Hillary Clinton got 86 percent of the black vote in the South Carolina Democratic primary.
We can expect similar results in Democratic primaries on Super Tuesday and in the weeks ahead.
Assuming she is the Democratic nominee, she will get at least that percentage in the general election. Usually, Democrats getting only 86 percent of the black vote in a presidential election would spell disaster. Not this year!
The way things are going, Republicans won't come anywhere near getting 14 percent of the black vote, and will be lucky to get half that number.
Because the GOP establishment and most of its presidential candidates have done little to meet the challenge of the Republican National Committee’s “Growth and Opportunity Project” report released in March 2013: “The minority groups that President Obama carried with 80 percent of the vote in 2012 are on track to become a majority of the nation’s population by 2050 . . . The Republican Party must compete on every playing field. . . . "
Apparently many in the GOP establishment, who after the election were saying how urgent it was to reach out to minorities, never got the message. That includes most of the initial contenders for the GOP nomination.
I wrote in this space in March of last year: “How many . . . GOP leaders are advising blacks to take the necessary steps to vote in (GOP) primaries, especially in states with significant black populations?”
Referring to Florida I said: “If the 57,000 registered black GOP voters were mobilized by one or two of the remaining contenders after the Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina primaries, as well as 50,000-100,000 of the black Independents, the result could mean taking Florida’s winner-take-all prize of 99 delegates . . . ”
The point was that the GOP candidates should “compete on every playing field” and appeal to blacks on basic issues such as sanctity of life, school choice…and support for small and minority-owned business.
My question was “who will lead the effort?” Obviously no one has.
I don’t know voter statistics in other states, but if Florida is an example, the report’s challenge is not being met — there are over 2,000 fewer black Republican voters now than there were in 2012!
Apparently, little if anything has been done by the Party to implement the report.
Black Republicans have taken notice that few if any black consultants were recruited for the present political campaigns — not just for black outreach — but in areas such as finance, research and communications.
In my discussion of the report in 2013, I stated that the party still had a major “credibility problem with blacks, particularly black Republicans” and that many were “skeptical.”
Why skepticism? Some of the reasons I listed:
- There have been few if any blacks in key visible positions in state parties and political campaigns.
- Virtually no meaningful business or personal relationships with blacks, minority media, black organizations by today’s...GOP leaders and candidates.
- Rarely any black or minority spokespersons.”
I concluded that this sent a message to black voters that “we do not care about you, your issues and do not need you.”
Three years later, looking at the campaigns of most of the initial field of GOP candidates, the skeptics were right!
You can count on one hand the number of GOP candidates who even mentioned blacks or problems related to the black community.
As George Farrell, Chairman of Blakpac, founded to support minority conservative candidates, said recently: “The Republican Party has learned nothing from Romney’s defeat and it and its Presidential candidates—and their consultants—are repeating the same mistakes.”
Farrell is right!
Looking at the five remaining candidates, Carson and Trump, to the best of my knowledge, are the only ones who have met with blacks or given any indication that they are interested in black votes or issues.
Of those who have a chance at victory or coming close to victory Super Tuesday and in remaining primaries, Trump will most likely get significantly more black Republican votes than his opposition, including defeating Marco Rubio in Florida’s winner take all primary.
By actions and words, he has done more to reflect an interest and concern with black issues than the national party and most of the candidates.
- While neither Hillary Clinton, Obama, nor any of the GOP candidates have or had black spokespersons, Trump does: Katrina Pierson, a former Texas Congressional candidate and former Cruz supporter.
- He has been the only candidate to point out how Obama has neglected black community problems.
- He has struck a chord with blacks on illegal immigration many of whom feel that they have been thrown under the bus in favor of present and future Hispanic voters.
- He was the only candidate to meet with the family of black 17-year-old Jamie Shaw of Los Angeles who was slain by an illegal immigrant. His father said “we love Mr. Trump . . . he spoke up. . . . ”
- Regardless of the present controversy over David Duke and the Klu Klux Klan, Trump is the only viable remaining candidate who has been willing to compete on “every playing field.”
Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as in the Reagan presidential campaigns and has appeared on many national and local media outlets. Read more reports from Clarence V. McKee — Click Here Now.
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