Really, Donald? You Think You Have The Black Vote?


By Shawn Grooms

Whether he's pointing out "his African American" at one of his rallies or politicizing tragedy via Twitter, Donald Trump is no stranger to using unprecedented tactics to galvanize minority voters.

A few months ago, Trump called out an audience member at his rally in Redding, California simply because of his race; a race that is scarcely seen at any of the presidential nominees rallies thus far.

Other than the private meetings with prominent black leaders at Trump Tower--causing many raised eyebrows--the candidate has yet to foster a stronghold on the community.

Trump denies African American-based societies such as the NAACP and the National Association of Black Journalists, and steers clear of many traditional campaign trail stops within African American communities; but the Republican nominee has proven time and again he's running anything but a traditional campaign--possibly to his demise.

The presidential hopeful appears to be in a race for the bottom. Only two months out from Election Day, Trump is polling at zero percent among African Americans, according to a recent PPP poll.

Though African Americans are a major voting bloc for the Democratic Party, past Republican candidates accomplished much higher polling numbers than Trump. It's possibly due to his lack of outreach and usage of insult politics.

No matter where in the United States, Trump rallies have adopted a very specific set of characteristics: the chanting of Trump in suburban areas with predominantly white crowds. When the real estate mogul took to the stage in Dimondale, Michigan--miles away from Detroit--the country heard his pitch to African Americans. However, his "efforts" simply weren't enough, according to many, taking to Twitter to express their outrage.

Insult politics appear to be a preferred tactic used by Trump. Emily Ekins, Director of Polling at the Cato Institute, told GVH Live that "people find [Donald Trump's outreach] very inauthentic - possibly due to the billionaire's raw campaign rhetoric. ... [He] made it very clear over the course of his campaign that he does not see Americans as individuals but as a part of groups. Groups that he often disparages."

Trump didn't help his case among black voters, when he "tried to change his tune" to appear more inclusive according to Ekins.

"You're living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?" Trump asked African American voters in Dimondale, Michigan, a city that is 93 percent white, according to the Census Bureau.

It's going to take more than insults to win over the African American community, Mr. Trump.

Ekins noted that "[because] all of the offensive comments he's made throughout his life and particularly in the last year, people aren't ready to believe him--that he really cares about the problems they are facing in their everyday lives."

Despite his recent outreach, African Americans might not be his target.

"I think that the Trump campaign knows very well that his latest outreach efforts to appear more inclusive, won't have much effect among the voters that he's specifically trying to reach out to. But what it will do, is kind of soften his appeal among white educated voters who are reluctant to vote for a candidate that many view as bigoted or even racist," Ekins said. "[W]hat he's really trying to do is assuage [white voters'] fears, so they feel better about voting for him."

And it appears to possibly be working for the candidate.

In the latest poll from NBC News' Survey Monkey, Donald Trump is chipping away at Hilary Clinton's national lead. Though he's polling lower than anyone in history among African Americans, his "black outreach" is attracting independent voters across the country.

Maybe the controversial candidate has a bigger chance in this year's election than last week's polls originally indicated -- only time will tell.