Over the past weekend, Donald Trump made a major play for the minority vote. On Friday night, he challenged a crowd in Dimondale, Michigan. “Look at how much African-American communities are suffering from Democratic control…..What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? ..You live in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs—58 percent of your youth is unemployed.”
The Republican nominee continued the courtship of the black community in Fredericksburg, Virginia on Saturday. “In recent days, across this country, I’ve asked the African-American community to honor me with their vote…The GOP is the party of Lincoln, and I want our party to be the home of the African-American vote once again. I want an inclusive country, and I want an inclusive party,” Trump said in Virginia. On Saturday, Trump also made an overture to the Hispanic community by meeting with the National Hispanic Advisory Council for Trump.
While Trump is obviously doing the right thing by going after the minority vote, the current polls and the past voting patterns of both the black and Hispanic populations are not in his favor. In 2012, President Barack Obama was re-elected with 70% of the Hispanic vote, while his Republican challenger Mitt Romney won only about 27% of the Hispanic vote. Currently, Hillary Clinton has about a 46-point lead over Trump among Latinos. Furthermore, some say that Trump is still experiencing fall-out from his comments last fall when he said that Mexicans crossing the southern U.S. border were “rapists and criminals.” And of course, his past statements about wanting to deport the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally were not well received by the lion share of Hispanics.
Interestingly enough, following Trump’s meeting with his National Hispanic Advisory Council, BuzzFeed published a report saying that Trump was now open to legalization for undocumented immigrants and accused him of flip-flopping. During an interview with Fox and Friends, Trump refuted BuzzFeed’s assertion. “When dealing with people, we have to be very firm. We have to be very, very strong when people come in illegally,” Trump said.
Trump has even more of an uphill climb to make headway with the black vote. According to a recent Fox News Poll, just 1% of African Americans support Donald Trump while Hillary Clinton receives 85% of the African American vote and libertarian candidate Gary Johnson receives seven percent. In 2012, President Obama was re-elected with 93% of the African American vote.
Given the aforementioned statistics, some pessimists may say that it will be impossible for Donald Trump to make significant inroads with either the Hispanic or black populations in the less than 80 days before the election. While it may not be politically correct to say this, we need to remember that Hispanics represent 20% of the U.S. population and blacks represent about 13%. While Trump should certainly try to get as many votes as possible from all race groups, his campaign’s success is more contingent on winning over white voters. Trump is currently running about 6 points behind Hillary Clinton in an aggregate of recent national polls.
To bridge that gap, Trump needs to do three things. First of all, he needs to step up outreach to different ethnic communities to dispel the leftist propaganda that he is a racist. Secondly, he needs to continue to attack Hillary Clinton’s ethics and drive home the point that he is the “law and order” candidate and she is the “above the law” candidate who thinks that rules do not apply to her. He needs to continue to hammer at Clinton’s use of an unsecured email server during her tenure as secretary of state. He also needs to continue to attack the Clinton Foundation for providing donors including those from foreign countries with State Department access and preferential treatment in exchange for hefty speaking fees for former President Bill Clinton. Thirdly and most importantly, Trump needs to focus on his economic and national security messages.
Trump needs to show voters of all races that he is the candidate who will do a better job of revitalizing our economy and increasing our national security. That’s the best path to winning The White House.
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