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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jimmy Kimmel's polling suggests Trump might not get 95 percent of the Black vote after all

Illustration for article titled Jimmy Kimmel's polling suggests Trump might not get 95 percent of the Black vote after all
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live

Of all the things Donald Trump has predicted over his lifetime of failed business ventures, court-proven scams, and political whoppers, perhaps none remains more transparently, hiccup-laughingly wrong than his 2016 claim that he will, in 2020, win “95 percent” of the Black vote. (His repeated lowballing of the expected number of COVID-19 deaths notwithstanding, since 215 thousand dead people on his watch cannot be reached for comment.) Sure, he only got around six percent in 2016 (and that still seems high, considering), but certainly his record over the last four years has proven his repeated claim that no president since Abraham Lincoln has done more for the Black community. No, seriously, he’s on tape saying that and everything.

To be fair, it’s not like he called Black athletes protesting systemic racist police violence “sons of bitches.” Or scheduled a rally for his overwhelmingly white super-fans on Juneteenth in Tulsa, infamously the site of one of the most heinous mass killings of Black people by white supremacists. Or called torch-bearing white supremacists “very fine people.” Or praised white supremacists invading the Michigan State House with guns who then went on to plot the kidnap and murder of Michigan’s Democratic governor. Or halted the plan to put emancipator hero Harriet Tubman on the twenty-dollar bill. Or raged against plans to change the names of military bases named for white supremacist Confederates. Or moved to end all racial sensitivity training at federal workplaces. Or even allowed his blondest spokes-liar to put her dirty-ass feet on the Oval Office couch and check Twitter while Trump was supposedly honoring heads of HBCUs. Or has a documented history of boorish, blatant bigotry going back right up into his Klan-loving daddy’s lap.


Oh, right, he’s done all those things, and more. Still, who are we to question the word of the leader of the free world? We’ll let Jimmy Kimmel do it. Sending one of his staff out on the California streets to poll Black passers-by on their voting preference in the November 3 presidential election, Kimmel noted that Trump’s recent, Hatch Act-violating White House campaign rally COVID-bombed several hundred Black and Latino voters (who had been paid to be there and dress in identical MAGA cult-wear) at least opened the possibility that Black support for Trump is secretly bubbling away out there—somewhere.

Yeah, it’s not. With a montage of responsibly masked Black people asked, “Are you voting for Donald Trump?, the answers came back in all shades of “No.” Some said “Absolutely not.” There were a few “Hell, no”s, with one guy elaborating with a contemptuous, “Hell, no, I ain’t votin’ for that dude. Are you crazy?” Another interviewee’s, “Probably not—I can’t vote for a racist,” sounds like a no, although there was a “probably” in there. (Nope—the percentage ticker in the corner of the screen kept counting down from 95 percent. It’s science.) And, sure, these are hip, Hollywood types with their “Racism sucks” hoodies and stylish but safety-conscious COVID-wear, but certainly some of their extended families must be on the Trump Tra—what’s that? They are not? Not one? Not at all, according to the followup question from Kimmel’s staffer. Nobody from church, no aunts and uncles, certainly not mom and dad. As the ticker bottomed out at zero (C’mon, he’s going to get at least Herman Cain’s vo—oh, right), one suspiciously deep-voiced man explained that WWE Hall Of Famer Trump is still playing self-aggrandizing political theater just now on a stage that’s literally killing people. Now, nobody’s saying that former actual President Barack Obama was doing man-on-the-street late-night interviews, but, hey, he’s wearing a mask. His ears did stick out a little. You don’t know.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.