Politico’s Ben Smith makes some interesting points -- and has some punchy quotes -- about the risk Donald Trump faces in going the birther route, particularly to his business. And numbers in a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll highlights that risk.
“Trump's shows [as host of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice] boast a solid African-American viewership and black cast members some of whom he's likely alienating.”
In Smith’s post, Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, (and others) connected the dots between birtherism and race. "There's a lot of people that I've talked to instinctively think that he's using the issue as a proxy for race," Morial said, adding, “It's like a modern day Salem witch trial -- because there's no merit to it.”
The February NBC/WSJ poll showed 26% had a favorable opinion of Trump, while 29% had a negative one. And the groups that had the most favorable opinion of Trump were Hispanics (33%-23%) and African Americans (27%-22%).
That should be a warning sign to Trump that not all publicity is good publicity and that there is substantial risk in potentially alienating black viewers.
Others with a favorable opinion of Trump in the poll: Tea Party supporters (29%-25%), Republicans (31%-28%), Northeasterners (32%-25%), Midwesterners (30%-27%), those with less than a high school education (34/24).
He’s a net-negative with whites (26%-30%), white men (27%-31%), white women (25%-28%), suburban voters (24%-35%), GOP/Non-Tea (30%-31%), the South (28%-29%), the West (13%-34%).