Can Donald Trump and his campaign win a significant share of the African-American vote in 2020? His campaign insists that they are making inroads in this key Democratic demographic, and the president has gotten some celebrity help in this effort as well. The White House and Trump routinely focus on the historically low unemployment rate among black workers as a key message that his economic policies are paying off for these voters in particular. And although Infrastructure Week has become a kind of running joke, the projects that Trump’s infrastructure agenda will address will likely focus mainly on urban decay, which would benefit these voters most.
So how has that campaign fared? According to a new poll today from the Washington Post and Ipsos, there’s still a lot of work to do. Eight in ten respondents in this sample of over a thousand African-Americans think Trump is a racist, and they’re much more pessimistic about the direction of the country:
President Trump made a stark appeal to black Americans during the 2016 election when he asked, “What have you got to lose?” Three years later, black Americans have rendered their verdict on his presidency with a deeply pessimistic assessment of their place in the United States under a leader seen by an overwhelming majority as racist. …
While personally optimistic about their own lives, black Americans today offer a bleaker view about their community as a whole. They also express determination to try to limit Trump to a single term in office.
More than 8 in 10 black Americans say they believe Trump is a racist and that he has made racism a bigger problem in the country. Nine in 10 disapprove of his job performance overall.
The pessimism goes well beyond assessments of the president. A 65 percent majority of African Americans say it is a “bad time” to be a black person in America. That view is widely shared by clear majorities of black adults across income, generational and political lines. By contrast, 77 percent of black Americans say it is a “good time” to be a white person, with a wide majority saying white people don’t understand the discrimination faced by black Americans.