Republicans are betting on black voters, too
Democrats aren’t the only ones banking on black voters. The Trump campaign announced they’re also getting in the race to engage African Americans ahead of the 2020 presidential election. How? By opening field offices in key swing states just days before the country’s first primary featuring a majority black electorate.
Campaign officials say the goal is get their message directly to African Americans, getting around what they can the “filter” of the media. Offices will feature promotional videos and pamphlets touting President [Donald] Trump’s record on issues such as African American employment and addressing disparities in the criminal justice system.
It’s an uphill climb though, according to Pew, black voters remaining overwhelmingly Democratic.
Some polls have shown increasing black support for Trump. But his approval ratings remain historically low, winning only 8 percent of the black vote in 2016. A Washington Post-Ipsos poll found 8 out of 10 African Americans think Trump is a racist.
Nine out of 10 disapprove of his job performance.
Good Morning. I’m taking over for the live blog and we’re talking black voters.
A new national poll indicates Bernie Sanders is leading among black voters. According to the Hill/HarrisX survey, Sanders extended his lead after Tuesday night’s debates, including a 9-point advantage among African Americans.
Overall, Sanders saw a 6-point increase from last week’s Hill/HarrisX poll, with 28 percent support among Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent voters. The poll was conducted between February 23 and 24 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 points.
Despite US vice president Joe Biden’s popularity among them, black voters aren’t a monolith. Last week, I spoke with African American democrats in South Carolina ahead of Saturday’s primary who insisted there’s a progressive movement in the state that is largely ignored.
As Bill Frey of the Brookings Institute noted, black migration from the Northeast and Midwest may be a factor.
Hillary Clinton won early primaries in 2016 largely because of the black vote,” he said. “With most African Americans living in and moving south, those races become more competitive because the range of political ideologies among them widens.
One row that looks set to run between now and the South Carolina primary on Saturday is the sight of former president Barack Obama taking legal action over what he claims is a misleading TV ad from a Republican super PAC that was due to air in the state.
The lawyers letter makes this objection to the advert, saying that:
This unauthorized use of President Obama’s name, image, likeness, voice and book passage is clearly intended to mislead the target audience of the ad into believing that the passage from the audiobook is a statement that was made by President Barack Obama during his presidency, when it was in fact made by a barber in a completely different context more than 20 years ago.
It is significant that the ad is targeting minority voters in the state, as Biden’s path to wining the primary on Saturday over Bernie Sanders relies on him capturing a significant share of the African American vote.
The Committee to Defend the President super PAC attempting to run the ads started life in 2013 as the Stop Hillary PAC. Earlier this month the same super PAC had a Facebook ad that purported to show a photo of “the Bernie bros” removed for being against Facebook’s ad policies.
The Biden campaign were tweeting last night that they were close to having raised $1 million dollars in a day.
Barack Obama is yet to openly endorse anybody in the race for the Democrat nominations, which some have found surprising, given the extent to which Joe Biden has been using his relationship with Obama and their time spent together in government. Biden himself will be at a campaign event at Conway in South Carolina from 5:30pm EST tonight.
Poll finds Americans have widespread concerns about 2020 election security and integrity
As much as Donald Trump likes to paint it as a fake news hoax, concerns about foreign interference in US elections are not going to go away, as has been revealed by a new joint poll from the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
They have found that Americans have widespread concerns about the security and integrity of elections, with few saying they have high confidence that votes in the 2020 presidential election will be counted accurately.
There are widespread fears about security vulnerabilities, as well as voter suppression and voter fraud. About half of Americans say they are highly concerned that the country’s voting systems might be vulnerable to hackers, and about that many also are strongly concerned about foreign governments interfering by tampering with election results or influencing American attitudes.
But, perhaps unsurprisingly concerns vary significantly by partisanship. Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to express worries about the security of elections – with about 6 in 10 Democrats saying they are very or extremely concerned that voting systems might be vulnerable to hackers. Roughly two-thirds are highly concerned that foreign governments will interfere in 2020, by tampering with results or influencing what Americans think about political candidates.
By contrast, fewer than half of Republicans express significant concern about hackers, and just about a quarter are highly concerned about any form of foreign interference.
The AP-NORC poll of 1,074 adults was conducted between 13 February and 16 February, with a sample designed to be representative of the US population as a whole.
It is fair to say that opinion is divided as to whether Vice-president Mike Pence is the right man to take charge of a potential disease pandemic situation. Shannon Palus at Slate has listed Pence’s horrible history on public health initiatives.
While Donald Trump seems keen to talk down the impact of coronavirus in an attempt to quell any panic about it on Wall Street, high on Pence’s agenda today will be that the US appears to have seen its first human-to-human transmission of Covid-19 to someone who has no track record of contact with anybody who had travelled.
With the news that Japan is planning to close all schools for a month to combat the spread of the coronavirus and other countries taking drastic measures like Saudi Arabia halting pilgrimages, it is clear that the economic disruption caused by a prolonged outbreak in the US could be significant.
Vivian Ho has walked around the San Francisco’s historic Chinatown for us, to see the impact that fear is already having.
There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in San Francisco, but even so, Chinatown regulars say the streets are less crowded, and people have begun to worry – not about the virus itself, they said, but on whether their businesses can survive this downturn.
AP is reporting a diplomatic push from Russia to extend their last remaining nuclear treaty with the US.
Vladimir Leontyev, a deputy head of the Russian foreign ministry’s arms control department, said during parliamentary hearings that it’s impossible to modify the New Start treaty that expires in February 2021.
Leontyev said that the US has continued to stonewall Russian offers to extend the pact and recently refused to hold a meeting between experts to discuss legal aspects of its possible extension.
The New Start, which was signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers.
The treaty, which can be extended by another five years, includes a comprehensive verification regime to check compliance, including on-site inspections of each sides nuclear bases. Its expiration on 5 February next year would remove any limits on Russian and US nuclear arsenals for the first time in decades.
Much fuss has been made about Mike Bloomberg’s campaign spending power, but USA Today have just published a piece looking at his ground game in Richmond, Virginia. Their reporter was out and about with 63-year-old retiree Sean Mee, and it is an interesting look at the reaction the billionaire’s campaign is getting on the street.
Another man shouted as Mee walked away, “we’re old and have mortgages” to explain why he and others on his block would be supporting Bloomberg instead of Sanders.
Bernie Sanders’ comments about Cuba at the weekend during his “60 Minutes” interview have continued to provoke responses throughout the week. Here’s Aaron Hicklin on what Sanders’ words felt like for the LGBTQ movement.
When Bernie Sanders doubled down on his old “not everything was bad” defense of Fidel Castro last weekend, citing things like Castro’s literacy programs, I thought of my fellow students from the early 90s. Although society has transformed since I left college, Sanders’ take on Cuba seemed marooned in the past. Cuba’s record on LGBTQ rights has improved in the last 20 years, but Castro was singularly ruthless in his persecution of gay men, lesbians and transgender people.
United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has delivered a broadside in Geneva against Donald Trump’s policies on environment and migration, accusing the president of endangering public health and the rights of children.
The former Chilean president criticised recent moves to deregulate the US economy and weaken environmental protection standards.
“Untreated pollutants may now be poured directly into millions of miles of streams and rivers, putting ecosystems, drinking water and human health at risk. Weaker fuel emission standards for vehicles and decreased regulations on the oil and gas industries could also harm human rights”
Bachelet also criticised US migration policies that she said raised significant human rights concerns.
“Reducing the number of people trying to enter the country should not be done in disregard of asylum and migrant protections. The situation of children in detention is of particular concern,” she said.
AP are reporting that one of the nation’s largest labor unions is unveiling plans to invest $150 million in a nationwide campaign to help defeat president Donald Trump. The campaign will be aimed at eight key states: Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The union and its local members will pay particular attention to two key urban battlegrounds: Detroit and Milwaukee. They believe will play a defining role in the 2020 general election, and the investment will focus primarily on direct contact and online advertising targeting minority men and women who typically don’t vote.
It is the largest voter engagement and turnout operation in the history of the Service Employees International Union, which claims nearly 2 million members.
Union president Mary Kay Henry has called it “a make-or-break” moment for working people in America under Trump’s leadership.
“He’s systematically unwinding and attacking unions. Federal workers rights have been totally eviscerated under his watch,” Henry said in an interview. “We are on fire about the rules being rigged against us and needing to elect people that are going to stand with workers.”
The SEIU has yet to endorse a specific challenger for the Democrat nomination. It is one the most diverse unions in the US. Membership features those who work in health care, food service, janitorial services and state and local government workers, among others. Half its members are people of color, and more than half make less than $15 an hour.
Good morning. It’s a busier in-tray than usual for Vice-President Mike Pence after president Donald Trump put him in charge of the US response to coronavirus.
The administration has been giving mixed signals on the crisis. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have described the further community spread of Covid-19 as inevitable, even while Trump downplays the significance of the spread of the virus.
There’s evidence that for the first time there is a case in the US that involves someone with no known link to foreign travel.
Meanwhile Trump’s lawyers are going to be busy after an escalation of the Republican president’s long-running battle with the news media. His team say they are filing a lawsuit against the New York Times. The campaign said the aim of the litigation was to “hold the news organization accountable for intentionally publishing false statements against President Trump’s campaign”.
For the Democrats we’ll find out on Saturday whether Joe Biden can get over the line in first place in South Carolina. Frequently described as one of ‘firewall’ states, its a test of his appeal to minority voters. There are fifty-four delegates up for grabs.
But the campaign already seems to have moved on to looking at the states that will vote on Super Tuesday – and in particular Texas. Mike Bloomberg has spent more than $13.5 million on television ads around Houston alone. Elizabeth Warren will be in San Antonio today with its former mayor and her former rival for the nomination, Julian Castro. She visits Houston on Saturday. Pete Buttigieg will be in Dallas on Sunday. Texas will award 228 delegates on Super Tuesday, second only to California.
And if you fancy something a little leftfield and you live in New York, you can sign up for a “Mindfulness for Mike” yoga session with the Bloomberg campaign before volunteering. It starts at 9:15.