A trio of polls show President Donald Trump tied with Democrat Joe Biden as the president heads to Atlanta again to make an economic pitch to Black voters.
His Friday afternoon visit in Cobb County comes nearly a year after he picked Atlanta to launch his “Black Voices for Trump” coalition last fall, about five weeks before the Nov. 3 election and four years after he first asked Black voters “what do you have to lose?”
But recent polling shows Trump continues to struggle with this key demographic while also losing ground more broadly in a state he won by five percentage points just four years ago.
Polls from the New York Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution have the race in a tie; a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday shows Trump virtually deadlocked with Biden, 47% to 46%.
Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor two years ago, called Trump’s Georgia stop a “fool’s errand.”
“What I hope he takes away from the state of Georgia tomorrow is that he’s no longer welcome here,” Abrams said Thursday, criticizing his handling to the COVID-19 pandemic and his record on racial justice.
“He’s certainly not going to add votes to his column by coming here and trying to pander without delivering any actual results and without being able to explain his incompetence and, worse, his immorality when it comes to thinking about how to lead the whole country,” she added.
Georgia has not voted for Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 when President Bill Clinton won here. But Abrams pointed to a diversifying and growing electorate and a shrinking margin of victory for Republicans in the state: President Barack Obama lost Georgia by 8 points in 2012. Hillary Clinton then lost here by 5 points in 2016. And Abrams lost to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp by 1.4 percentage points in 2018.
“If polls were the gospel, Hillary Clinton would be president right now,” Trump Victory spokesperson Savannah Viar said Thursday of the three polls showing a tied presidential contest in Georgia.
“President Trump is delivering for Georgians as he leads our Great American Comeback and restores our economy to record heights,” she added. “From tax cuts to decreased regulation for Georgia construction projects, Georgians know President Trump’s ‘Promises Made, Promises Kept’ agenda is working for them and will re-elect him in November.”
In 2016, only about 8% of Black voters supported Trump at the ballot box. And the new polling is not encouraging for him: About 4% of black voters said they would support Trump in the New York Times poll released Thursday while 83% said they backed Biden. The AJC poll released Tuesday showed a similar result: 5% were for Trump while about 85% favored Biden.
The Republican National Convention featured two Black Georgians who defended Trump’s record on race and urged voters to reelect him to a second term.
“It hurt my soul to hear the terrible names that people called Donald. The worst one is ‘racist’,” former University of Georgia running back and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker said at the time.
On Friday, Trump plans to tout his “Platinum Plan” during a speech on Black economic empowerment while trying to steer Black voters away from a political party that he argues has failed them.
“You don’t have to choose to leave the Democratic Party, because the Democratic Party already left you a long time ago,” Trump said last year to a racially mixed crowd for the launch of “Black Voices for Trump.”
Photo: President Donald Trump will be back in Atlanta Friday trying to win over Black voters – a group he continues to struggle with. He is pictured here during an Atlanta stop made during the summer to announce an infrastructure plan. Ross Williams/Georgia Recorder