The Trump campaign and the GOP made a clear and concerted play for African-American votes during the four-night Republican National Convention last month, as demonstrated by its program lineup. Two of the primetime speakers -- football star Herschel Walker and Georgia Democratic State Representative Vernon Jones -- are now featured in a new multi-state radio ad buy that will air on urban stations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, according to the campaign. Here is the audio:
Herschel Walker: I’m Herschel Walker. I’ve known Donald Trump for 37 years. He keeps right on fighting to improve the lives of Black Americans. He works night and day. He never stops. He leaves nothing on the field.
Vernon Jones: My name is Vernon Jones and I’m a lifelong Democrat and I’m part of a large and growing segment of the Black community who are independent thinkers and we believe that Donald Trump is the president that America needs to lead us forward. Joe Biden has had 47 years to produce results, but he’s been all talk and no action just like so many of the Democrats who’ve been making promises to the Black voters for decades.
Walker: He has accomplished so much almost all by himself on a constant attack. But, there’s still more work to be done. If you love America and want to make it better, Donald Trump is your president. He’s my president and I’m blessed to call him friend.
President Trump: I’m Donald Trump and I approve this message.
This spot doesn't list off any specific achievements -- the First Step Act and (pre-COVID) record-low unemployment rates come to mind -- but the goal seems to be pushing Black voters to reconsider whether decades of Democratic loyalty has been worth it. No one is under the impression that the president is going to even come close to winning African-Americans in November. But if he can improve his margins in places like Milwaukee, Detroit and Atlanta, that could make the difference in a close race. Remember, NBC's Chuck Todd recently said that the Biden campaign is anxious about Trump over-performing among Black men in particular:
"Both campaigns, guys, tell me that there is a chance that Donald Trump could overperform with African American men."@ChuckTodd says @JoeBiden's campaign is concerned with the prospect of @TeamTrump exceeding expectations with black voters. pic.twitter.com/bC4YOKD5wv— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) August 26, 2020
Trump won 13 percent of that demographic four years ago, based on national exit polls. Trump has shed support among a sizable chunk of white, college-educated suburbanites -- but could he be making up some of that ground with voters of color? Cortney wrote about some eye-opening polling data on the incumbent's support among Florida Hispanics, which is being reflected elsewhere (35 percent support according to a Pew national poll, 37 percent according to Emerson, and 38 percent in Texas), leading to some bullishness within the Trump campaign. Then-candidate Trump carried barely more than one-in-four (28 percent) Latinos in 2016. Meanwhile, some on-the-ground Democrats are getting antsy about Joe Biden's strategy of disengagement -- from ducking questions to reading canned answers off of teleprompters. I'll leave you with Team Trump's latest television ad on the economy:
GREAT AMERICAN COMEBACK!— Tim Murtaugh - Download the Trump 2020 app today! (@TimMurtaugh) September 8, 2020
Ad running in NC, GA, FL, MN, WI, MI and on national cable.
Four straight months of record job growth as the economy rebounds sharply.
Joe Biden, prisoner of the radical left, would shut it down again.pic.twitter.com/4eG9cbVwEj
UPDATE - Another poll showing Trump outperforming among Latinos -- this time leading Biden outright (and tied overall):
Florida (NBC/Marist)— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 8, 2020
Trump still slightly trailing with seniors, but now slightly leading among Latinos. https://t.co/HSy8HrI2BH