Could Trump Win over Some Black Voters?

Joseph Weber, Fox News, March 9, 2016

Contest after contest has shown Hillary Clinton has the overwhelming support of black voters in the 2016 Democratic primary–but up against Donald Trump, the general election might be a different story.

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{snip} The Trump jobs message that has attracted so many disaffected white, blue-collar workers could resonate with black voters equally frustrated by chronic unemployment and unfulfilled promises of change–and Trump’s accelerating march toward the GOP nomination has proven his knack for bringing in voters who might not normally pick a Republican.

“If anything, he knows the economy,” Luz Nelson, a beautician and black South Carolina voter, said days before the front-running Clinton won the state Democratic primary with more than 80 percent of the black vote.

“I’m a New Yorker, too,” Nelson continued. “I know where he’s coming from. Nobody controls Donald Trump.”

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Influential black political commentator Tavis Smiley recently cautioned Democrats that Trump’s appeal could cross not only party but racial lines.

“If Donald Trump is indeed the Republican nominee, it might be a miscalculation for Democrats to take for granted that black voters are a lock for their nominee, even with [Bill Clinton] and Barack Obama campaigning for her,” Smiley wrote in a USA Today op-ed.

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Democratic and Republican strategists seem to agree, though, that the billionaire businessman Trump–charisma, bravado and all–has at least captured the interest and curiosity of black voters.

“Up until the KKK thing, he had been doing pretty well,” Douglas Smith, a Democratic strategist and partner at Kent Strategies, said Tuesday. “He oozes this appearance that everybody can fly in a gold jet and have a mansion. I think it’s his signature charisma.”

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Republican strategist Rob Burgess thinks some of Trump’s appeal is indeed in policy, specifically his health care proposals.

“I will not let people die on the streets for lack of health care,” he roared in a debate last month.

However, Burgess thinks other black voters believe Trump will indeed boost the economy for American workers and added, “He can sway some black voters . . . due to his charisma.”

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