FACT CHECK: Did Trump Really Promise To Win 100 Percent Of The Black Vote In 2020 Re-election?
WASHINGTON – MSNBC anchor Katy Tur claimed on “Meet The Press Daily” March 4 that President Donald Trump once promised to win 100 percent of the black vote in 2020.
Tur was close. Trump gave a speech in Dimondale, Michigan, Aug. 19, 2016 in which he claimed that, if elected president, he would win over 95 percent of the black vote in his 2020 re-election bid.
Tur was talking with PBS Newshour’s Yamiche Alcindor about the upcoming 2020 presidential election when she made the claim. “He did promise he’s gonna win 100 percent of the black vote in 2020. He has made that promise,” Tur said.
She was likely referring to remarks Trump made during an August 2016 campaign rally in Dimondale, Michigan. During the speech, Trump made the case that black Americans should vote Republican.
“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?” asked Trump. “And at the end of four years, I guarantee you that I will get over 95 percent of the African-American vote. I promise you. Because I will produce.”
Exit polling data from the National Election Pool shows that Trump only won 8 percent of the black vote in 2016, compared to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s 88 percent.
National polls vary, but monthly averages from Rasmussen show Trump’s approval rating among black Americans fluctuating between 20 and 30 percent over the last year. Polling from Gallup shows his support hovering around 10 percent.
When speaking to black Americans, Trump often touts low black unemployment and a strong economy. Some political pundits, and Trump himself, have speculated that he received a greater level of black support due to his friendship with rapper Kanye West.
Albert Eisenberg, a Philadelphia-based political consultant who works on diversity issues within the GOP, believes that if Trump can garner a higher level of support among black Americans, it could be key to a re-election victory. “The black vote is both crucial and possibly in play at the margins,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email.
“Black voters represent over 20% of the electorate in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia, and over 10% of voters in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and Michigan. If the GOP can raise support among black voters from the high single digits or low teens to even 20%, you take home all of those states, just like that, and the GOP has guaranteed itself a national election victory,” he continued.
The Trump campaign and White House did not respond to requests for comment.