Donalds: November will be ‘opening salvo’ in Black voters’ political shift

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) predicted Sunday that as many as a quarter of Black voters could side with former President Trump this November in what he described as an “opening salvo” of Black voters moving toward Republicans.

Donalds said in a Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures” interview with Maria Bartiromo that if the election were to be held today, Trump would take between 14 percent and 18 percent of the Black vote. He said he believes that proportion will increase between now and Election Day, calling 25 percent “very possible.”

“How you get to 25 percent is, you go through the actual full campaign, get-out-the-vote efforts, direct targeting of media to Black voters, explaining that President Trump’s agenda was better for them than Joe Biden’s, and then going through how he’s going to get America back on track,” Donalds said.

“That’s what Black people are looking for today in the United States, no more of the political dogma,” he continued.

That overperformance among Black voters, Donalds predicted, could have massive ramifications.

“And what it would demonstrate is that you have Black voters who are shifting in their political thought, are shifting in their politics,” he said. “I think this November is going to be the opening salvo, if you will, of seeing that demonstration of movement of Black voters, but a lot of voters in the United States.”

Donalds is believed to be among the finalists to be Trump’s vice presidential candidate. The congressman said putting him on the ticket would create “direct contrast” between himself and Vice President Harris, who is also Black.

Trump received about 12 percent of the Black vote in the 2020 election, though recent polling suggests he could attract up to a fifth of the Black vote this year.

Both President Biden and Trump have ramped up their efforts to reach out to Black voters, especially Black men, in the 2024 election cycle. Trump has leaned on attempts to connect with voters, while Biden’s campaign has generally focused on policy accomplishments.

“I don’t know your pathway to victory without Black men,” Mondale Robinson, founder of the Black Male Voter Project, told The Hill last week.

The Biden campaign has pushed back on the idea that Trump could be making gains among Black voters. Campaign co-Chair Mitch Landrieu said last week that there’s “no universe” in which Trump wins 21 percent of Black voters, as a recent CNN poll suggested.

At a campaign event last month, Biden said Trump is merely “pandering” to attract Black voters, while he, the incumbent, has delivered.

“I’ve shown you who I am, and Trump has shown you who he is, and today Donald Trump is pandering and peddling lies and stereotypes for your vote so he can win for himself, not for you,” Biden said. “Well, Donald Trump, I have a message for you: not in our house, and not on our watch.”

The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has held up the polls as proof of work paying off.

“President Trump is showing up in Black communities and listening to voters where they live,” Janiyah Thomas, the Trump campaign’s director of Black media, told The Hill in a statement last week.

“Polls, and every other measure of public support, reflect that historic numbers of voters in the Black community are abandoning Biden and moving towards President Trump.”

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