A new study out from Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education reveals that voter participation among college students was up overall during the 2016 presidential election, but that among students at historically black colleges and universities, voting dropped by just over ten percent from 2012.
The center compared voting records to student enrollment records for more 9.5 million college students nationwide for its data, which shows that voting increased among white, Hispanic and Asian students overall, black college student voting dropped by five percent, two points below the national seven percent decrease in African American voting participation after record turnout in 2012.
Black voter turnout fell in 2016, even as a record number of Americans cast ballots
Some studies point to long wait times in HBCU states like South Carolina, Florida and Maryland as a culprit, while voter gerrymandering in other states like Georgia influenced participation.
Another theory? Black people, including HBCU students, just weren’t that into Hillary Clinton.
Clinton’s black voter turnout dropped more than 11 percent compared to 2012. The support for Clinton among active black voters was still exceedingly high (87 percent, versus 93 percent for Obama), but the big difference was the turnout. Almost two million black votes cast for Obama in 2012 did not turn out for Clinton. According to one plausible calculation, if in North Carolina blacks had turned out for Clinton as they had for Obama, she would have won the state.