Trump’s team is airing TV advertisements aimed at Black and Latino voters that attack the presumptive Democratic nominee over his past support of the 1994 crime bill, which led to increased incarceration, particularly among people of color, as well as his mental fitness in Spanish-language spots. It’s a sign that Trump aides, while struggling to find a consistent and effective line of attack against Biden, have settled on at least one strategy: dilute Biden’s strength among minority voters.
“It’s very clear the Trump campaign is trying to use much of the same playbook from 2016,” said Karen Finney, Hillary Clinton’s spokesperson during that campaign. “This should be a blaring call to all Democrats running for office this year, specifically Biden, that you cannot take anything for granted with Black voters, period. Because we made that mistake in 2016, and ended up with, just as an example, Hillary underperforming in Milwaukee, which has a high African American population.”
In the past three weeks alone, the Trump team has spent more than $2 million on the advertisements in six swing states and nationally, according to Advertising Analytics. The blueprint is similar to the one they successfully executed against Clinton in 2016, when the campaign helped drive down turnout among African American voters in key battleground states by focusing on her past comments about “superpredators” and advocacy for the crime bill. In 2016, Black voter turnout dropped in a presidential race for the first time in two decades, plummeting from nearly 67 percent to just under 60 percent, per Pew.