The Negro Vote

August 25, 1944

Report Outline
Rise of Negro Toward Political Power
The Political Parties and the Negro
Political Dissatisfactions of the Negro
Special Focus

Rise of Negro Toward Political Power

The Total Vote in the 1944 election is expected to fall well below the record of 50 million votes cast for President in 1940, but it is generally believed that more Negroes will cast ballots in November than have ever before participated in a national election. Both major parties are making strong appeals to Negro voters in the present campaign. If Negroes should vote for the candidates of one party by overwhelming majorities, while white voters divided fairly evenly, the Negro minority would be in position to determine the results of congressional contests in various northern cities and perhaps of the presidential race in several northern states.

In the presidential year 1940, according to the Census, there were 7,427,938 Negro men and women of voting age in the United States. Of these about 127,000 were in the District of Columbia, where residents have no vote. Upwards of 2,500,000 were in the five states of the Deep South—South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana—where Negroes are generally barred from the polls. And 2,400,000 were in seven other southern states where participation in elections by Negroes is limited by restrictive laws. Approximately 2,400,000 Negroes were residents of the other 36 states of the Union where Negroes who have the same qualifications as white electors are allowed to vote.

Trend Toward Increased Negro Voting in South

It is not possible to tell with any degree of accuracy how many Negroes normally go to the polls, for the races to which voters belong are not given in election returns. An extensive field study, made for a recent authoritative survey of the status of the Negro in the United States, resulted in an estimate that in eight southern states with an adult Negro population of 3,650,000 only 80,000 to 90,000 Negroes voted in the election of 1940. Of these some 50,000 cast their ballots in Texas.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
African Americans and the Civil Rights Movement
Jul. 22, 2022  Black Hairstyles
Nov. 15, 1985  Black America Long March for Equality
Aug. 12, 1983  Black Political Power
Jan. 18, 1980  Black Leadership Question
Aug. 15, 1973  Black Americans, 1963–1973
Nov. 26, 1969  Racial Discrimination in Craft Unions
Sep. 11, 1968  Black Pride
Feb. 21, 1968  Negro Power Struggle
Mar. 08, 1967  Negroes in the Economy
Jan. 19, 1966  Changing Southern Politics
Oct. 27, 1965  Negroes in the North
Jul. 21, 1965  Negro Revolution: Next Steps
Oct. 14, 1964  Negro Voting
Sep. 21, 1964  Negroes and the Police
Jul. 03, 1963  Right of Access to Public Accommodations
Jan. 23, 1963  Negro Jobs and Education
Mar. 25, 1960  Violence and Non-Violence in Race Relations
Aug. 05, 1959  Negro Employment
Apr. 18, 1956  Racial Issues in National Politics
Apr. 18, 1951  Progress in Race Relations
Dec. 17, 1948  Discrimination in Employment
Jan. 10, 1947  Federal Protection of Civil Liberties
Aug. 25, 1944  The Negro Vote
Jul. 01, 1942  Racial Discrimination and the War Effort
Mar. 25, 1939  Civil and Social Rights of the Negro
Jul. 22, 1927  Disenfranchisement of the Negro in the South
Campaigns and Elections
Campaigns and Elections
Civil Rights: African Americans
Voting and Suffrage