Call it the Kanye West Effect?
According to the latest poll from YouGov and the Economist, support for President Donald Trump among African-Americans is slowly climbing to a number that should send chills down the spines of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
The poll reports that black registered voters currently have Trump at 16% approval, 75% disapproval, with 10% in the “not sure” category. That may sound like some pretty abysmal numbers for any president, but you have to remember that – when it comes to Republicans and black voters – these figures are practically unprecedented. The Democratic Party has had a stranglehold on the black vote for years – 98%, 99% approval ratings for the party are not unheard of. If Trump’s numbers with black voters stay this way…or even grow going into 2020, Democrats are going to have a serious problem on their hands.
For the sake of comparison, these approval numbers are 8 points higher than those Trump received from black Americans on election day and 9 points higher than those Mitt Romney was seeing back in 2012. It’s also a full 6 points higher than the black support Trump was getting when YouGov ran this poll back in January, proving that something has happened to shake the ground between then and now. Could it be that the “something” was Kanye West coming out in full support of President Donald Trump this month?
It’s hard to say, but there’s an argument to be made. West is highly respected in the black community, both as a rapper and as a social commenter. We don’t think it’s as simple as, “Well, Kanye says this guy’s all right, so now I’m going to switch from hating him to loving him.”
No, it’s probably more like: This prominent black celebrity is no longer ashamed to admit that Trump is not the devil incarnate, so you know what? I don’t have to pretend to hate him anymore, either. And in fact, the dude’s right about one thing: The Democratic Party hasn’t really been doing our community any favors for the last, oh, 60 goddamn years. Maybe it’s time to think outside the box.
On the campaign trail, Trump predicted that he would actually win the black vote after four years as president. He’s still a long way from the realization of that lofty goal, but he may get a lot closer than any of his critics would have ever dreamed. In the age of #Woke, black voters may be quietly waking up to the fact that there ARE other choices on the ballot. And in the midst of an economy that’s roaring like it never was during the Obama years, they may also be realizing that there WAS something to that MAGA slogan after all.
It’s too early to tell for sure, but the extraordinary impact of Donald Trump on the American electorate may be a story with many more shocking chapters in store.