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Shermichael Singleton of Vox Media’s “Consider It” writes that Dwight Eisenhower was the “last Republican president to garner a significant percentage of the black vote.” Eisenhower won 39 percent of the black vote, and Nixon later won 32 percent of the black vote in his losing 1960 bid — is it really the case that 39 percent is significant and 32 percent insignificant?

Republican numbers among black voters recovered a little after 1964, but never returned to the their previous level, staying under 20 percent, and continued drifting downward. Even taking into account that he faced Barack Obama on the ballot, it is remarkable that John McCain did worse among black voters in 2008 than Barry Goldwater did in 1964.

But it also is worth noting that much of the party polarization among black voters happened well before 1964. From the immediate postwar years to the early 1950s, the share of........

© National Review