Following Donald Trump’s campaign shakeup on Aug. 17 that installed Kellyanne Conway as manager and Steve Bannon CEO, the Republican presidential nominee has attempted to reach out to African-American and Hispanic voters, two demographic groups with whom he is polling at zero to one and 10 to 15 percent, respectively.
Trump has used every argument in the book to appeal to minorities, from rhetorically asking “What do you have to lose?”, to visiting flood victims in Baton Rouge, La., and referring to the GOP as the “Party of Lincoln.”
“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs. 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?” Trump said Aug. 19 in Michigan. “Tonight, I’m asking for the vote of every single African-American citizen in this country who wants to see a better future.”
“The inner cities of our country have been run by the Democratic Party for more than 50 years. Their policies have produced only poverty, joblessness, failing schools and broken homes,” he continued. “It’s time to hold Democratic politicians accountable for what they have done to these communities.”
For his part, Trump has offered more of the same solutions to the problems black Americans face: expanding the school voucher system, tighter immigration laws, tougher law enforcement and protectionist trade policies.
The following day, Saturday, Aug. 20, Trump met with a group of Hispanic supporters to address their concerns about his strict immigration proposals. According to Conway, his plan to create a “deportation force” is still on the table.
Trump’s minority outreach would seem easy to combat, but Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton took a full week to respond.
On Friday, the former First Lady and Secretary of State finally called on Americans to reject the GOP candidate’s “bigotry”, and released an ad in four swing-states showing Trump’s dismal record in his treatment of the black community.
“I am reaching out to everyone, Republicans, Democrats, independents, everyone who is as troubled as I am by the bigotry and divisiveness of Donald Trump’s campaign,” Clinton told MSNBC on Friday.
Others in-the-know don’t think Clinton even has to try to earn the support of America’s minority voters.
“General cluelessness about racial dynamics will diminish any possible black support that comes from Trump’s emphasis on job creation,” said Jennifer Hochschild, a professor specializing in race and immigration at Harvard University.
Over the past week, Clinton’s lead over Trump in national polls has widened slightly, as the Democrat currently enjoys a six-point advantage according to RealClear Politics.
[AP] [Politico] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy Chattanooga Times Free Press via truthdig]