22 Oct 2020

Revealed: Trump’s 2016 campaign wanted 40% of Black voters in Florida not to vote

News Correspondent

Channel 4 News can reveal how 40% of Black people in Florida were classified as ‘Deterrence’ by Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign – voters they wanted to stay home on election day. It follows our investigation last month, exposing the Republican profiling strategy.

In Florida, the election is already underway: early voting started on Monday and quickly shattered opening day records. It’s one of the biggest and tightest swing states in this election.

But in 2016, almost 700,000 Black voters in the state were classified as “Deterrence” by the Repubican campaign.

Channel 4 News has exclusively obtained a vast cache of data used by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign on almost 200 million American voters. The data was built – in part – by the notorious company Cambridge Analytica, who worked closely with the Republican National Committee.

It reveals how millions of voters were split into different categories, which could be micro-targeted with tailored ads online.

Florida-based Republican activist Sean P Jackson told us: “We wanted to make sure that we deterred every Black voter humanly possible from voting for Hillary Clinton, and whether that meant them coming to vote for us or whether that meant them staying home.”

Speaking about some Republican strategists, he said: “They don’t want to go out and try to attempt to persuade Blacks to vote, because either they feel it’s a waste of money or they feel like if they try to get them to vote for us they’re going to come out and vote against us.”

President Trump’s spokesperson, Tim Murtaugh, told us our report was “nonsense” and said all their ads were designed to win voters over to Trump. And he told us the president has a far better record with the Black community than Joe Biden.

You can watch previous reports in this series here: https://www.channel4.com/news/deterring-democracy