Here’s a news flash: Black Americans are not happy with the Democratic Party. In fact, they haven’t had a positive view of the Democrats for decades. Yet they still vote overwhelmingly in favor of left-leaning candidates despite the fact that these elected officials have not delivered the expected results.
It seems that this voting bloc might be ready for something new. But President Trump is the only member of the GOP who has seen fit to capitalize on changing attitudes toward the left.
Poll Shows Blacks Are Souring on Democrats
A political action committee called BlackPAC recently released the results of a study showing that, while black Americans remain mostly supportive of the Democratic Party, a significant percentage feel that the Democrats are not paying enough attention to the community. One of the most interesting findings was the fact that black voters believed Democratic officials became too distracted by impeaching Trump to focus on their needs.
According to the study, 70% said they would vote for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in November. But more than a third wished for “someone else” to enter the race. About 12% of participants said they would vote for Trump.
Adrianne Shropshire, the executive director of BlackPAC, told Politico that “black voters are extremely anxious right now about what’s happening in the country.” She explained that the community is honed in on the political stage this year. “It matters not the age category or people that live in rural or suburban communities. People are paying attention at a really high rate.”
Trump Actively Seeking Black Votes
The president has astounded the left with his bold outreach to minority voters. Several left-leaning pundits have commented on his open appeal to the black community, and while some have downplayed his efforts, others have expressed concern at the notion that a Republican presidential candidate would make overtures to a demographic the GOP has seemingly ignored for decades. They are right to be shocked and even worried; this president is doing something that is far from the norm for his party.
Trump’s campaign formed a group called “Black Voices for Trump,” whose mission is to go directly to black voters and tout the achievements of his administration that affect them. The group recently announced that it would be opening community centers in critical states. These offices will be placed in predominantly black areas and are designed to engage with voters in a meaningful way.
Senior Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson told NPR about the response to the events held by the group: “We see the numbers coming up in the polls and the demand on the ground when we do these types of events, so it’s really important that we take this next step and really bring those voters into the party,” she explained.
Officials working with the campaign told NPR that the organization’s objective is to bypass the “filter” of the media and speak directly to the voters. Black Voices for Trump recently announced that it is establishing offices in 15 in cities predominantly occupied by minority residents. These centers will provide promotional videos and literature discussing the president’s achievements for the African American community.
An Opportunity for the GOP
Anyone paying attention to the attitudes of black voters knows that they do not have an emotional attachment to the Democratic Party. Despite voting overwhelmingly for blue candidates, blacks have consistently criticized the party for taking their votes for granted and not fulfilling their promises. However, they continue to support the party at the local, state, and federal level because they have not yet been offered a viable alternative; not since the 1960s has the Republican Party has not put forth a serious effort to engage them.
But now it seems the president is breaking from the GOP establishment approach to minorities and is actively trying to earn their votes. While Trump is not likely to win over the majority of black voters, polls have shown that he is doing far better with the community than his Republican predecessors.
In the end, this will mean nothing if the Republican Party does not follow Trump’s lead. It must eschew the former failed strategies of the past and embrace a new approach that involves a concerted effort to win over blacks and other minorities. Trump has set the example, but the GOP must get on board in order to remain relevant.
Read more from Jeff Charles.