In a column for the Wall Street Journal, conservative Daniel Henninger suggested that Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign would be wasting its time by trying to secure more votes from the black community before subtly suggesting African-Americans are ungrateful for all that president has done for them.
Henniger, who is white, wrote, “What if in November enough black Americans voted for Donald Trump to re-elect him into the presidency?
This unlikely straw has been in the political winds recently because in three opinion polls—Emerson, Marist, and Rasmussen—President Trump registered about 30% support among black voters.”
According to the columnist, those numbers are unlikely to change and that Trump’s support from the black community is well short of that 30 percent ceiling previous Republican presidential nominees have been able achieve.
“The reason this unlikely 30% number breaks the seals in Democratic heads is that for years it has been a rule of thumb in politics that if black support for Republicans ever reached 20% of the total vote, a Democratic presidential candidate would not be able to win, ever,” he explained before pointing out, “A Gallup analysis of the Roper Center’s exit poll data has Republican candidates averaging about 10% of the black vote since 1976. In 2016, Mr. Trump topped out at 8%.”
According to Henninger, African-Americans – to his mind — don’t realize how good they have it under the president since black unemployment numbers have dropped.
“Last Friday, stories on the December jobs numbers noted that the unemployment rate of 3.5% was at a 50-year low, with the unemployment rate for African-Americans and Hispanics hitting historic lows, both under 6%,” he wrote before musing about a recent personal experience.
“One anecdote: I was walking through a neighborhood food court in Manhattan last month and noticed a new counter that sells smoked fish. Behind it, learning the operation, were five employees—all in their 20s and all black or Hispanic. A thought occurred to me: That’s the Trump economy. That is the reality behind the monthly jobs numbers. An entrepreneur got a loan to open this small business and gave these five what looked like their first jobs. Also reported in the past two years is how workers in their first or second jobs are moving up the pay scale into higher-level jobs,” he recalled. “Maybe some of these minority voters—maybe even the additional numbers Mr. Trump needs to earn 15% to 20% of the black vote—don’t think work grows on trees or out of federal transfer payments and do believe this president’s policies have contributed to their paychecks and improved prospects.”
“An enduring condescension of our politics is that the voting preferences of minorities, especially black Americans, are monolithic and unchanging. This is notably untrue of Hispanics, whose vote this time is up for grabs, and who are a substantial percentage of voters in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Florida,” he continued, before holding out hope that Trump’s policies might one day change minority voters’ minds.
“Social mobility, the most durable antipoverty program, is stirring again. Rick Perry’s question about results and party [reconsidering ‘their political loyalties’]. The tectonic plates of American society are moving again, and not in ways that comport with the progressive story line of intractable inequality and racism, he concluded.
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While acknowledging that the important work of ridding Congress of racist lawmakers is far from finished, progressives celebrated the ouster of white supremacist Rep. Steve King in Iowa's Republican primary Tuesday as a significant victory and a step in the right direction.
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