Earlier than President Trump left Miami on Thursday for one more lengthy day on the marketing campaign path, he had a non-public assembly with a supporter with an enormous following amongst a bunch of voters his marketing campaign has been courting all yr: rapper Lil Wayne and 50 Cent.
Later, Lil Wayne revealed the assembly to almost 35 million followers on Twitter.
Simply had an amazing assembly with @realdonaldtrump @potus apart from what he’s accomplished up to now with felony reform, the platinum plan goes to offer the group actual possession. He listened to what we needed to say at the moment and guaranteed he’ll and may get it accomplished. 🤙🏾 pic.twitter.com/Q9c5k1yMWf
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) October 29, 2020
The Trump marketing campaign, delighted with the endorsement, promoted it to its outreach listing for Black voters. It is nonetheless a really lengthy shot. Black voters are a dependable supply of robust help for Democratic presidential candidates, and no rapper goes to make an enormous dent in that.
However after getting solely eight p.c of the Black vote in 2016, Trump is hoping to make not less than some features this time.
It has been a two-prong technique. On the one hand, the marketing campaign is selling his monitor file on felony justice reform, funding for traditionally Black schools, and different points vital to Black voters.
However time and time once more, Trump has additionally tried to drive dwelling one clear message to Black voters: do not vote for Joe Biden. Trump has blamed Biden for practically each coverage that has negatively impacted Black People over the previous 40 years.
Even when Trump unveiled his second time period agenda for Black voters known as “The Platinum Plan,” he spent most of his time bashing Joe Biden, name-checking him greater than 20 instances.
Critics say this technique is aimed extra at discouraging Black folks from taking part within the course of in any respect than it’s at successful them over. However, the Trump marketing campaign has denied that that is their intent.
Marketing campaign adviser Katrina Pierson says the purpose is to attract a distinction and to push again towards the notion that Trump’s presidency has not been good for Black folks.
“It’s a very acutely aware argument to make, contemplating that America has to choose on who they wish to lead our nation for the following 4 years,” Pierson stated in an interview.
Trying to transform Black voters into Trump supporters was at all times a tall order. However, the Trump marketing campaign has poured cash into outreach to African People, and advisers say they imagine they’ve made some inroads.
The marketing campaign spent $20 million on radio and TV advertisements — together with a Tremendous Bowl spot — in addition to door-knocking operations and opening 17 area places of work in Black neighborhoods in swing states.
Polls have proven some progress in help in sure components of the Black citizens, however consultants are skeptical about how a lot affect it should have.
The web site FiveThirtyEight.com did an evaluation earlier this month that discovered that Trump was doing higher with youthful African People. His help was at 21 p.c in 2020 with voters below 44, up from 10 p.c in 2016. Newer surveys have since confirmed Trump’s help amongst younger Black voters dropping, however he stays barely extra widespread with them than with older Black voters.
The issue for Trump is that youthful voters aren’t as dedicated as older ones to getting out to vote, though there are some indicators that the youth voting price will greater than regular this yr.
“To the extent Donald Trump is making inroads with the youthful black voters, they’re extra probably these voters who’re already going to vote Republican or these voters who historically do not vote in any respect they usually‘re kind of disengaged,” stated Theodore Johnson, of the Brennan Middle for Justice.
Johnson, who research the function of race in elections, factors to the 2012 presidential election as a primary instance of how younger folks don’t at all times present up.
Turnout for African American voters below 30 dropped that yr, however former President Barack Obama benefited from a surge in Black voters over the age of 45. Even with the drop in younger voters, Black voter participation nonetheless surpassed white participation for the primary time ever.
“Older people are prepared not solely to end up, however they’re prepared to place up with the crap that’s required for turning out,” stated Chryl Laird, who co-authored a guide on Black political conduct.
There’s one different a part of the Black voting bloc that has proven some openness to Trump: Black males. Whereas most Black males will not be Trump supporters, they’re extra more likely to again the president than Black girls.
The marketing campaign has tried to attraction to Black males by highlighting former athletes who again Trump — and extra lately, some big-name rap stars Lil Wayne.
Rapper 50 Cent briefly expressed help for Trump in an expletive-ridden put up on Instagram after complaining that Biden would increase his taxes. He later walked again his statements.
50 Cent represents the kind of Black male voter extra more likely to discover Trump interesting, Laird stated.
“Clearly, his financial features and his financial targets outweigh his views on the place the Black group is or what Black folks even consider him. And he stated so,” Laird stated.
One other rapper, Ice Dice, additionally introduced that he labored with the Trump marketing campaign on its “Platinum Plan” for Black financial empowerment. Ice Dice advised Fox Information Sunday that he nonetheless had not determined who would get his vote, however he was prepared to work with whoever will assist African People.
Trump adviser Pierson says she thinks the technique will work. She believes Trump will attain into the double digits amongst Black voters this time.
However Johnson stated a rise of some factors wouldn’t characterize a historic degree of help for a Republican president. The one Republicans in current many years who did worse than Trump with Black voters had been on the poll towards the primary Black president.
“What we’re seeing at the moment shouldn’t be Donald Trump changing Black voters to the Republican Social gathering. We’re seeing Black Republicans coming again dwelling,” Johnson stated.