He doesn’t have to carry a majority of either group to win. Indeed, there is a long-held notion that if a Republican presidential candidate can pull 20 percent of the Black vote, that candidate will win.
Nearly 30 years ago, three scholars writing in the Political Science Quarterly wrote, “Twenty percent [of the Black vote] appears to be the threshold Republican strategists believe will establish GOP dominance in American politics,” both in presidential and congressional elections.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) suggested last February that if Trump were to win between 14 and 16 percent of the Black vote in 2020, it would be “game over.”
Several polls emerged last December, before the pandemic hit, putting Black support for Trump in the mid-30s range. That seemed to many of us at the time to be on the high side.