Cory Booker: Dems Losing Because ‘Russians’ Suppress African American Voters

Fact checked
Cory Booker blames Russia for suppressing African-American votes

Presidential hopeful Cory Booker claims Democrats are losing elections because “Russians” are suppressing “African American voters.”

During Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, the New Jersey senator stated that the alleged suppression of votes from black Americans was a major reason why President Trump won Michigan in the 2016 election.

“We lost the state of Michigan because everybody from Republicans to Russians were targeting the suppression of African American voters,” Booker complained.

“If the African American vote had been like it was four years earlier, we would have won Michigan.” reports: He added, “We need to have a campaign that is ready for what is coming: An all-out assault, especially on the most valuable voter group in our — in fact, the highest-performing voter group in our collation, which is black women. And, so, I will be a person that tries to fight against voter suppression that can activate and engage the kind of voters and coalitions that are going to win states like Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.”

The problem with Booker’s allegation is that it is almost certainly false.

Booker can claim Russian operatives sought to exacerbate racial tensions by targeting African Americans on social media. There is ample reporting to back that claim. It is also true that African American turnout in 2016 was weak overall. But there is nothing to show Russian memes convinced black voters to stay to home on Nov. 8, 2016. There is certainly nothing that allows one to say with any sort of certainty that Russia “suppressed” the black vote. The claim works only if the words “suppressed” and “suppression” no longer mean what they actually mean, as demonstrated in these absurd 2018 articles from CNN and ABC News.

Yes, it is true that if blacks in Michigan had voted for Hillary Clinton in the same numbers they supported former President Barack Obama, she might well have carried the state in 2016. But, well, maybe there is another reason why they were more enthusiastic about Obama that does also not involve kooky Russian fantasies.

Hmmm, what could it possibly be?

Wait — are you telling me Clinton simply took for granted that she would get the same kind of support in metro Detroit that America’s first black president had gotten?

Oh, dear.