The change in economic conditions — unemployment was 13.3% in May despite strong jobs growth — has not caused the Trump campaign to reconsider; neither has the anger over Floyd’s death nor the protests demanding racial equality roiling black communities, often directed toward Republicans. Pierson said the Trump campaign would begin opening field offices in black neighborhoods this month and send prominent black Trump supporters into communities to hold listening sessions.
“We’re actually looking for some June openings,” Pierson said. “We’re just waiting for the go-ahead from local governments. I can’t tell you when because these centers are in Democrat-run communities.” Described by the Trump campaign as sleek community centers, 15 were due to open before the pandemic, including in Miami, Charlotte, Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee.
When the Trump campaign first unveiled its initiative to grow support among black voters from 8%, where it finished in 2016, to anywhere from 15% to 19%, Democratic operatives warned their party not to assume the president would fall short. Democrats are still cautioning that the party cannot take black votes for granted.