BRUCE BARTLETT: Donald Trump Doesn’t Need Latino Voters To Win: He Can Win With Blacks!
If the eventual Republican nominee needs 47 percent of the Latino vote to win the general election — the threshold set by two political scientists in a study for Latino Decisions — what chance does Trump have?
But if Trump could replace Latino votes with those of another large minority group that traditionally votes Democratic, he might have a fighting chance at victory. And even without changing his message, black voters could be that group.
African Americans have long been receptive to the anti-immigrant concepts behind Trump’s campaign. Simply put, the jobs, housing and other opportunities that immigrants take come largely at the expense of blacks who were born in the United States.
As long ago as 1881, the abolitionist Frederick Douglass complained that immigrants from Ireland, the Latinos of the day, were stealing jobs from African Americans. “Every hour sees us elbowed out of some employment to make room for some newly-arrived emigrant from the Emerald Isle, whose hunger and color entitle him to special favor,” Douglass wrote in his autobiography. A few years later, in his famous Atlanta Exposition address, Booker T. Washington begged white employers to reject “those of foreign birth and strange tongue and habits” in favor of native-born blacks, who had toiled “without strikes and labor wars.” By 1916, mass immigration had made black workers “superfluous,” the New Republic charged. The immigrant “is the Negro’s most dangerous competitor,” it said.
Black newspapers opined in favor of the Immigration Act of 1924, which enacted the first major restrictions on immigration. In an editorial, the Chicago Defender said: “With the average American white man’s turn of mind the white foreign laborer is given preference over the black home product. When the former is not available the latter gets an inning.” The labor leader A. Philip Randolph went even further, saying the Immigration Act wasn’t enough. “Instead of reducing immigration to 2 percent of the 1890 quota, we favor reducing it to nothing,” he said. By 1993, poet Toni Morrison put the issue succinctly in an essay for Time, saying, “Whatever the ethnicity or nationality of the immigrant, his nemesis is understood to be African American.”
Economically, the division is beyond doubt, and Trump could exploit it if he chose to. . . . Tellingly, the only Republican to take an anti-immigrant message directly to the black community in recent years received a positive reception.
This has to be the Democrats’ worst nightmare. And with Trump polling at 25% with blacks, who knows?
Hey, maybe he can even get support from The New Republic:
I became convinced that high levels of low-skill immigration are good for wealthy Americans and bad for poor Americans. Far more important, high levels of illegal immigration—when you start to get into the millions, as we have—undermines unions and labor standards, lowers wages, heightens social tensions, strains state budgets, widens income inequality, subverts the rule of law, and exacerbates class divides. The effects go far beyond wages, because few undocumented workers earn enough to cover anything close to the cost of government services (such as education for their children) they require, and those services are most important to low-income Americans. In short, it’s an immense blow to America’s working class and poor.
Well, no, that’s probably a bridge too far:
That is not a fashionable concern, of course. Worrying about illegal immigration today is a lot like worrying about communists in government in 1950. It’s not that the problem isn’t legitimate or serious (there actually were, we now know, a lot of Moscow loyalists working for the U.S. government). It’s that expressing your concurrence links you to a lot of demagogues and bad actors.
And at TNR, of course, who you’re “linked to” is the most important thing.
Michael Barone, on the other hand, looks at the Survey USA poll and says “Whoa!”
Against Trump Clinton carries non-whites — but by less than impressive margins. Trump’s name is supposed to be mud among Hispanics, but he gets 31 percent of their votes — more than Mitt Romney in 2012, the same as John McCain in 2008 — and Clinton gets only a bare 50 percent. Among Asians, Trump actually has a (statistically insignificant) lead of 41 to 39 percent, echoing the 50 to 49 percent Asian margin for Republicans in the 2014 vote for House of Representatives. And among blacks Clinton leads Trump by 59 to 25 percent. That’s a huge contrast with Barack Obama’s margins of 95 to 4 percent in 2008 and 93 to 6 percent in 2012.
But is the poll accurate, or an outlier? Stay tuned for further polling and we’ll see.