Why Trump shouldn't write off the black vote

When Donald Trump decided to run for president as a Republican, he already had a standing with black America that most GOP politicians can only dream of. The mystery is why he hasn’t capitalized on it, or really even attempted to. Republican outreach to blacks over the decades has wavered between lame and nonexistent. Until recently, the party wagered that it didn’t need many minority votes to win national elections and therefore focused its turnout efforts elsewhere. But after President Obama defeated Mitt Romney four years ago, Republican leaders began to change their tune…

Mr. Trump hasn’t (yet) offended blacks to the extent that he’s offended other groups, but neither has he given many of them a reason to vote for him. Imagine if Mr. Trump took time to campaign in places like Jay Z’s old neighborhood and talk to the residents about why so many lots are empty, why all those buildings are boarded up, why foreign nationals run so many of the small businesses, why the bodega charges so much for milk and eggs, why good schools and jobs are so scarce. He could explain why the Democratic politicians they continue to support have made so little progress in these communities. He could explain how he would do things differently. Mr. Trump, billionaire developer, would have both the knowledge and credibility to discuss these matters. And he would have an audience, likely a big one.

Mr. Trump is uniquely positioned to suggest alternative policy solutions to a group of voters who may be less willing to hear out other Republicans. To date, however, he’s shown little interest in even trying. Instead, Mr. Trump has largely written off the black vote, which may be the most Republican thing about him.

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