According to a recent nationwide poll, support for President Donald Trump among black Americans appears to have spiked in just one week.
Though a relatively small sample size could mean the April 29 poll is an outlier, it was conducted after rapper Kanye West began making controversial public statements in defense of the president and certain conservative thinkers.
The Daily Caller reported that Trump’s approval rating among blacks overall nearly doubled in the latest Reuters survey, from just under 9 percent one week earlier to 16.5 percent in the most recent results.
Trump support among black men, who were already statistically more likely to support the president than black women, saw an uptick from 11 to 22 percent over the same period.
Among voters overall, an approval rating of just over 41 percent represented one of the best results of 2018, according to the weekly poll.
Also notable in the results is a rise in the level of ambivalence among black voters on the subject of Trump.
Just 1.5 percent of black respondents said they had “mixed feeling” about the president in a poll conducted on April 22. One week later, that number had jumped to more than 7 percent.
When asked the same question in previous polls, Reuters found the level of mixed feelings toward Trump’s job performance has hit 8 percent this year on at least three previous occasions. Trump’s approval rating among blacks, and black men in particular, however, hit their highest points of the year this week.
Though West has earned widespread criticism for a series of media appearances and Twitter posts expressing contrarian thoughts about the president, he has attempted to portray his statements as an endorsement of free thought.
“I haven’t done enough research on conservatives to call myself or be called one,” he tweeted last week. “I’m just refusing to be enslaved by monolithic thought.”
In addition to supporting Trump, West has also taken a critical stance on former President Barack Obama.
“Obama was in office for eight years and nothing in Chicago changed,” he wrote.
In an incendiary TMZ interview this week, he expounded on that idea by suggesting that the fact blacks remained enslaved for centuries in America “sounds like a choice” on their part.
West explained that his motivation in donning a Trump campaign hat, which ignited the ensuing backlash, was a desire to defy others’ expectations.
He said he “felt a freedom, first of all, in just doing something everybody tells you not to do.”
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