CHICAGO—President Donald Trump won a larger share of both black and Hispanic votes than he did four years ago, according to nationwide voter surveys and exit polls.
Estimates on how much he gained among these groups varies, as polling is imprecise, but the polls agree that he gained. Edison Research estimates Trump’s share of black votes increased by four points, to 12 percent from 8 percent.
According to Pew Research and Associated Press data, Trump gained 2 points among black voters, rising to 8 percent from 6 percent; and 7 points among Hispanic voters, to 35 percent from 28 percent. The Epoch Times cannot attest to the accuracy of polls.
Matthew Jones, 31, of Chicago is a black man who was raised as a liberal Democrat but made the switch to support Trump this year.
When Jones saw violence rise under the banner of Black Lives Matter, he questioned the kind of liberalism taking hold.
“They are progressive liberals. I’m an old-school liberal,” he told The Epoch Times while attending a rally in downtown Chicago on Nov. 26 in support of Trump and to call for election integrity.
Jones felt the Democratic Party had slid away from him. He went to a Trump rally for the first time this year to see for himself what the other side looks like.
“I was always told that all the Trump supporters were bad. They were racists. But they really weren’t. They actually showed me more love and respect,” Jones said.
He began his own research on what Trump has accomplished. He came to the understanding that Trump was behind record-low unemployment in black communities before the pandemic hit.
He also realized the reason some of his friends got out of prison early was the First Step Act Trump signed into law. The legislation made it easier to be released on good behavior and decreased disparities in sentencing for some drug crimes. The criminal justice reform is intended to especially help the heavily incarcerated black male population.
Jones became a Trump supporter. His family asked him, “How can you support Trump as a black man?”
He said, “Because he did more for black people.” He said his family had nothing more to say.
Jones is one of the many young black voters who made the switch to support Trump.
Trump’s approval among black voters aged 18 to 44 doubled to 21 percent from 10 percent in the past four years, according to UCLA Nationscape’s polling.
According to an analysis of election results by the Chicago Republican Party, Trump earned 9,500 more votes in black-majority wards and 13,000 more votes in Hispanic-majority wards than he did in 2016.
Chicago Republican Party Chairman Steve Boulton thinks there are two reasons why black votes increased in Chicago this year. “One is that I think Trump’s message of prosperity is beginning to draw support,” Boulton told The Epoch Times via email. “Another thing is that the Democratic Party in general nationally has moved so far left that it is leaving a lot of people behind.”
Trump Gains Among Black Voters in Battleground States
Trump also made gains in black-majority areas of other urban centers around the country, of particular note those in battleground states. Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden both made efforts to attract black voters in the largest cities of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Four years ago, black voters in these regions failed to turn out for then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, which helped Trump win all three states at thin margins.
This year, it seems Biden did worse than Clinton in these regions, though results aren’t yet certified and all three states have election-related lawsuits pending.
Biden got fewer votes in wards of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with high black populations, according to an analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In Detroit, Michigan, where the population is 80 percent black, Biden performed worse than Clinton. He did, however, earn some 20,000 more votes than Clinton in Philadelphia, where nearly half the population is black.
Trump got more votes in all these areas than he did in 2016.
As for Hispanic voters, Trump made gains nationwide, but won them at much larger margins in Florida and Texas. He made inroads into traditionally Democratic-leaning counties Miami-Dade in Florida and Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
Ulises Wilkinson is a Hispanic Chicagoan in his 20s who was at the same Trump rally as Jones—and like Jones, he used to be a Democrat.
A Young Hispanic Man’s Walk Away
Wilkinson made the switch after what he calls “three red pill moments.”
The first “red pill moment” occurred in 2019 during a workplace conversation on politics.
Wilkinson was criticizing Trump because he thought Trump was making things worse in Venezuela.
Trump had threatened intervention if Nicolás Maduro refused to hand power over to U.S.-backed Juan Guaidó. The socialist Maduro is still in power, though his presidency remains in dispute.
Wilkinson’s coworker from Venezuela heard him talking and said, “Trump is doing a good thing.” She went on to explain how her family has suffered under Maduro, and Wilkinson said that awoke something in him.
In February, he decided to watch Trump’s State of the Union address for the first time. “I could find nothing wrong with Donald Trump’s speech,” Wilkinson said. That was his second red pill moment.
The third came in April, when he watched a video released by VICE featuring black conservatives debating black liberals. “That was a very big awakening for me. That’s what pretty much led me to leave the Democrat Party,” Wilkinson said.
“When I was a Democrat, a liberal, I felt like a victim. I felt like [I was] suffering some kind of injustice. I was always told that I need the government for reliance to help me get through life.”
The debate helped him realize “you’re the author of your own destiny. If you put your mind to it, you can start your own business and you can work your way up.”
Byron Rivers, a black man raised on Chicago’s South Side, expressed a similar sentiment. “We are not held down as much as they think,” Rivers told The Epoch Times.
“I believe they are using race as an issue to wedge in their preference for a more Marxist view and set of policies for the country.”
2 More New Votes for Trump
Rivers started voting Republican in the 1990s and stayed true to the party until 2016. He voted for libertarian candidate Gary Johnson in 2016 as a way of protesting the Republican nomination of Trump.
He was worried about what he saw in the media that Trump would plunge the country into chaos.
“The things I was worried about most never showed up,” Rivers said. “Not only did that not happen, but the markets got better.”
Ronnie Vera, a Hispanic Chicagoan also in his 50s, was never into politics. He didn’t vote at all in 2016. This year, however, he voted early, in person, and for Trump.
Trump made his first good impression on Vera when he promoted saying “Merry Christmas” again instead of secularizing the holiday.
“That hit me, like sending shivers up my spine,” Vera told The Epoch Times. “I said, ‘Yes! I even have Jewish friends that will say Merry Christmas to me, so why can’t I say Merry Christmas out loud to everyone?’”
He started paying attention to Trump and to what was happening in the country.
“I saw everything that’s going around me, and it bothered me—the socialist movement, the Black Lives Matter, the transgender agenda being pushed on us, and religious people are shunned,” Vera said. “All that woke up the politics in me.
“The Black Lives Matter [movement] is destroying our country. If I were to tell my parents, ‘Hey, the cop just hit me,’ my parents would hit me first and say, ‘OK, now I want the cop to [hit] you, because you don’t disrespect the police.’ My family is not permissive at all.”
Vera’s parents immigrated to America from Ecuador, which had a socialist president at the time. Vera said he is unhappy to see socialism on the rise in the United States, and he thinks Trump will combat that rise.
He also wants Trump to fix the education system and help children be patriotic Americans.
“My kids are almost being taught at public schools that the flag represents racism,” Vera said. “I like that Trump said he was going to teach kids pro-America materials, to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and to sing the national anthem.”