I know, it’s way too early to speculate about the next presidential cycle, especially given our president’s age. We don’t even know, at this point, whether he will seek re-election.
But at Townhall, Kevin McCullough is undeterred. He offers five reasons why Trump will sweep to re-election in 2020, carrying 40 states. McCullough’s reasons are cogent: foreign policy dominance, stronger armed forces yielding a safer world, the strongest hold on his base in recent years, and the administration’s remarkable record on jobs.
Those are all good points, but I want to focus on this one: “He Will Garner Record African American Support.”
Driven largely on great home-ownership numbers, George W. Bush garnered the modern era’s greatest numbers of African American voters. It was all of 11%.
The lock-hold that the American left has handcuffed the African American vote with is both cultural and economic. And while President Trump will — like all GOP Presidents in the era — not likely gain the majority of African American votes, even an increase of 15-20% of their overall votes would trigger a seismic landslide. … Consider that President Obama oversaw a rapid decline in the lives of African Americans. Then consider that no group has benefitted more from Trump reforms, deregulation, and job creation initiatives than the nation’s African Americans.
But also consider the cultural impact President Trump is making on the issue of prison reform, cracking down on dangerous gang activity (of which minorities are the overwhelming majority of victims,) and pardoning African Americans wrongfully imprisoned, and there is a cultural shift occurring that no one is yet reporting. That he is even reaching out to the very sports figures who have opposed him and embracing cultural figures and giving them audience to hear their hearts and minds in order to achieve justice on some social level—is a picture that African American communities are unaccustomed to seeing.
President Obama went to black churches, put in affected speech patterns, and bemoaned conditions. By contrast President Trump invites them to the White House, listens to their legitimate complaints and plots solutions. I would not be surprised if he were to break 30% of African American support in 2020.
McCullough doesn’t mention her, but the person most responsible for shaking up the African-American community is Candace Owens, with a huge assist from Kanye West, and now West’s wife, Kim Kardashian. But the pro-Trump movement among African-Americans is not based in Hollywood (unlike the incoherent anti-Trump hysteria that we saw most recently emanating from the washed-up Robert De Niro). The pro-Trump sentiment is solidly based in reality: this administration has done more for African-Americans, mostly through economic growth, than any administration in a long time.
Then there is the free speech/free thought aspect that Owens and West emphasize. A great many blacks resent the Democrats’ smug assumption that their votes are locked in, more or less forever. Can we have a little diversity here? It won’t take much: if 30% of blacks vote for Trump in 2020, the Democrats are in deep trouble.
So, yeah, it is way too early to tell. But reading the tea leaves today, it appears likely that President Trump will dispatch whomever the Democrats nominate in 2020 with relative ease.
PAUL ADDS: McCullough says that Trump is making a “cultural impact” that no one is reporting by supporting prison reform, pardoning African-Americans “wrongfully imprisoned,” and reaching out to sports figures who have opposed him “in order to achieve justice on some social level.” McCulloch is wrong on several counts.
First, I reported on these instances of pandering. Second, to my knowledge he hasn’t pardoned African-Americans wrongfully imprisoned. He commuted the sentence of a big-time drug racketeer who was justly imprisoned. Third, there is no reason to assume justice on any level will be achieved by soliciting suggestions from black athletes as to which of their imprisoned homies to pardon or set free.
I think McCullough is right that Trump has a good shot at doing significantly better than Republican presidential candidates normally fare with Black voters, especially males. His forceful personality is one that many in this cohort can respect.
But his success depends on the economy. If it performs strongly for two-plus more years, Trump will do comparatively well with Blacks. If not, not. Pardons and prison reform aren’t an important part of the equation.