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A Black Man in the White House

Democrats Are Playing Checkers While Trump Is Playing Chess

October 12, 2017

By Thomas B. Edsall

For Democrats, the warning shots are coming thick and fast.

“More than half of Americans don’t think Donald Trump is fit to serve as president, yet he has a clear path to winning reelection,” Doug Sosnik, who served as President Bill Clinton’s political director, wrote in the Washington Post last week. “Are Democrats Headed for a McGovern Redux?” Alan Greenblatt asked in Politico on Oct. 9. On the same day, a New York Magazine headline declared: “No One Should Rule Out a Trump Re-election in 2020.”

What can Democrats do?

Dream Act Not Enough for Some Immigration Activists—Including Dreamers

October 02, 2017

By Paul Crookston

Democrats face resistance to strike deal with Trump

Obama pollster Cornell Belcher on the failures that led to President Trump: “What happens to a centrist Democrat who can’t hold the Obama coalition?”

February 20, 2017


Trump didn’t “remake the electorate,” argues leading Democratic pollster. Instead, Hillary and her party blew it

‘We’re not getting any whiter’: Obama pollster talks racial politics at SMPA event

March 22, 2017

Cornell Belcher, a pollster for former President Barack Obama during his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, cited racial identity and animosity as one of the most important drivers of today’s party politics during an event Tuesday night in the Marvin Center’s continental ballroom.

In a conversation with School of Media and Public Affairs Director Frank Sesno, Belcher talked about what went wrong for the Democrats in last year’s election and the role race played in shaping the campaign.


March 17, 2017

Michael Baisden Show guest, Cornell Belcher is the author of the book “A Black Man In The White House: Barack Obama and the Triggering of America’s Racial-Aversion Crisis .” Belcher is an award-winning pollster and one of the premier strategists in national progressive politics.

Listen to the complete interview and hear what you didn’t hear on the show!

SXSW Panel: Is big data destroying the U.S. political system?

March 14, 2017

2016 was a bad year to use data to create odds. From wins by the Cavaliers and Cubs, to Brexit and Trump becoming president, we got it wrong. But lost in the debate over whether the data was good or bad is whether data is good or bad for the American political system. Chuck Todd, NBC News political director and moderator of “Meet the Press,” asks if a case should be made that the better and more effective tools used to gather big campaign data are the exact cause for the country's polarization. Has data helped to increase polarization and to short circuit our ability to govern?

Author and Political Strategist Cornell Belcher on The Wayne Besen Show

February 21, 2017

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MSNBC: Meet the Press

February 15, 2017

Cornell Belcher, author of A Black Man in the White House, on Meet the Press Daily with Chuck Todd

Black voters aren't happy with President Trump or Democrats

February 11, 2017

by Herbert L. White 

African American voters feel taken advantage of by Democrats and nervous about President Donald Trump’s leadership, according to a national poll conducted for the Congressional Black Caucus.

All in with Chris Hayes

February 08, 2017

All In with Chris Hayes  as Republicans shamefully cut off Elizabeth Warren

The Democratic Party has a race problem.

February 06, 2017

“One of the things I find is a progressive blind spot is race,” said pollster Cornell Belcher, who previously worked for President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and the Democratic National Committee. “Republicans get race. They get it, and they understand how to organize around it.”

Interview with Cornell Belcher

February 06, 2017

Marc Clarke talks to author, pollster, and strategist Cornell Belcher about his book "A Black Man in the White House."

MSNBC: All In with Chris Hayes

February 08, 2017

Cornell Belcher joined All In with Chris Hayes last night right as Republicans shamefully cut off Elizabeth Warren

Cornell Belcher opens up about his book ‘A Black Man in the White House’

January 30, 2017

By Kelley D. Evans

Award-winning pollster Cornell Belcher’s new book is out and making the right kind of waves. Described as a white paper, the book just might be the source of knowledge minorities need to cope with the results of the 2016 election.

MSNBC: Hardbacll with Chris Mathews

January 25, 2017

Cornell Belcher on Hardball with Chris Matthews last night speaking about Donald J. Trump:

"Creating this boogeyman for his vanity, creating this boogeyman for more restrictive voting."

What Ever Happened To Post-Racial America?

January 18, 2017

By Molly Boigon

“[It] was sort of the wolf at the door for Americans who were afraid of a changing, more diverse America,” Cornell Belcher said.

NPR Boston Public Radio

January 18, 2017

The Myth of a Post-Racial America and The Rise of Donald Trump

January 16, 2017

A recent Quinnipiac poll puts President Obama's approval rating at 55 percent. The same poll found that 51 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his responsibilities as president-elect.

When President Obama was elected eight years ago, many falsely believed that "post-racial America" had finally arrived. As the 2016 campaign showed, President-elect Trump used race to get elected.

Cornell Belcher is the author of "A Black Man In The White House" and was a lead pollster for the Democratic National Committee under Howard Dean. He was also a member of President Obama’s polling team for both the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and speaks with Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich about the racial politics that divide the country today.

ABC News This Week: LIVE VIDEO with Cornell Belcher

January 15, 2017

Cornell Belcher Talks to ABC News

After a fiery roundtable discussion on This Week, we continue the conversation on President-elect Donald J. Trump's feud with Rep. John Lewis with Cornell Belcher, author of the new book "A Black Man in the White House." Have a question? Leave them in the comments below!

Sunday on ‘This Week’: Reince Priebus, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz

January 13, 2017

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January 13, 2017

Obama's Legacy: More Than Just the ACA

December 06, 2019

President Barack Obama is wrapping up his few last weeks in the White House. With the new Congress officially sworn in and in session, the focus of Obama's legacy has largely been on the Affordable Care Act. Bill Press discusses other key milestones from the past eight years with Cornell Belcher, President of Brilliant Corners Research + Strategy and author of A Black Man in the White House: Barack Obama and the Triggering of America's Racial-Aversion Crisis. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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How Trump's victory turns into another 'Lost Cause'

December 28, 2016

By John Blake

Those who say white voters can't be racist because they elected a black president twice are ignoring another inconvenient fact: Obama was elected despite opposition from white voters, political scientist Cornell Belcher told Vox in a recent interview.

He said whites didn't put Obama in the White House. Obama grabbed only 43% of the white vote in 2008 and 39% in 2012.

"The majority of whites did not elect Obama, and that's the wolf at the door," Belcher told Vox. "The vast majority of whites did not support President Obama and President Obama won back-to-back majorities, and that caused the realization of their power waning. Mitt Romney ran up a higher score among white voters than Ronald Reagan when Reagan had a landslide in 1984.

MSNBC: Cornell Belcher on Obama and America’s ‘Racial-Aversion Crisis’

December 27, 2016

Democratic pollster, Cornell Belcher, joins us to discuss his book: A Black Man in the White House: Barack Obama and the Triggering of America's Racial-Aversion Crisis.

Bounce TV with Ed Gordon

December 22, 2016

Cornell Belcher joined Ed Gordon last week for the premiere episode of his show on Bounce TV. I talk about how Donald Trump represents a direct threat to the African American community.

"It Was My Primal Scream"

December 17, 2016

By Mary Ann Akers
A lifelong progressive was so disgusted with her party, she voted for Trump. Will Democrats care enough to win her back?

Looking at Obama’s legacy

December 16, 2016

By Katharine Whittemore

“'Trump is the wholly unsurprising upshot of a party that has been race-baiting, albeit covertly, for generations,' insists Belcher."

NEW YORK TIMES: Democrats at Crossroads: Win Back Working-Class Whites, or Let Them Go?

December 15, 2016


Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster, said it was folly to continue developing a message for and devoting considerable resources to “a shrinking, increasingly resistant market.”

Cornell Belcher: The Real Racial Crisis Is Aversion

December 15, 2016

by Barrett Holmes Pitner
There’s open racism. Then there’s racial aversion—just not wanting to associate with others based on stereotypes. And that, says Obama’s pollster, is our real race crisis.

WASHINGTON MONTHLY: How the GOP Helped White Nationalism Make a Comeback

December 14, 2016

by Martin Longman

Cornell Belcher, who worked as a pollster for both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, has done a deep investigation of racial and political attitudes during Obama’s presidency and he has a new book coming out: A Black Man in the White House: Barack Obama and the Triggering of America’s Racial-Aversion Crisis.

This Pollster Says Racist Backlash Following Obama Presidency Was a Given

December 13, 2016

By Kenrya Rankin

Cornell Belcher: “There is a transfer of power that’s going to happen, and the question is, is it going to be peaceful or is it going to be one that destroys us?”

Democratic Pollster Cornell Belcher Delivers Blunt Talk on 2016 Election Results

December 12, 2016

By Lauren Victoria Burke (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

 Part of the problem for Hillary Clinton in 2016 was that moderates and liberals were more likely to vote for a third party candidate while, in the end, Republicans stuck together and “got in line” as others were casting protest votes. The result was a surprise victory for New York real estate developer Donald Trump.

Belcher also said that “race trumps gender” in America and that it always has. For that reason, Trump did much better with White women voters than anyone had predicted. So many polls and pundits ended up being incorrect in 2016 that the pollster/pundit class has been thrown into a state of self-study over the 2016 election results. Yet, Belcher has been talking about many of these issues for years.

Obama’s Rise Hindered Clinton’s, Pollster Says

December 12, 2016

Pollster Cornell Belcher says that what most have described as Donald Trump’s “stunning” election victory didn’t come as a surprise to him because he witnessed the rise of racial aversion during Barack Obama’s presidency.

“Trump was the right candidate at the right time,” said Belcher, a pollster in Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns and for the Democratic National Committee under Howard Dean.


Belcher bears out his theory in his new book “A Black Man In The White House: Barack Obama and the Triggering of America’s Racial-Aversion Crisis.” 

A pollster on the racial panic Obama’s presidency triggered — and what Democrats must do now

December 12, 2016

By Jenée Desmond-Harris

His research details the crisis of racial antagonism that helped Trump win. In his new book, Cornell Belcher describes “America's racial aversion crisis”: a panicked emotional response on the part of white Americans to an African-American president, which transformed into a powerful force in politics.

Cornell Belcher: The Real Racial Crisis Is Aversion

December 06, 2016

by Barrett Holmes Pitner
There’s open racism. Then there’s racial aversion—just not wanting to associate with others based on stereotypes. And that, says Obama’s pollster, is our real race crisis.

WATCH: Dems need grassroots leader at helm of DNC, pollster says

December 05, 2016

A former Democratic National Committee (DNC) pollster says the party needs a stronger leader from outside the establishment to head the operation.


Former DNC pollster Cornell Belcher — who worked on President Obama's campaigns in '08 and '12 — notes that Obama "was not someone who was an establishment person" and asserts that "a grassroots voice outside the establishment" is needed to lead the Democrats.

Former DNC Pollster: White Voters Saw Trump as Their ‘Great White Hope’ to Get Their Country Back

December 03, 2016

By Trent Baker

Saturday, former DNC pollster Cornell Belcher said on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” that white voters saw President-elect Donald Trump as the “great white hope” who would “give them their country back.”

“Look, this ideal that the Democrats need to spend more time having a conversation with white voters is patently absurd,” Belcher told host Joy Reid. “We spend 80 percent of our resources right now chasing this mythical, unicorn white swing voter. The truth of the matter is, look, we’re not winning more blue-collar white voters because we’re racially polarized. These people want their country back and they saw Donald Trump as the strong, great white hope to give them their country back.”

The dilemma for Democrats: chase Millennials or blue collar voters?

December 03, 2016

By Brian Eason

The country is increasingly polarized along racial lines.

THE DAILY WIRE: Belcher: Trump Is 'Existential Threat' To 'Communities Of Color'

November 30, 2016

By Robert Kraychik
Belcher’s recently published book argues that “racial antagonism” - related to “symbolic racism” and “racial resentment” - has risen among whites since 2009 as a function of President Barack Obama’s race.

MSNBC: Trump, Clinton and the impact of race on '16

November 30, 2016

Author Cornell Belcher discusses why Donald Trump's win was more about Hillary Clinton and what is the way forward for Democrats. 

WASHINGTON POST: Cornell Belcher’s book party was both a pep rally and political lecture

November 30, 2016

By Helena Andrews-Dyer

THE GUARDIAN: Trump is the inevitable backlash to an Obama presidency

November 10, 2016

White voters found that their clout had diminished greatly – and some of them wouldn’t cede power without a fight

MSNBC LIVE: How close is the race in the sunshine state?

November 03, 2016

Polls and early voting numbers seem to suggest that the presidential race in battleground Florida is tightening. Cornell Belcher, democratic strategist, joins MSNBC's Craig Melvin to explain what to expect on November 8.

PBS NEWS HOUR: What we know about voter turnout so far

November 03, 2016

In the final race to the White House, get-out-the-vote efforts are key. Judy Woodruff speaks with Cornell Belcher of Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies, Michael McDonald of the University of Florida and Mark Hugo Lopez of the Pew Research Center about the effectiveness of outreach efforts, particularly among minority voters.

MSNBC LIVE WITH THOMAS ROBERTS: Clinton still struggles with enthusiasm gap

November 03, 2016

Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher joins MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts to discuss Hillary Clinton’s enthusiasm gap amongst African-American and Latino voters.

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