The U.S. elections are on board. Thus, several researchers are curious about what factors would impact this year’s election. Will it be the worldwide pandemic, the shut-down of non-essential businesses, or active protests against racial injustice? The research conducted by the American National Election Studies with researchers from different universities surveyed more than 3,600 U.S. voters. They collected data on their political opinion and participation. The result showed that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest which originated in 2013 had an impact in the 2016 election. This backlash cropped up to fight against white supremacy and violence against African-American citizens.
According to the study, there were two sections of voters in 2016. The inequalities that surfaced during the Black Lives Matter movement motivated one section and others were against it. The first group was supporting the civil rights movement. They were more likely to vote for the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, who supported the Black Lives Matter movement. However, the other section was supporting the Republican nominee of 2016, Donald J. Trump, who expressed his opposition against the Black Lives Matter movement. He also supported the police in his rallies. Researchers noticed anti-black feelings and a fondness for class hierarchy in the latter section.
The researchers expect a similar effect in the 2020 election after the death of an African-American, George Floyd. He faced death while in police custody. This infuriated protest against racial injustice. Kevin Drakulich, an associate professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University, points out the unaffected approach of President Donald Trump against the BLM protest. Trump tweeted “LAW & ORDER!” during the recent BLM protest, however, remained silent during the April-May protest to reopen the U.S. economy.
Hence, the researchers reassured these issues to become an important factor in this year’s upcoming election.