tampa last week, as documented in the Joint Center’s companion publication, Blacks and the 2012 Republican National Convention.

The Convention Guide provides a comprehensive look at African Americans, their voting patterns and preferences and their relationship as voting citizens to the Democratic Party. It contains historical data about black voting patterns in recent decades and focuses on states where the black vote has the potential to affect the outcome of the presidential election as well as U.S. Senate contests.

“With this report, Blacks and the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the Joint Center cements its role as the leading source of contemporary and historical information about African Americans and their participation in the American political system,” said Ralph B. Everett, the President and CEO of the Joint Center. “It shows the depth of the relationship that African American voters have with the Democratic Party, indicates how that relationship has evolved over the years and makes clear that African Americans will align themselves with those political

institutions that are most inclusive and best represent their interests in governance and policymaking.”

The Joint Center began analyzing the impact of the black vote shortly after the organization was founded in 1970. Dr. David A. Bositis has been the author of the Democratic and Republican Convention Guides since 1992, and also has led the Joint Center’s political research unit, generating polls and analyses of all aspects of black political participation.

The report is available on the Joint Center’s website at www.jointcenter.org.