In a new Op-Ed for Fox News, Liz Peek argues that Trump gaining traction with black voters is terrible news for Democrats.
Recently, Robert Johnson, BET founder and the country’s first African-American billionaire, sat down with CNBC’s Hadley Gamble to discuss the 2020 presidential election.
Johnson gave credit to Trump for low African American unemployment and said the election is Trump’s to lose.
Per Peek, two polls, one by Emerson College and one from Rasmussen, put black support for Trump at or above 34 percent. Those soundings so alarmed Trump critics that a horrified CNN host described the two polls as “fake” and sarcastically suggested that only Kanye West and other black Trump surrogates had been surveyed.
The Emerson poll showed 34.5 percent of black registered voters supported the president, up from 17.8 percent a month earlier. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 8.3 points. Rasmussen showed the president with 34 percent approval from blacks.
Most polls put the president’s approval among black voters at about 10 percent. But it is worth noting that Trump won only 8 percent of black votes in 2016; as dismal as that showing was, it was better than that of John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. And, as modest as 10 percent is, it’s better than his tally in 2016.
In 2016, Trump asked black voters, “What do you have to lose?” He hit a nerve, and while only a small fraction of that cohort pulled the lever for Trump, turnout among blacks receded to pre-Obama levels, which could well have cost Hillary Clinton the win.
This year, he has ramped up his outreach to African Americans, and it may be getting some traction. In the 2018 midterms, Democrats carried 90 percent of the vote in House contests, obviously a huge majority, but that was shy of the 93 percent that voted for Hillary in 2016. While Democrats are scoring better with white suburban women, they appear to be slipping among blacks.
Meanwhile, surveys conducted by Sienna College and the New York Times of key swing states show black voter support for Trump ahead of 2016 levels.
Why not? Trump signed the most consequential criminal justice reform bill in decades and is presiding over an economy that has delivered rising incomes and jobs to even the most vulnerable Americans, like ex-felons. The poverty rate is at the lowest level since 2001 and fell last year by 0.9 percent among blacks. Black unemployment is at record low levels and in recent years, gains in median household income for blacks have exceeded those of whites in most metropolitan areas.
In October, the Trump team launched Black Voices for Trump in Atlanta, with the president vowing to “campaign for every last African American vote in 2020.” In that inaugural address, the president told several hundred African American supporters, “the Democratic Party already left you a long time ago.” He added, “If you don’t want liberal extremists to run your lives, then today we say welcome to the Republican Party.”