In the era of “identity politics,” there’s no question that Donald Trump makes direct and veiled appeals to what he sees as the interests of white people. But Democratic candidates Corey Bocker and Julian Castro are not getting much traction among their own ethnicities. The answer may be that minority groups are more interested in winning than to have “one of their own” in the White House.

According to Politico, one early-State Democrat puts it this way, “I kinda wonder if there are some people who are not giving Sen. Booker an opportunity because in their mind they think that another black male’s not gonna win this soon,” referring to the presidency of Barack Obama.

Their positions are stark.

New polling in South Carolina places Booker among the top five candidates, but his support among black voters is in the low single digits. In Nevada, six candidates are polling ahead of Castro with Hispanics.

It’s not for lack of effort — or credentials. Castro was the first candidate to release comprehensive plans on immigration and policing. He made Puerto Rico his first campaign stop after announcing his candidacy in San Antonio, Texas, where he once served as mayor of the majority Latino city. His team in Nevada is comprised entirely of Latinos, according to a spokesperson, who also said the campaign is eyeing office space in a predominantly Latino community.

Booker, a former mayor of majority black Newark, distinguishes himself as the only candidate who lives in a low-income, inner-city community and touts his bipartisan work on criminal justice reform. The New Jersey senator has also hired a diverse team on the ground in South Carolina, where half of his staffers are African American, including his state director, political director and senior adviser.

Their situations are not for lack of trying. Booker has focused on the fact that African-Americans are jailed at a higher rate than whites, even for the same crimes. “There Are More African-Americans In Prison Today Than Were Enslaved In 1850,” he says.

He also ripped Trump for his recent remarks about Democratic women of color. Young people may be forgiven for not seeing the racism in Trump’s language, but people in their 70s (like Trump) will remember the saying, “Go back to Africa,” that was common in the 1950s but disappeared in the 1960s.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, compared what was said at Trump’s Wednesday night rally to the language used by segregationist former Alabama Gov. George Wallace in the 1960s. . .

Booker said it’s “sadly” the kind of politics America has seen before, noting the “Know Nothing” party used similar rhetoric against Irish and German immigrants in the 1850s.

Reuters notes that Booker has been direct in his talk of race, unlike Obama, who made a clear effort to avoid race. Booker has suggested he’s closer to the people than the millionaires (and billionaires) running in both parties.

When asked about gun safety, he spoke about inner-city violence, saying he was the only candidate who had seven people shot in his neighborhood last week. . .

He speaks often about U.S. racial inequities in criminal justice, voting rights and housing policy, warning Americans must not engage in “historical amnesia” about generations of racist policies.

The latter comment is related to the fact that racial discrimination has been built into American laws for centuries, such as redlining where African Americans may live, or where banks may lend to prospective Black homeowners. But as noted above, Trump won largely as a reaction to having our first Black president. Having another African-American candidate would just give Trump more argument that he’s the “white man’s candidate.”

It’s not quite the same for Castro, who has tried but failed to lead in polls among Hispanic-Latino voters.

Castro was the first candidate to release comprehensive plans on immigration and policing. He made Puerto Rico his first campaign stop after announcing his candidacy in San Antonio, Texas, where he once served as mayor of the majority Latino city. His team in Nevada is comprised entirely of Latinos, according to a spokesperson, who also said the campaign is eyeing office space in a predominantly Latino community.

But Castro’s debate performance made a difference.

Prior to his breakout debate performance, Castro was third with 9 percent support. But since winning plaudits for challenging O’Rourke to do his homework on immigration policy, Castro has also soared from third in net favorability to first, with a net favorability of +35 among those voters.

Castro also reacted to Trump’s attack on the Democratic women.

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro described President Trump’s recent tweets attacking progressive congresswomen as “disgusting” and “racist,” but suggested that such language is par for the course for the president.

“Everybody knows that the president acts like a white supremacist. He is a racist, he’s made that clear on so many different occasions,” Castro said Monday on CNN’s “New Day.”

Both candidates are struggling, but it would be interesting to have a president named “Castro” so close after having a president whose middle name is “Hussein.”

8 COMMENTS

  1. “White Man’s Candidate” “Interests of White people” (Seriously???)

    Yup that’s me. I Only voted for Trump because of your “white” statements. Unbelievable.

    You’re 100% wrong about Trump. Why the hate?

    Those “white” supporters at his rallies, “as if someone’s color makes a difference,” are there because they have an interest in the country and politics.

    • Hate?? The reader protesteth too much, methinks.

      The article was about how Booker and Castro have trouble firing up their ethnic group, and Trump does not.

      • Seeing as the platform of the Republican Party right now is entirely made up of white identity politics, the focus on diversity among non-nazi candidates is a natural response.

    • Whether you are a white supremacists or not, at this point there is no doubt that Trump IS a white supremacist. The white supremacist groups know it, and claim him as one of their own. I sincerely hope that racism is not what influenced you to support Trump. Only you know the answer to that.
      Why the hate? Trump preaches hate, and has since before the beginning of his campaign, the hate against him is a reaction to that. As far as the white people at his rallies, are white people the only ones interested in this country and it’s politics. Are there few black, brown people there because they are not interested, or fear they would not be welcome there or even in danger from Trump’s supporters?

      • Beto had 27, mostly white people, at his rally yesterday. He said ” I chose to be in El Paso rather than in Iowa. In Iowa there is corn and a carnival.” Yup, that’s Iowa. No doctors, etc just smelly Walmart people as Hillary said. Why the racism?

        Beto is “your” typical elite racist. Just like the others “you” think aren’t racist. But that’s your elite racists you associate with. Sad.

        Trump has thousands, inside and out inside, at his rally today. Trump is a real leader.

        He’s got the US economy cooking. Its the other countries, that haven’t followed his lead, that are hurting. That is there problem.

        Your white supremacists sickening statement just show your CNN Ignorance. People that support Trump know he isn’t a white supremacist. Nothing could change your Cnns racists mind.

        Maxine waters has the hate. “Get in their faces, etc.” You and the others have the hate. You hit kids for wearing MAGA hats. You hit, and hate people, who wear Trump clothes. Don’t try and make “Excuses” for the dems hate. Dems are supposed to be for “love and peace.” Ask yourself why the hate?

      • Stop trying to sound so innocent. Back room good old boy smoked filled Chicago politicans is the standard for Democrats.

        Trump has beaten the Dems at their own game. The hatred was really noticed when the Vietnam vets returned. They were spit on. Called baby killers by the liberal left.

        So the left has used violence for decades as a means to become noticed. Now that Trump’s rallies are the vocal you all act as though you are offended.

        The white supremacists thing is a smoke screen so you all can feel better. Trump supporters aren’t white supremacists. Not even close.

        If you claim they are then I can say Hillary loved the KKK. Why? Because she called Robert Byrd her mentor. Robert Byrd was the chief of the KKK before he supposedly changed.

        As I said Trump, who not to long ago was a Democrat, has beaten them at their own game. And you all try to act holier than thou.

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