Democrats have had a nice time mocking President Trump’s outreach to black voters over the last four years. According to them, the president is so obviously racist and terrible that black Americans would never vote for him in a million years. Everyone knows, after all, that the Democratic Party is the proper home for African-Americans! Why would they betray their race and their home to go vote for someone despicable like Trump? It defies logic!
Well, Jamal Simmons, who worked as a strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, said on “Face the Nation” this week that the Democrats are taking a big risk by brushing off Trump’s strategy as nothing more than hot air.
“Trump is going very hard at African-American men, particularly younger African-American men,” Simmons said. “I’m going to send this flag up to the Democratic Party. People need to understand this.”
Simmons noted that Trump’s highly-publicized relationships with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, his successful efforts in freeing A$AP Rocky, and his authorization of increased federal spending on Historically Black Colleges and Universities were all signs that the president was serious about bringing black voters into his base.
“They’re not gonna let up,” he warned.
Simmons reminded viewers that Trump is under no pressure to win a majority of black votes in 2020. Coming off an Electoral College victory where he secured only 8% of African-American voters, “he just has to tick it up a couple of points in some key places to have it count.”
The strategist said it was up to Democrats to nominate someone who could keep black voters in the fold.
“Democrats need to have a candidate who really has a strategy about how to deal with this,” he said. “And if Bernie Sanders is not the nominee, I will tell you, a lot of those – a lot of Bernie Sanders’ voters are anti-establishment voters more than they are Democrats. And they might get wooed by Donald Trump.”
And, as polls have shown, if someone like Pete Buttigieg wins the nomination, black voters are going to stay home in droves.
In 2016, Trump made an admittedly-lackluster bid for black votes, asking them, “What do you have to lose?” While that was a fairly sensible question given the failed policies emanating from the Democratic Party, it’s not the kind of question that energizes turnout. This time, with black wages rising and black unemployment levels at their lowest point in American history, he could effectively argue that black voters have a whole LOT to lose by voting for his opponent.
Especially if that opponent wants to turn the American economy on its head.