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Marquise Francis on the 2020 Election

Yahoo News national reporter Marquis Francis on the 2020 presidential election thus far

Video Transcript

JEN ROGERS: Welcome back to 2020, A Time for Change. So I know there's a lot that is unknown, but one thing we do know is that we saw historic voter turnout this election cycle. We still don't know who won in part because there are so many ballots. Biden is battling Trump right now in Pennsylvania and Georgia, where the majority of votes still to be counted are from Democratic leaning counties with large Black populations.

I want to bring in Marquise Francis for more on this. So Marquise, in the final run-up to the race, we were talking and talking last week on this show about Black men supporting President Trump. Was he going to be able to get more and add to his 2016 support? How did it shake out? What do we know?

MARQUISE FRANCIS: Yeah, I know. There was so much talk on it. I even wrote a piece about Black men and how they're actually voting for their own self-interest. But early exit poll data-- and I know our colleague Kristin has been tweeting about this quite a bit. But it looks like Black men have held steady.

In 2016, about 81% of Black men voted for Hillary Clinton. But this year, it looks like 80% voted for Biden. So a percentage more went to Trump, but surprisingly, it's Black women that, by large part, went more for Donald Trump. In 2016, 98% of Black women went for Hillary Clinton. And this year, it looks like early polling data says 91% of Black women went for Joe Biden.

So the president definitely gained a few points there. I want to note that polling data-- exit polling data is kind of early. So we'll see how things shake out in the weeks to come. But one thing that was definitely very apparent in our early talks with Black men were that, you know, the same idea that a lot of people say,.

You know, for them, President Trump represented someone who was macho, someone who just spoke his mind. One gentleman even said that he's just voting for him because of his favorable tax situation, not necessarily accounting for the $400,000 mark that Joe Biden is taxing against those who are a bit richer, but just for his-- he's an options trader. So that was something that was definitely apparent.

But one other person I'd like to note was a Black man who was an independent. He said he didn't think anyone should vote for either Joe Biden or President Trump because he said, you know, President Trump represents someone who is not PC, says what's on his mind. But for him, Joe Biden represents the White woman who shouts Black Lives Matter, but kind of clutches her purse when you walk by.

So I think the sentiment for a lot of the Black community is, obviously, they want to choose someone, and we talked about the historic voter turnout. But a lot of people are also on the fence if either candidate will really mean much for them.

JEN ROGERS: So that's covering the Black voter side. But we also had a lot of Black candidates, and the Black female candidate in particular, you got to talk to today, Cori Bush. Tell us about her victory.

MARQUISE FRANCIS: Absolutely. So Cori Bush became the first Black congressional female congressional winner in Missouri, historic. There was another gentleman in the seat for over 50 years. So-- and this is a woman who, back in 2014, came to prominence because she was a activist and a protester down in Ferguson. She's a single mom, a pastor, a nurse.

And what started out as her just kind of going outside and raising her voice ended up her out there for over 400 days straight, on the streets protesting. And for a lot of people, they saw the victory of Cori Bush as sending a message that, obviously, Black Lives Matter, and there is power in this grassroots effort.

But, you know, a bit of research ahead of time, I noticed that this is actually her third race. So in 2016, she ran for Senate, and she lost in 2018. She ran for the seat in law. So this is her third run. Third time's a charm.

But one thing I did talk to her about was this idea that, you know, Democrats were expecting this big, huge blue wave that, obviously, we're kind of seeing isn't necessarily, you know, shaking out in the House, also in the Senate. So this is one thing that she said she feels as though Democrats need to pay attention to when it comes to voters in the future.

JEN ROGERS: Hey Marquise, before we--

CORI BUSH: I think what's missing right now is that connection with just a different group of people in the community who have great ideas, but who aren't the names, the titles, the movers and the shakers, those with the money and those that have the connections to big corporations and all of that. Talking to the people who are actually out there in the street, organizing. Like, that's where it is right now.

And I don't understand why people, especially people in power, people in leadership, they're not paying attention to the writing on the wall. I just won this seat from a 52-year dynasty because I stood up for Black lives. I stood up for brown lives, for babies in cages. I stood up, you know, against all of the oppression and the systems that have been holding our community down for so long. I stood up against police brutality.

JEN ROGERS: So Marquise Francis, thanks so much. We'll catch that interview up on Yahoo. Thanks for all your great work during this time. And that's going to do it for all of us here at "2020, A Time for Change."