Politics

Donald Trump Courts the Minority Vote

No Republican candidate has ever been so effective at reaching out to minorities.

Douglas Andrews · Sep. 15, 2020

Win or lose on November 3, Donald Trump will have torn up and completely rewritten the playbook for future Republican presidential candidates — at least for the viable ones. His willingness to call out the mainstream media for its lies and its shameless partisanship is perhaps the most notable difference between his candidacy and the failed past candidacies of, say, Mitt Romney and John McCain. But not far behind has been Trump’s zeal in courting the minority vote — and his success at doing so.

Romney won just 6% of the black vote against Barack Obama in 2012 — which is perhaps understandable, since Obama was cool, young, and half-black, while Mormon Mitt might’ve been the stiffest, most straitlaced candidate in Republican history. In 2016, Trump improved on Romney’s total by 50%, winning 9% of the black vote against Bill Clinton’s wife.

Recently, though, a reputable poll showed the president with a remarkable 24% approval rating among blacks.

To be sure, Trump won’t win 24% of the black vote on Election Day. But he’s poised to post a number far beyond that of any Republican candidate in modern history — and this despite the Left and the mainstream media (but we repeat ourselves) having smeared him as a “racist” at every turn.

Whatever share of the black vote Trump takes, however, he’ll have done so by working hard and delivering results: jobs, economic-empowerment zones, bipartisan criminal justice reform, and the unprecedented funding of Historically Black Colleges and Universities come immediately to mind.

Even his rhetoric is dramatically different. “My administration has done more for the black community than any president since Abraham Lincoln,” Trump is fond of saying. No Republican has ever spoken to black Americans so forcefully and with such audacity.

But there’s another sizable minority voting bloc that’s gone largely unnoticed this election cycle — unnoticed, that is, by everyone except Donald Trump: Hispanics. In recent days, Trump has made campaign stops in Arizona and Nevada, two states where their vote will be decisive. And in crucial Florida, for example, a recent Marist poll actually has Trump leading Joe Biden among Hispanics, who make up 20% of Florida’s electorate. Leading. Among Hispanics. And this is the guy who ran on building a wall.

To get a sense of why this is happening, National Review’s Rich Lowry checked in with former two-term Republican governor and current U.S. Senator Rick Scott, who himself has benefited from strong support among Hispanics.

“What I did as governor,” said Scott, “is I showed up, and Trump’s doing the same thing.”

As Lowry points out, Scott understood and tapped into the ardent anti-communism of his Hispanic constituents, especially the state’s exile communities. “I did a lot of rallies against [Venezuelan tyrant Nicolas] Maduro,” said Scott, “a lot of events against the Castro regime, and people care. They walked away from socialism. They’ve had to leave from countries that became socialist.”

And Trump, says Lowry, is effectively exploiting another Democrat weakness: “The Trump team considers the Democrats culturally tone-deaf, whether it’s the attempted boycott of Goya, a staple of Cuban-American households; the push to use the ridiculous term ‘Latinx’; or the emphasis on the word ‘progressive,’ which echoes the self-description of Latin America’s Communist regimes.”

No wonder billionaire, nanny-statist, and failed presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg has pledged $100 million to prop up Joe Biden in the Sunshine State.

It won’t work, though, says Scott. “Oh, Trump’s going to win,” he said. “I told Trump this back in ‘16 — all the polls said I would lose in all three of my races, and I won. Right? Because the polls are generally — in my races it looked like they were off three to seven points. So if the polls are saying Trump’s tied, he’s up three to seven points.”

The message for Republicans is clear: The minority vote is out there for the taking, and it’s willing to listen to a good, strong message — especially an economic one.

“Joe Biden has spent 47 years betraying the Hispanic American community totally,” Trump said Sunday at a “Latinos for Trump” roundtable in Las Vegas, “sending their jobs to China, raising taxes on their families and small businesses, making their communities less safe, attacking their values, and trapping their children in failing government schools.”

Take note, future Republican presidential candidates. Take note. And be worried, Joe Biden and your fellow Democrats. Be very worried.

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