Donald Trump Made An Aggressive New Pitch To Black Voters. It Didn’t Go Well.

“Nothing to lose”

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Donald Trump faces a number of challenges in his quest to win the presidency. One is his stunning unpopularity with African-American voters.

A recent poll found that Trump trailed Hillary Clinton among African-American by a margin of 92–2. Polls the key states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, found that Trump attracted zero percent of the black vote. (Even Mitt Romney, running against the first African-American president, managed to get 6%.)

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Speaking in Michigan, Trump offered a blunt appeal to African-American voters: “You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. 58% of your youth in unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”

His message was not well received. Of course, many blacks — like many other Americans — face challenges. But Trump lumped all blacks together into a single, monolithic, desperate group.

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The black poverty rate is too high but most blacks, more than 72%, do not live in poverty. The black unemployment rate is too high but 92% of blacks in the labor force have jobs.

His appeal ignored the community’s diversity and relied on perpetuating negative stereotypes.

Trump’s task was futher complicated by his recent decision to install Steve Bannon, the head of Breitbart News, as his campaign’s CEO. At Breitbart, Bannon has promoted the voices of the “Alt-Right,” which is a euphemism for the modern white nationalist movement.

Throughout the campaign, Trump has promoted the tweets of white supremacists, including one featuring an inaccurate, racist meme about murder statistics.

This chart, created by a white supremacist, claims 81% of whites are killed by blacks. The actual figure is 14%.

Earlier in the campaign, Trump generated controversy when he was slow to disavow support from former KKK grand wizard David Duke.

Today in Michigan, Trump promised that, if elected, after four years he would receive 95% of the black vote.