GOP nominee Donald Trump is experiencing an eye-popping surge in support among black Americans in Florida – the biggest prize of all the battleground states – according to a new poll.
Trump has attracted the backing of a full 20 percent of black Americans in Florida, a poll by Florida Atlantic University and the Economics Polling Initiative found.
The survey, conducted Aug. 19-22 and released Wednesday, shows Democrat Hillary Clinton winning the support of 68 percent of Florida’s black voters.
Trump took an overall lead in the state, 43 to 41 percent, within the poll’s 2.7 percent margin of error.
While Clinton takes the largest share of African-American voters, Trump’s numbers are noteworthy because Republican candidates have failed to capture more than 13 percent of the black vote in the state in at least 24 years:
- In 1992, President George H.W. Bush received just 10 percent of the black vote in Florida.
- In 1996, Sen. Bob Dole won only 9 percent of the black vote in Florida.
- In 2004, President George W. Bush captured just 13 percent of the black vote in Florida.
- In 2008, Sen. John McCain secured just 4 percent of the black vote in the state.
- In 2012, Gov. Mitt Romney won 4 percent of the black vote.
President Obama barely won the Sunshine State in 2012 by just more than .9 percent. The state has 4.4 million registered Republicans, 4.6 million Democrats and 3 million independents.
The new Florida poll was conducted just two days after Trump made his pitch to black Americans during an Aug. 17 speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“We reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton which panders to and talks down to communities of color and sees them only as votes, not as individual human beings worthy of a better future,” Trump said in his Wisconsin speech.
“She doesn’t care at all about the hurting people of this country, or the suffering she has caused them. The African-American community has been taken for granted for decades by the Democratic Party. It’s time to break with the failures of the past – I want to offer Americans a new future.”
That speech came just two days after riots rocked black neighborhoods in the Milwaukee area. The candidate urged blacks to embrace law and order, which was the main theme of his speech.
“The main victims of these riots are law-abiding African-American citizens living in these neighborhoods,” Trump declared. “It is their jobs, their homes, their schools and communities which will suffer as a result. There is no compassion in tolerating lawless conduct. Crime and violence is an attack on the poor, and will never be accepted in a Trump administration.”
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As WND reported, the Los Angeles Times/USC Dornsife national tracking poll recorded an abrupt rise in Trump’s support among black Americans from 4.8 percent to 14.1 percent.
Clinton has reportedly spent more money on TV ads in Florida than any other state. In early August, CNN reported she outspent Trump $20 million to $1.6 million there.
And Trump is still ahead in the state.
If the most recent numbers are accurate, they could help explain Clinton’s sudden and fervent efforts to tie Trump to the KKK and white supremacists through a new advertising campaign.
Watch Clinton’s new ad:
On Thursday, Clinton accused Trump of racism and of embracing the “alt-right” philosophy.
“From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia,” she charged. “He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.”
Also on Thursday, Trump fought back against Clinton’s charges of racism.
“It’s the oldest play in the Democratic playbook. When Democratic policies fail, they are left with only this one tired argument,” Trump said at a campaign rally in New Hampshire. “You’re racist, you’re racist, you’re racist. It’s a tired, disgusting argument. And it’s so totally predictable. They’re failing so badly. It’s the last refuge of the discredited Democrat politician.
“They keep going back to the same well. But you know what? The people are becoming very smart. They’ve heard it too many times before.
“She lies, and she smears, she paints decent Americans – you – as racists,” he told the crowd.