I woke up the day after Election Day thankful that the sun rose and that God had provided me with grace to be a part of a new day.
I then turned to the online news of the day to find out what was happening and one of the first things I read was the Washington Post 2020 Election Day exit poll results.
I immediately went still; then, feelings of sadness and frustration overwhelmed me as I processed what the exit poll revealed: the racial, gender and partisan divide appears to have grown even wider than it was in 2016.
First, the exit poll showed that for the Democrats that voted for Joe Biden for president, the top issues that motivated them to vote were racial inequality, the coronavirus pandemic and the importance of containing the virus. The Republicans who voted for Donald Trump, identified “the economy, importance of rebuilding the economy and crime and safety” as the top issues that motivated them to vote. Unsurprisingly, racial inequality was at the bottom issue of concern for Republicans.
Also troubling to me? When I looked further at the race, ethnicity and gender analysis, the majority of white women voted for Donald Trump (55%), which is 3 percent (52%) higher than 2016.
Democratic presidents have not won the majority of the white women voters since Bill Clinton won his second term in 1996. So, the reality that race trumps gender in presidential elections is nothing new. And Black women, as always the Democratic Party’s most loyal voting bloc of women voters, did their jobs. They voted 91% for Biden and the majority of other women of color voted for him, too.
One of the exit poll questions that concerns me even more personally as a COVID-19 survivor was that 76% of Republicans that voted for Trump believe that “rebuilding the economy now, even if it hurts efforts to contain the virus,” was more important to them than containing the virus.
As I continued to deal with my disappointment and frustration, two very timely conversations gave me the motivation I needed to get my day going with determination to keep the faith. First, I was on a Black leadership call focused on demanding that all eligible votes be counted. On that call, one of my colleagues reminded us that, “Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space” and we have to keep up the fight for justice.
Immediately after the Black leadership call, I joined my daily staff call and one of our team members shared a Bible verse that made it even clearer for me that I must keep the faith and know that God is in control:
Further, the Trump campaign is filing lawsuits in an attempt to stop ballots from being counted in states that are undecided—and that must not be allowed to stand.
So, the fight for justice continues and there is nothing more fundamental to our democracy than the right to vote and having that voted counted. It is time now, more than ever, to keep the faith.
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