Republicans see an opportunity with black voters, boost mobilization in Biden campaign


WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump is not known for cultivating deep ties with the black community.

From his early days as a New York real estate developer, Trump Has faced allegations of racism business practices. He spread the lie for years that America’s first black president, Barack Obama, was unfit to hold office. When he was President, Trump scoffed “Worthless Country” in Africa and said four congresswomen of color They should go back to the “broken and crime-ridden” countries they came from, ignoring the fact that all of the women are US citizens and three were born in the US

But as he seeks a third term for the presidency, Trump aims to win over an unlikely constituency: black voters.

“Have you seen our survey numbers with African Americans and Hispanic Americans? But I’m not so surprised because I see it, I feel it,” Trump declared during a rally in Atkinson, New Hampshire, days before the state’s primary. “We did very well in 2016, we did much better in 2020 but there is a lot more excitement now.”

There is little evidence that Trump is making significant inroads with black voters, who polls show remain overwhelmingly supporters of President Joe Biden. But Even minor changes in voting patterns In critical situations the race can change in unexpected ways.

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For Biden, the biggest risk is not a dramatic move toward Trump among black voters. This is because such voters are frustrated with a number of issues, including the lack of progress 2020 racial justice movement – Just don’t show up at all. In some of the most narrowly divided states, including Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan, which could decide next year’s election, even small changes in voting could affect the outcome.

Nationally, only 50% of black adults said they approve of Biden December AP-NORC Survey, Down from 86% in July 2021. This change represents a large decline compared to adults overall and especially for white adults. However, at the same time, only 25% of black adults said they have a favorable view of Trump.

Trump’s campaign advisers insist they are aiming to jump on such changes to spur a political realignment that would erase the Democratic Party’s decades-long lead with black voters.

Chris LaCivita, senior adviser to the Trump campaign, said, “We are creating a huge problem for the base of the Democratic Party that … could change for a generation.” “This is just an opportunity that we will miss if we do not take advantage of it.”

Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster, said Obama faced similar challenges with young voters and voters of color during his 2012 re-election campaign, when many in the Democrat’s base were alarmed by his perceived slow pace of progress on key goals. Were disappointed.

“I’m not surprised that Joe Biden is doing poorly right now among young voters and voters of color. I would be surprised if he didn’t. But that’s what campaigns are for,” Belcher said. “I’m not nervous that he’s 15 points below where he should be with these voters. Because I have seen this drama before. I saw it with Barack Obama.”

Trump is hardly controlling his rhetoric on race as he has quickly become the GOP’s leading presidential contender. This month he made fun of the Republican opponent Nikki Haley’s birth name, the American-born daughter of immigrants from India, is repeatedly referred to as “Nimbra”. This episode had strong implications for his earlier attempts to rely on racist grounds to question Obama’s citizenship and eligibility to serve as President.

Trump often highlights the endorsements of black celebrities, including rappers Kanye West and Lil Wayne, as evidence of his appeal to the black community. He recently publicized his endorsement of the Black Rhode Island Racial Justice Advocate as an endorsement of Black Lives Matter, which was condemned by the Black Lives Matter grassroots organization.

But as he prepares for a rematch against Biden, Trump is stepping up his efforts to court a more diverse group of supporters than during his years in the White House, when he presided over a nearly all-white Cabinet. Was. When he won the New Hampshire primary this week, Senator Tim Scott, the chamber’s only Black Republican, stood prominently behind him. Scott, who once challenged Trump for the GOP nomination, has emerged as one of his most prominent surrogates and speaks frequently about his record in the race.

As Trump inches closer to the Republican nomination, his vice presidential pick could be an important opportunity to try to expand his appeal beyond the party’s overwhelmingly white base. Scott is among those frequently mentioned as a potential running mate for Trump.

Biden and his fellow Democrats are not ceding black voters to Trump. The president launched his re-election bid earlier this month at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine black parishioners were shot in 2015 by a white stranger whom he had asked to attend his Bible study. Was invited.

During his visit, Biden condemned the “poison” of white supremacy in America and noted some of his administration’s accomplishments, including the appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Appointment is also included. Biden has also talked about improving economic conditions for people of color and changed his party’s election calendar to recognize the diversity of the Democratic Party, placing South Carolina at the start instead of predominantly white Iowa and New Hampshire. .

Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison accused Republicans of promoting “fairy tales about their plan to win over black voters.”

“Back on Earth, the reality is this: Their leader, Donald Trump, who is a friend of white supremacists, is fighting to overturn Obamacare and cut millions of black families off their insurance, and while his right-wing Supreme Court justices “They celebrated when we voted to stop President Biden from giving massive student loan relief to Black families,” Harrison said.

Both parties are making good efforts to win over black voters. Since 2013, the Republican National Committee has established outreach centers focused on minority areas; Presently there are 38 such outposts in 19 states to serve different communities. The GOP plans to add two more outreach centers in 2024.

And unlike previous Democratic efforts, the Biden campaign has opted for a strategy of early engagement with key constituencies such as black voters. The campaign promoted large investments in African American media and other outreach in key swing states.

Harrison, the DNC chair, said Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris “will not rest until we get every vote because the stakes are so high.”

Matt Brown is a member of the AP’s Race and Ethnicity team. follow him social media,

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