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Trump Boldly Goes Where No Republican Has Gone Before: For the Black Vote

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:25 PM
Laura Hoy
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:25 PM
  • Trump has started to aggressively pursue black voters as part of his bid for reelection
  • There’s some question as to whether he’s trying to gain African American votes or simply cast enough doubt on the Democrats to persuade voters to stay home.
  • Trump is one of the only Republican candidates in history to campaign so hard in African American communities

This weekend, former NFL defensive back Jack Brewer told Fox & Friends that he predicts a “black awakening” in 2020 that could result in President Trump’s re-election via a surge in black voters. Brewer, who supported Obama, says he feels the Democratic Party has abandoned African Americans . 

I really started being awakening [sic] to what was happening with the Democratic Party — making so many promises but then abandoning the community that I worked so hard in […] I said enough was enough and I really started putting aside what my parents and my grandparents taught me about sticking to the Democratic Party because they were the party for African Americans.

African American Trump Supporters

Brewer isn’t the only notable African American to throw his support behind Trump. Kanye West has been another high-profile Trump supporter and conservative activists Autry Pruitt and James Golden have been talking the President up  recently as well.

black vote
Source: Twitter 

African American voters are a key demographic in many swing states and while their ballots are typically cast in support of Democrats, Trump’s reelection campaign is working to change that. Back in 2016, many black voters didn’t show up, which contributed to Trump’s overall win. Now, the president is looking to gain support in 2020 from those who chose not to vote rather than supporting Clinton four years ago. He’s doing that through a campaign initiative aimed at African Americans called “Black Voices.”

Trump Courts the Black Vote

President Trump is spending $1 million to gain support among African American communities with a number of advertising campaigns. Low unemployment among African Americans and the White House’s efforts to reform criminal laws seen as harmful to the community are reasons the campaign is using to connect with black voters.

To be sure, Trump will never be at the top of African American polls. He’s also unlikely to garner the 30% support from the group in November despite some impressive polling results . But if he can improve upon the 8% support he received from African Americans in 2016 by just a few percentage points, he’s got a good chance of reelection.

That’s because just a slight uptick in African American support in key states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Georgia could be the difference between a Democrat or Republican victory.

It’s unclear whether Trump’s attempts to connect with black voters will be successful— he’s one of the only Republican candidates in history to focus so intently on that demographic . The polls suggest he has a long way to go, though. The latest Politico/ Morning Consult poll showed his approval rating stands at 10% among black voters. Another survey showed that 87% African American voters supported Joe Biden compared to just 7% of the black vote backing Trump.

Trump Creates Doubt for the Democrats

No one can be sure just how accurate any of those polling figures really are, but that might not matter to the Trump campaign. That’s because Trump may not be after the black vote at all.

black vote
Source: Twitter 

Instead, he might be working to orchestrate a repeat of 2016 by persuading people to stay home rather than vote for a Democratic they don’t fully support. Adrianne Shropshire, the head of Black PAC says she thinks Trump’s “Black Voices” is simply aimed at dampening enthusiasm for the Democratic Party and whoever their candidate may be. 

The end goal is to create doubt in the minds of black voters, doubt about the Democratic Party and doubts about the Democratic nominee