Fri. May 24th, 2024

Tim Scott focuses on his pitch to Black voters amid Trump VP speculation

By 37ci3 Apr15,2024

Last July, a town hall attendee in Salem, New Hampshire, asked Sen. Tim Scott if he believed he could “change the African-American community, which has historically supported Democrats.” Scott’s response was guarded.

“Maybe,” answered the then-presidential candidate. “I am quite a conservative candidate. This does not bode well for my ability to persuade staunch Democrats, black or white or any other people of color.

But now, amid speculation about former President Donald Trump’s 2024 nomination, the South Carolina senator is banking on his ability to connect with a growing black electorate that polling data suggests is open to voting for Trump. in this election.

Scott, along with other Black Republicans in Congress, launched the weekly America’s Top Five series with the goal of both making black conservatives more visible and reaching black voters. Will discuss the series politics, race and the 2024 election,” and one that Scott hopes will last at least through the summer, but also as a means for him to tap into a skill set that could be an asset to Trump: the ability to expand the party tent.

“You. Scott understands that he can bring people, especially Black people, to the party,” said a source familiar with the series’ planning. “This is an effort to highlight that.”

A sophisticated analysis of NBC polling data in 2023 found that among black voters, men under 50 gave President Joe Biden the lowest approval ratings and Trump the highest approval ratings, although the majority still viewed Trump negatively.

Still, almost 40% of those voters said they would vote for Trump over Biden in the general election, well outside the margin of error, with no more than 15% among black voters in any other age or gender category. for those subgroups.

It is mostly behind the others recent inquiries It shows Trump getting more support than ever from black voters, trailing Biden by double digits compared to 2020 results, although the president still leads among black voters.

A change in tone

Scott’s willingness to focus on his race is a departure from the early days of his presidential campaign, when he sometimes hesitated to believe too deeply in his identity, even as supporters encouraged him to highlight the factor most likely to elect him in 2024. presidential candidate on the GOP side.

“Here are four black people who aren’t black,” Scott said in the first episode of his new series as he led a roundtable with four other prominent black Republicans: Reps. Burgess Owens of Utah, Byron Donalds of Florida, John James of Michigan. and Wesley Hunt of Texas.

The panelists took turns exploring Biden’s past missteps, and the group focused on a 2020 interview he did with radio host Charlamagne tha God, in which Biden told black Americans they would not vote for him. not really Black.”

“The good news is in 2024, it looks like four out of 10 of us aren’t Black enough for Joe Biden,” Scott said.

As Scott’s presidential campaign continued before he dropped out last November, his tune began to change. He has been more vocal not only about his appeal to the small but growing number of black conservatives nationwide, but also about how he is uniquely positioned to help the party gain more traction with voters of color. country.

“I believe I’m creating a red wave where we win back the Senate, expand our majority in the House, and you do that by having a candidate who, literally the truth of my life, destroys the lies of the radical left.” and it’s creating a red wave,” Scott said at one of his final campaign stops in October.

In his opinion, this “red tide” will stem in part from his life story: a black man from South Carolina, raised by a single mother in a low-income neighborhood, the generation that went “from cotton to Congress” somewhere, as he often riffed during events.

“I’ve had a similar experience with people trapped in poverty, growing up in single-parent families today, wondering if the American dream could work for them,” Scott said.

A valuable surrogate

Trump seems aware of Scott’s potential and has no doubt tried to keep his former arch-rival close.

In addition to appearing alongside Trump at several campaign rallies in the closing days of the Republican primary, Scott was invited by Trump to attend and speak at a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago last week, which he said raised $50 million among groups including Trump. major super PACs and other fundraising committees.

The day before the Republican primary in South Carolina, Scott accompanied Trump to the Black Conservative Federation’s annual gala, where Trump received the “Champion of Black America” ​​award. Scott was the only former Trump opponent to attend the event.

And Trump has repeatedly said that Scott is better at campaigning for him than campaigning for himself.

The Biden-Harris campaign is skeptical that Scott or whoever Trump chooses as a running mate will succeed in attracting more black voters to the Republican Party.

“Regardless of who Donald Trump’s running mate is, these are the facts: Black unemployment and uninsured rates have risen during his presidency, his promotion of white nationalism has divided the nation, and his failed Covid-19 response has disproportionately killed black people.” said Jasmine Harris, Black media director for the Biden campaign. “Black voters remain some of the most informed and engaged voters in every election, and this November they will be rooting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who have put black Americans at the forefront of their administration’s work.”

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By 37ci3

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