Do Conservatives Really Think Blacks Love Donald Trump?

Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto/ZUMA

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Both sides in the Kavanaugh affair would like to think that it’s going to motivate their base to turn out at a higher rate than the opposition’s base. I get that. But this from Peter Kirsanow is ridiculous:

Because of my daily radio commentaries in the Cleveland market, listeners frequently contact me with their observations on the passing scene. Many have expressed revulsion at the behavior of Democrats and mainstream media (but I repeat myself) during the Kavanaugh saga. Some of the listeners are black, and more than a few are done with Democrats.

Of course, these are mere anecdotes, but recent polling shows President Trump’s approval rating among blacks increasing dramatically. Consider: Trump got 8% of the black vote in 2016 (about standard for GOP presidential candidates). A year later, notwithstanding the avalanche of hysterical accusations of racism and white supremacy, his approval rating doubled to 18%. Today his approval rating ranges between 31-36%. That doesn’t precisely translate into a similar percentage of black votes for Trump or Republicans, but it’s a blaring alarm to Democrats who depend on getting 90% + of the black vote just to be competitive.

As you can probably guess, it’s not true that a third of African-Americans approve of President Trump. The 36 percent number that Kirsanow cites comes—surprise!—from a Rasmussen poll, which might as well be conducted at a GOP convention in Wyoming for all that they’re worth anything. Everyone knows this. The real number for black approval of Trump is in the neighborhood of 10 percent.

On the list of things that ought to be analyzed as clear-headedly as possible, polls are right on top. One of the dumbest things you can do is to twist poll numbers around to convince yourself of things that are manifestly not true. It doesn’t change the facts on the ground, and it doesn’t help you to win elections.

So why bother with this nonsense? Do conservatives actually believe this stuff? Or do they know better, but think it motivates their base to hear things like this? It’s a mystery.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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