Black support for Trump overstated, Charlamagne says

Charlamagne the God sits down for an interview
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US radio host Charlamagne tha God says opinion polls suggesting black Americans may flee the Democratic party to vote for Donald Trump may be "overstated".

In an interview with the BBC's Americast, he said: "Everybody keeps talking about Donald Trump and the inroads he's making with black men, but I don't see it."

Both President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and Trump, a Republican, have ramped up their efforts to court black voters, as November's White House election looms.

Pollsters currently predict a tight race decided between a few swing states, where some polls have shown Trump gaining ground among black voters, a key Democratic voting bloc.

"I don't know if those polls are accurate," Charlamagne tha God, an influential voice among black Americans, told the BBC.

"I'm sure there are some black men that support Donald Trump, but that is not the overall sentiment," added the broadcaster, whose legal name is Lenard McKelvey.

A recent New York Times and Sienna College poll suggested that over 20% of black voters in key swing states - Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - would back Trump in November.

That signals a deep shift compared to 2020, when 92% of black voters nationally cast their ballot for Mr Biden to help him win, according to Pew Research.

But McKelvey - host of the popular radio show The Breakfast Club, which boasts over 4.5 million weekly listeners - said that support might be "a little over-overstated".

The negative polling for Democrats is more of a signal of black voter frustration than a new voting trend, he added.

"History has shown us that the Democratic party hasn't fulfilled a lot of its promises," he said.

"The thing I would always say to the Democrats and President Biden is black people are always yours to lose."

The Biden campaign has spent millions of dollars targeting black voters, whom the president recently called the "backbone" of the Democratic party at a campaign stop.

However, inflation, immigration and the Israel-Gaza war have weakened his standing.

Former President Trump, too, has made a concerted effort to win over black voters, from posing with black Americans at a fast-food chain, to inviting rappers on stage during a rally.

There is also speculation that Trump may choose Tim Scott, a black Senator from South Carolina, as his running mate to win over more of the African-American vote.

"Just because you got black skin colour doesn't mean that you will be able to energise black people to run out there and vote for you," McKelvey said.

"And Tim Scott is definitely not gonna move that needle with black voters."

McKelvey said Trump and Mr Biden are "the two worst candidates ever in the history of candidates running for president".

Although McKelvey did not outright endorse a candidate, he told the BBC: "I'm voting to preserve democracy this year." The phrase is often used by the Biden campaign.

In the last election cycle, Mr Biden caused uproar after he said African-Americans "ain't black" if they don't vote Democrat. He quickly apologised.

But McKelvey told the BBC's Americast that he has "never been mad at that statement... because that was his honest opinion, you know".