Georgia GOP Politicos Downplay Polls Showing Minimal Minority Support for Donald Trump

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix.   Photo: Gage Skidmore
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix.
Photo: Gage Skidmore
Today, the Washington Post goes into some depth over recent polling that shows presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump isn’t gaining traction among voters of color. The paper’s polling shows 88% of African-Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump, and 87% of Hispanics view the candidate unfavorably. Trump is also under water with whites, although at 55% unfavorable he’s in much better shape there.

Is the polling realistic? Former Gwinnett County Republican Party Chairman Bruce LeVell, who now heads up the National Diversity Coalition for Trump doesn’t think so.

“I respectfully disagree and the reason why is, there was a tremendous amount of people of color attending the rally in Atlanta,” LeVell said, referring to a Wednesday event at which Trump criticized GOP leaders who have criticized his comments in the wake of the Orlando shooting.

LeVell, who is African American, defended Trump’s comments about Judge Gonzolo Curiel, who is presiding over a civil suit against the defunct Trump University, saying that the candidate has a right to protest if he believes that the judge is biased.

LeVell is quoted in the Post story as saying he expects Trump to earn “way above” 25% of Hispanic votes. In 2012, Mitt Romney earned around 27% of the Hispanic vote.

Leonardo Smith, who runs the minority engagement efforts for the Georgia Republican Party hasn’t been shy in his predictions for the race, telling Greg Bluestein of the AJC that Trump could easily get 20% of the black vote, which would be a high water mark of support. And, in support of LeVell’s point, at least anecdotally, Smith released this video of a young Trump supporter that was taken at Wednesday’s rally.

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Will Kremer
Will Kremer

The first step to fix a problem is to admit there is a problem. That’s not what Trump et al are doing. I respect Bruce and Leo–they’ve done solid work for the Georgia Republican Party–but having the same African American GOPers attend every event is not minority outreach. I understand the purpose of having them show up, but it shouldn’t be used as a rebuttal to pundits and pollsters asking “How can Trump do better with minorities?” It seems the minority engagement program shows the same symptoms of the Trump campaign: Making wild predictions without the ability to back it… Read more »

CJ Pearson
CJ Pearson

White people telling black people how to engage minorities. Funny.

The Eiger
The Eiger

Or children trying to sit at the adult table.

George Chidi
George Chidi

Low blow. CJ’s got a point. White Republicans haven’t exactly been doing a bang-up job pulling in nonwhite voters. Actually listening to what black conservatives have to say — and not telling them what to think — would be a good start. Listening to what black non-conservatives have to say would be a better start.

The Eiger
The Eiger

And as I’ve said before. Not having a racist at the top of the ticket would be helpful.

I also think the idea that Will can’t have an opinion on minority outreach because he is white is pretty absurd. How dare he propose something other than what is currently not working.

Will Kremer
Will Kremer

We don’t want a 75-year-old crafting an engagement plan for Millennial voters for the same reasons a man shouldn’t craft an engagement plan for women voters or a white person for black voters. Each community/group has unique perspectives. While I typically dislike playing identify politics, a certain amount is necessary. The problem within the GOP is X group doesn’t want to change Y aspect to attract Z group. For example, when I chaired the College Republicans, I pleaded with activists to quit using social issues as banner topics. It faced heavy backlash (as you could imagine). Leo’s efforts are facing… Read more »

CJ Pearson
CJ Pearson

Totally agree with that point.

CJ Pearson
CJ Pearson

Thanks, George. Phenomenal points there.

George Chidi
George Chidi

I went to the Trump rally to observe. Leo Smith is an extraordinary speaker. But … he’s one guy. Yes, there were nonwhite people there. I think most were strap-hangers like myself, not so much supporting as wondering about the spectacle of it. And let’s not kid: fewer than one in 20 in that room were black, Latino or Asian. Trump won’t crack double digits in the black community. The Republican Party has to reject its racists to win nonwhite voters. Period. Silence isn’t enough. It has to be public, and it has to be treated like a priority. Black… Read more »

John Konop
John Konop

George,

We have been friends for awhile, and you know I like you, and respect your opinion. You have always been a very honest, as well as strong voice in your community, no matter race, religion….. I want to focus strictly on your knowledge in the African American community. Please help me understand the blind loyalty to Hillary Clinton? You know the polices of War on Drugs/94 crime Bill Clinton legislation, Neocon war Policy, private prison support …… has especially hurt poor white and minority communities.

http://www.thenation.com/article/hillary-clinton-does-not-deserve-black-peoples-votes/

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

Do you know how absolutely offensive it is to hear that your voting decisions are “blind loyalty”? As if you do not have the mental capacity to do the research and come to a decision to vote for someone. Obviously, minorities arent educated enough to make decisions on flawed candidates right?

I gotta tell you guys. Statements like this are what do NOT help the GOP with minority outreach.

John Konop
John Konop

Post the civil rights movement, can you name a more targeted racist legislation than the Nixon War on Drugs/Clinton 94 Crime bill? BTW Salon and Nation asked similar questions about the racist behavior of Bill and Hillary, they are from the left?

……..Racist then, racist now: The real story of Bill Clinton’s crime bill

Clinton’s crime bill and Hillary’s “super-predators” talk remains a problem, but its roots and legacy are complex…..

http://www.salon.com/2016/04/16/racist_then_racist_now_the_real_story_of_bill_clintons_crime_bill/

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

Annnd you heard exactly ZERO of what I said.

Everyone else, this exchange is why minority outreach will continue to be an elusive unicorn for the GOP.

John Konop
John Konop

Jon,

I think it comes down to policy. If the GOP promoted polices that would help people the voters will show up. Koch brothers get it!

Will Durant
Will Durant

Using tokens to make a token effort is not going to be very effective either. And I don’t mean that as an offense to any minorities already involved in the party. Looking at Lori Geary’s photo of the recent outreach luncheon during the convention is like playing Where’s Waldo and I don’t even see double digits in attendance. :large Until the mindset of the leadership and/or the so called base is changed, nothing else will. As the other Will has pointed out, get the H E double hockey sticks out of the social issues. You can’t pass resolutions clamoring for… Read more »

George Chidi
George Chidi

John. Setting aside your choice of language about “blind loyalty,” I think I can answer you. It’s not blind loyalty. It’s a wide-eyed appreciation of the alternative. Here are the main political problems facing African-American voters. Black people are discriminated against in the job market, at school, in the courts, in housing and in small business lending decisions. The unemployment rate for black Americans is twice as high as whites, and that’s true even for people who have education and skills, leaving black families with a poverty rate twice as high as whites. Black students face harsher discipline than white… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

States rights and the argument that it was unconstitutional to compel white businesses to serve African-Americans was front and center when the modern Republican Party came into being into being in 1964. It wasn’t co-incidence that the Great Communicator Ronald Reagan expressed support for states rights in Neshoba County MS when running for President in 1980.

Keep it fresh, GOP, by continuing to recycle states rights and constitutionality arguments to support legislation harmful to minorities, whether the minorities are African-American or not.

George Chidi
George Chidi

Note that nothing I just wrote has one damned thing to do with entitlements, or welfare, or Medicaid. As a practical matter, the diminishment of government handouts isn’t relevant to black voters. Do you know why? Poor black people don’t vote. Those making less than $15,000 a year made up 13 percent of the population in 2008 … but just 6 percent of voters. Roughly a third of that 6 percent is black. Two percent of the electorate overall. One seventh of the black electorate. Black voters understand this. But the screaming about welfare still looks like a taunt. It’s… Read more »

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

Everything George said. EVERYTHING!

John Konop
John Konop

George, ………unemployment rate for black Americans is twice as high as whites, and that’s true even for people who have education and skills, leaving black families with a poverty rate twice as high as whites…….. According to the Pew institute the number one reason is the combination of the Nixon War on Drugs and Clinton 94 Crime Bill, which was unfairly enforced in poor white and minority areas. Pew estimates if we ended the above the poverty rate would drop 30 percent. Hillary Clinton has taken close to a billion dollars from the private prison industry. ……….racist white voters who… Read more »

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

It’s like you are purposefully and actively trying NOT to listen to what minorities are telling you. You have such a hate/dislike for Hillary that you cant focus otherwise. It’s downright comical at this point.

The Eiger
The Eiger

There is no reason to listen when you know everything. Duh.

CJ Pearson
CJ Pearson

Sorry – this child has earned his seat. Considering you’re not even using your actual name – I don’t think you have.

The Eiger
The Eiger

Thanks. This one sentence explains everything that is wrong with millennials and the me generation. I’m sure you have earned everything you have. Unfortunately for me, some would consider me a millennial.

I also don’t have anything to prove to you. I know what I do daily.

Will Durant
Will Durant

Earned? At 13? Producing rambling youtube videos? LOL. I’m picturing a 13-year old singing Louis Armstrong’s dirge, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen…”

CJ Pearson
CJ Pearson

Mr. Durant, I’m self confident enough with my accomplishments that I feel no need to entertain your petty belittlement.

Noway2016
Noway2016

OK, CJ, school us, puleeeese! Tell the White Men how to get black votes!

Will Kremer
Will Kremer

CJ, you’re right. That’s why I’m not leading minority engagement. But sure, admitting there’s a problem and improving PR tactics are silly suggestions from a white man.

The Eiger
The Eiger

The first thing that needs to be done with regards to minority outreach is to not have a bigot as our nominee.

Will Kremer
Will Kremer

That’s an effective measure, too.

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

Rhetoric is sword waving and wall building. He qualifies. Hypocrisy is promises with a lot of other people’s money, favoritism for foundation donations and hating on the wealthy while keeping the part time starting salary for your daughter under $1 million.

We will get through this, either way. I’d be nervous on what we don’t want to see coming, the flawed acturian programs for public pensions, student loans and other financial impacts (we got past the mortgage derivatives) and a wealth transfer from inverted interest rates and an underperforming economy. Venezuelans are working through their promises……..

GaVoterEngagement
GaVoterEngagement

The author of this post, Jon Richards and I spoke after its posting and he acknowledged that the video I released of a Teen Republican had absolutely nothing to do with my early estimation of Trump’s chances with racial minority voters. That video isn’t proof of anything except I don’t know how to take Selfies. Greg Bluestein’s article separately referenced and published over a month ago in the AJC speaks for itself. Engagement events are so varied and statewide that I’d be wrong to say that I’ve attended them all. Georgia is a big state. I can also understand how… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Woah. Woah. Woah. You mean to tell me that the Party that hitched its wagon to the Southern strategy is having a problem appealing to minority voters? The Party that talks about “states’ rights” and “tax cuts” because, per Lee Atwater, it needed a more coded way to appeal to racists? The Party whose ideological luminary kicked off his 1980 election campaign by giving a speech about “state’s rights” 7 miles outside the Mississippi town where James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were lynched and killed? That party is having a hard time appealing to minorities? Color me shocked.… Read more »

augusta52
augusta52

Trump could “easily” get 20% of the black vote? Yep,, and the Braves could “easily” win their division this year? The last time any GOP nominee broke that figure was Richard Nixon in 1960 (33%)—and of course back then, the black electorate was a lot smaller (in part because of voting restrictions in the South). Been a pretty bad month so far for Trump…no wonder a “regime change” was in order with a new campaign manager yesterday. Trump has yet to catch on that the primary season is over, that he will need far more votes in November than he… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Yeah, but NY is a state where Trump can most easily funnel campaign spending back into his own businesses.

Campaigning to win? Note the Trump campaign has spent more on hats than on voter data.