With U.S. midterm elections just days away, opinion polls show African American voters are largely united around their dislike for U.S. President Donald Trump.
CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.
“Number one issue certainly is Donald Trump. African-Americans in our polling, but also in polling by other companies, really don’t like Donald Trump. Particularly African-American women feel that Donald Trump is disrespectful and the emotion that Donald Trump generates, the two big emotions are anger on the one hand and disrespect on the other, ” Henry Fernandez, head of the African American Research Collaborative, a political consulting firm who conducted extensive polling of black voters said.
A series of racially charged episodes during the Trump presidency has left black voters like sixty-nine-year old Democrat Donna Graham-Harris feeling that disrespect.
“I was around with Nixon and Reagan. They never disrespected us. They may not have liked us, to a certain degree, but they did not disrespect us as a race,” Graham-Harris said.
As a candidate Trump made a few attempts at winning over black voters.
“What the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance,” Trump said to African American voters in 2016.
But those overtures were too little, too late and Trump received just 8 percent of the African American vote.
As president, Trump often brags about low black unemployment. But polling suggests most African Americans haven’t seen a significant rise in wages, and don’t credit Trump for the strong economy.
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“African Americans are pretty clear that the current economy is largely the result of the efforts to rebuild the economy that we’re done during the Obama administration,” Fernandez said.
Trump has welcomed the support of high-profile African Americans like rapper Kanye West, but research suggests West’s support may not help Trump.
“We’ve actually polled this question in particular, whether or not African-American voters, how they feel about Kanye West supporting Donald Trump. Kanye West actually has a negative impact on black voters with regard to their perceptions of Trump,” Fernandez said.
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— ye (@kanyewest) September 30, 2018
Many African American voters, like Dan Reed of Maryland, said none of Trump’s efforts are likely to sway black voters.
“The kind of things that he says, it is that he has such disdain for people of color. I can’t understand why anybody would want to support him with the kind of things he’s done and the kind of things he said over the past two years,” Reed said.
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But disdain for Trump alone may not be enough to drive high African American turnout. Fernandez said African American turnout will come down to whether candidates have been speaking to the issues black voters care about including tighter gun control measures, expanded health care coverage and a raise in the national minimum wage.
Robert Moran on likely outcome of US midterm elections
CGTN’s Mike Walter talked with Robert Moran, a partner in the public opinion and market research firm Brunswick Group, to talk about the effect of the economy and the last-minute campaigning on next week’s mid-term U.S. elections.