Remember when Michele Backmann, former House Representative for Minnesota turned political pundit, said Trump has the highest approval ratings among blacks and Hispanics?
“Donald Trump’s numbers show that he’s the highest with African-Americans that any Republican has ever been, and the highest with Hispanics that any Republican has ever been.”
Her comments were said back in September, 2015, but the hilarity still lives on.
Apparently, people still think Trump is doing well with minorities. Which is funny, given that most Trump fans aren’t that big into minorities people who aren’t white.
But as we all know by now, reality is a cruel mistress.
And the reality is that…
- A Reuters poll has Trump’s approval rating among blacks at -87% as of August, this year. The same poll has him at -75% among Hispanics as of July. Among women it’s at -65%.
- A poll conducted by Latino Decisions on behalf of America’s Voice, found that Trump has an 87% unfavorable rating among Hispanics nation-wide (compared to Cruz’s 52%, Kasich’s 37%, and Clinton’s 32%). Only 7% of Hispanics surveyed said they’d certainly vote for Trump in the election, compared with 66% saying they’d certainly vote for Hillary in the election.
- An ABC News and Washington Post Poll found that 94% of blacks surveyed disapprove of Trump, while 79% favor Hillary.
- “An average of the past three CNN/ORC polls shows…Clinton with 71 percent of the non-white vote.”
- Hillary Clinton “leads among white women, 57 percent to 29 percent.”
Trump: Making a Bad Situation Worse
The GOP doesn’t have a good track record toward minorities, especially when it comes to rhetoric.
If they aren’t outright blaming blacks, then they’re using language that communicates an anti-minority attitude.
Look at how the party addresses criminal justice reform, cop abuse, immigration, and welfare benefits. It ranges from apathy to negativity.
In the areas of criminal justice reform and police abuse, the GOP fails to address the issues the black community is facing. They ignore, victim-blame, and insult claims of injustice and oppression, settling for pro-cop rhetoric (i.e. #BlueLivesMatter) and superficial calls of equality (i.e. #AllLivesMatter).
Both responses do nothing to persuade blacks that republicans care about them.
On immigration, it’s the same situation (just different skin-color).
The GOP’s more focused with stopping the flood of illegals and securing the border than addressing the poor state of immigration. Their rhetoric comes across as anti-immigrant, anti-hispanic, and nationalistic (thanks to Trump). Party leaders are even cautious about condemning such prejudiced rhetoric.
Furthermore, in a party largely built on the white vote, GOP policies routinely suffer from colorblindness; a well-intentioned, but dangerous approach to national issues.
Colorblindness communicates that black/hispanic issues aren’t worse than others. Everything’s equally bad, or something like that.
The GOP has a bad reputation for dismissing racial issues to appeal to its white base’s idea of racial innocence.
The GOP Needs a Better Approach to Attracting Minorities
In the past, the GOP’s failed strategy for attracting minorities was the result of reluctance and negligence. With the introduction of Trump, that’s changed.
The GOP’s failed minority strategy is now a result of racist-signaling, nationalism, and white pandering.
If anything, Trump’s abysmal approval ratings among minorities is a good lesson in what happens when you pander to the lowest denominator.
Use demagoguery, emotionally charged rhetoric, and racial-stroking all you want, but prepared to embolden a dirty side your party. Once that flame is fanned, it’s hard to put out without serious damage.