Trump Approval among Latinos, African Americans Could Be Stronger than Expected

President Donald Trump points as he answers questions during a news conference at the White House, September 4, 2020. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

The president’s authentic bluntness may be more appealing to non-elites of all races than violence and condescending lectures.


here are some stunning indications that the supposedly satanic racist Donald Trump could be polling in some surveys around a 35-40 approval rate among Latinos and 20–30 percent among African Americans. Other polls are more equivocal but suggest an unexpected Trump surge among minority voters.

If those polls are accurate and predict November voting patterns, then Joe Biden could lose the popular vote as well as the key swing states by larger margins than Hillary Clinton’s Electoral College losses in 2016.

Indeed, some state polls by CNN and Trafalgar already show Trump to be near even in these purple states. The polling also suggests that, contrary to stereotypical exegeses, nonwhites of the large cities in the Midwest are not necessarily a monolithic voting bloc. So how can this be — given the Obama verdict that Trump is our generation’s Bull Connor, and the Never Trump assurances that the divisive Trump lacks the empathy and appeal of a “coalition building” John McCain or a BLM-sympathizer such as a marching Mitt Romney, and lacks as well the natural resonance the Bush family enjoys with Hispanics?

A number of things are going on that may explain some of these apparent mysteries.

One, Trump is finally beginning to reshape the Republican Party into a middle-class coalition of all races, deliberately pitted against the boutique leftist rich people in Hollywood, Wall Street, the New York and Washington media, Silicon Valley, and the Washington swamp. Trump boasts far more about lowering minority unemployment than reducing the capital-gains tax, more about reducing drug sentences than the need for unfettered global trade.

The topic of fairness across class divides resonates. Who after all wishes to listen to multimillionaire Nancy Pelosi rail about masks the same day she sneaks, unmasked, into a locked-down salon to get her hair done on the sly? Who wishes to follow the diktats of self-righteous governors such as Gavin Newsom, who pontificated about shutting down wineries only to keep his own open before being ratted out?

In that sense, many African-American middle-class voters might see Don Lemon as arrogant and foolish, much as white middle-class voters see Chris Cuomo this way. Or African Americans might disregard sermons from mansion-living, cashing-in Barack Obama the same way that white working-class voters in Ohio ignore the grifter Hillary Clinton when she offers them another homespun homily. African Americans might be as embarrassed by Maxine Waters’s rants as whites are by Nancy Pelosi’s — both women are insider, careerist politicians who are never affected by the consequences of their own soap-box ideologies. In other words, there is no reason to be locked into a racial matrix that assumes the proverbial “other” somehow always puts tribal solidarities over class affinities and society’s collective desire to be secure and safe.

Two, those very same people in the news, on television, social media, and the Internet often talk down to voters, of any race or color. They deprecate religion, right to life, and guns, and assume that any who disagree with their neo-socialist worldviews are ignorant rubes. Whether it’s a shrill Elizabeth Warren or a pompous Joy Reid, they exude pretension and self-righteousness. No one living in smoking California wants to be told that global warming or a dearth of solar power is the reason they can’t go to the mountain lake. Amid raging fires, Californians know that their anti-timber-industry state allowed millions of dead trees to rot as “mulch” that ended up as napalm. They also figure that the ensuing smoke and record heat caused power outages, when new-age wind and solar units went to sleep amid the smoke and night. The entire green-advocacy industry has become an elitist, shrill pastime for mostly wealthy whites who don’t much care about its consequences for working-class minorities — whom they’ve rarely met outside using their services.

Three, minority voters, like all voters, take politicians at their word and distrust what handlers claim their candidates said. They see that when Biden speaks extemporaneously, he not only appears cognitively challenged but racist as well, as if his inner self is now expressed, stripped of the speed bumps and guard rails of conscious self-censorship, social savvy, and awareness.

On camera, Biden may surround himself with people of color, but minorities nonetheless hear some crazy things exiting Biden’s garrulous mouth — the Corn Pop nonsense, the doughnut-shop riff, the condescending racism of “put y’all back in chains,” and “you ain’t black,” asking a black journalist whether he was a junkie or cocaine addict, assuring that all black people think the same way and lack the diversity of thought found in the Latino community, all as fillips to his prior racist history of suggesting that Obama was the nation’s first “clean” and “articulate” black man to run for office, and his even earlier nonsense about the racial “jungle” of the inner city.

No one likes to be lied to or ordered about. Just as the deplorables have been besmirched as smelly, Bible-clinging, gap-toothed, and Neanderthal by elite whites, so elite blacks and their white counterparts assume they can dictate to working-class blacks, slur ministers as minstrels, cheaply call dissidents Uncle Toms, swarm social media to slander black Trump supporters, and assume that it all resonates with a captive black constituency.

Local news, Fox News, YouTube, and social media occasionally break through the national left-wing media censorship of the violence in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Washington, and Chicago. And just as whites are sickened by young, nasal-sounding, cowardly, Antifa activists spitting in the faces of older black and white police officers and trying to burn them up in their own precincts, looting, and destroying shopping centers and stores of inner cities and downtowns, so too are blacks. Why would anyone sympathize with a cowardly, violent Antifa rioter, outfitted in his ridiculous, pretentious Road Warrior ensemble, screaming in his whiny high-pitched voice, reciting some pseudo-Marxist crib notes from a Sociology 1 class, assuming that he was the real brilliant strategist behind the BLM movement, only to sob and collapse into a fetal position or screaming meltdown when arrested, pushed back by the police, or challenged by counter demonstrators?

The upper-middle-class white leftist, in other words, is not a sympathetic figure among either non-elite blacks or whites. And perhaps the Marxist echelon of BLM and its enablers on television are not either. Minority voters are just as likely to see Antifa thugs as cowards and wimps, and they have no sympathies for inner-city looters who haul off Gucci bags.

Most of the white Antifa mob and its wannabe thousands do not live with minorities and did not grow up with them or go to school with them. Do working-class African Americans enjoy watching white college kids or baristas in knee pads with umbrellas or teachers on full paid sabbaticals or Zoom half-days, ordering their local Target to be torched?

In addition, lots of minorities prefer the company of white working-class people over the pajama-boy wimpy lingo and look of Antifa. In the view of many minorities and working-class whites, Antifa’s Revolución! is a sort of paid-for lark — playacting — but nonetheless a game now costing others by destroying property that is more likely used by minority shoppers than suburban middle-class brats. No one really likes to hear sermons from condescending journalists, academics, and celebrities. Again, given the thin margins of current elections, small changes in demographics can have radical results: If Joe Biden does not receive 88 percent of the black vote, then his Democratic ticket faces real trouble.

How ironic that the supposedly biased Trump staged an entire convention based on ecumenical class commonalities, when a week earlier woke wealthy liberal people, privileged white and minorities alike, lectured the nation from on high about America’s supposed moral  shortcomings.

The pièce de résistance of the Democratic convention was the appearance of the two Obamas of Kalorama and Martha’s Vineyard fame — the one in his now accustomed affected inner-city patois explaining to the supposedly half-woke the dangers posed by wealthy privileged people (like himself?); the other in full teary-eyed Oprah therapeutic mode, implicitly warning about the racist Trump and his racist legions who any day might apparently jump over the security fences on Martha’s Vineyard.

The result may be that a fifth of blacks and over a third of Latinos watching the RNC and DNC conventions preferred authentic bluntness to disingenuous sloganeering.

So Joe Biden has both a race and class problem — the extent of which is not yet clear because polls showing his dramatic drop in minority support are not always reflected in general polls of either the presidential contest or Trump’s approval ratings.

What is clear is that Biden’s party has ridiculed and alienated the white working class — those who are not fragile and have no privilege but who are caricatured (by those who are guilt-ridden, privileged, and quite fragile) as inordinately advantaged.

At the same time, the Left hierarchy has patronized the black working class as unthinking and in need of elite guidance along the lines of the “you ain’t black” Biden directive. And now both groups, unlike in previous elections, may be voting for Trump in numbers scarcely believable for a Republican —if for no other reason than to send a message that the moral certitude and nonstop racial evangelizing of wealthier panderers is long past boring.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump.

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