A daily tracking poll of President Donald Trump’s job approval released Friday showed an eye-popping surge in approval for Trump among black voters.
According to Rasmussen Reports, Trump’s approval among black likely voters surged this week from 25% on Monday to 46% by the end of the week on Friday.
Morning Reader Data Points:
National Daily Black Likely Voter Job Approval For @POTUS – October 19-23, 2020
Mon 10/19 – 25%
Tue 10/20 – 24%
Wed 10/21 – 31%
Thu 10/22 – 37%
Fri 10/23 – 46%
— Rasmussen Reports (@Rasmussen_Poll) October 23, 2020
Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll on Friday found that 51% of likely U.S. voters approve of President Trump’s job performance while 48% disapprove.
To say that the Rasmussen poll stands in contrast to other polling on President Trump’s job performance is a gross understatement.
According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Trump’s job performance is an average 9.5 points underwater, 44.4% approve to 53.9% disapprove. Recent polls on Trump’s approval other than Rasmussen have Trump at minus 9 points (Economist/YouGov), minus 16 points (Reuters/Ipsos), minus 14 points (Quinnipiac), and minus 12 points (Politico/Morning Consult).
It is highly unlikely that Trump’s approval among black likely voters managed to increase 20 points in just five days, especially when no other polls show a similar trend.
But that is not to say Trump is definitively not performing better-than-expected among black voters.
The Trump campaign has made outreach to black voters a top priority headed into the U.S. election. President Trump often boasts that he’s been the best president for black Americans in U.S. history, with the possible exemption of President Abraham Lincoln, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery in the Confederate states and fought the Civil War. But aside from his rhetorical exaggerations, he has put forward serious policies specifically designed to reach out to and meet the wants of black Americans.
Last month, Trump gave a speech introducing the “Platinum Plan,” a sweeping set of policy proposals calling for a $500 billion investment in black communities to create 3 million new jobs for black Americans. His plan aims to give black Americans greater access to capital for business development, expand school choice and education opportunities, and expand criminal justice reform among other policies.
At Thursday night’s final presidential debate, Trump touted his record on criminal justice reform, funding historically black colleges, and creating economic opportunity zones. He accused Democratic nominee Joe Biden of being in government for 47 years and failing to achieve anything for the black community. Trump attacked Biden for sponsoring a crime bill in the 1990s that led to an increase of incarcerations of black Americans, questioning why Biden, if he now opposes the crime bill, didn’t act on it when he occupied the White House with President Obama and had a Democratic-controlled Congress.
The messaging is clearly targeted at peeling away black support for Biden.
By no means does polling data indicate that these overtures to black Americans will help Trump win the black vote on Election Day. But one study reported by FiveThirtyEight did show that compared to 2016, Trump’s support among young black voters (18 to 44) improved by 10 points.
Also, a study of black swing voters found that younger black voters don’t want to be taken for granted by the Democratic Party and tend to have a more negative view of Democrats, and a more positive view of Republicans, than their older peers. Young black men, while they overwhelmingly say Trump is a racist, incompetent, and disagree with his policies, also admire how he “shows strength and defies the establishment.”
Ultimately, the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day, when the American people will decide if Trump deserves four more years in office. Don’t bet on 46% of black voters to swing for Trump.
But don’t be surprised if Trump’s support surprises.