The reelection campaign for President Trump is making a move to court some of Democrats' most reliable voters, opening centers meant to boost the president's popularity among African-Americans in 15 cities around the country.
The "Black Voices for Trump Community Centers" opened by the Trump campaign are part of a larger "Black Voices for Trump" initiative meant to encourage "the black community to re-elect President Donald J. Trump by sharing experiences and successes of everyday Americans as a result of the Trump administration." Trump backers have recently been speculating, with a strong economy and a handful of accomplishments on racial issues, that the president could significantly increase his black support in 2020 verses 2016.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. told Fox News' Neil Cavuto that he thinks Trump could increase his support among black voters from 8 percent to 12 percent, and potentially as high as 15 percent.
“The goal here is you're never going to get a vote you don't ask for,” a senior Trump campaign official said of the community centers. “People in these communities do not know the message of what the president has accomplished and what he will do with an extra four years. We want opportunities to be in these communities, to display what the Trump plan is for these communities, and in a way that's told to them by peers in their community."
The community centers will open in 15 cities -- largely diverse urban communities in swing states that could end up deciding the 2020 election:
- Tallahassee, Fla.
- Jacksonville, Fla.
- Orlando, Fla.
- Tampa, Fla
- Columbus, Ohio
- Charlotte, N.C.
- Raleigh, N.C.
- Greensboro, N.C.
Senior Trump Campaign Advisor Katrina Pierson called the reelection campaign's latest move "woke."
"We see the numbers coming up in the polls and the demand on the ground when we do these types of events, so it’s really important that we take this next step and really bring those voters into the party," she said. "It’s a woke concept. This concept by itself is a woke concept in the fact that for decades you have had a community that has been controlled by the Democratic Party. Republicans haven’t even gone in to deliver their message. Now we have a Republican who is actually going to the community to deliver the message and ask for the vote."
The Trump campaign says it might also expand this type of community center outreach by opening "Latinos for Trump" and "Veterans for Trump" locations.
Democratic presidential candidates have often alleged President Trump is racist, citing his immigration policies, past comments and response to acts of white supremacist violence such as in Charlottesville, Va. The concerted effort to woo black voters by the Trump campaign and Trump himself, who spent a significant amount of time on racial issues during his State of the Union, is likely aimed at changing that perception.
Fox News' Brie Stimson contributed to this report.