Trump invites ‘woke’ black voters to new group: Campaign update

Jordan Fabian

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is directing supporters to text the word “woke” to a phone number in order to join its “Black Voices for Trump” group.

The Trump campaign’s website says the group “will encourage the black community to re-elect President Donald J. Trump by sharing experiences and success of everyday people as a result of the Trump administration.” Former 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, social media figures Diamond and Silk and Pastor Darrell Scott are listed as co-chairs.

Social media figures Diamond and Silk, shown, Pastor Darrell Scott and Herman Cain are listed as co-chairs for the “Black Voices for Trump” group.

The term “woke” has been used online to denote people sensitive to the concerns of minority or marginalized communities, though it’s also often used to mock such considerations.

People who text the word “woke” to Trump’s campaign are asked to fill out a “strategy survey” that collects their names, zip codes and email addresses – valuable information for get-out-the-vote efforts. Supporters can also buy baseball caps that say “Woke” and “Black Voices for Trump” on the campaign website.

Biden Polls in Top Spot in South Carolina

Joe Biden has a commanding lead among South Carolina’s likely Democratic primary voters, according to a new Quinnipiac University released Monday.

Biden has 33% support in the state, reflecting his backing from black voters, who make up a majority of the state’s Democratic electorate. He was followed by Elizabeth Warren with 13% and Bernie Sanders with 11%. The poll was conducted November 13-17 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points.

Pete Buttigieg, who has broken into a lead in Iowa but has struggled to connect with black voters, trailed at 6%. He was followed by Tom Steyer with 5%, Andrew Yang with 4%, Kamala Harris with 3% and Cory Booker with 2%. The poll was being conducted as former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was entering the race and didn’t include him. More than half, 55%, said they might still change their minds before the primary on Feb. 29.

Among black voters, Biden has 44%, compared to Sanders with 10% and Warren with 8%. Buttigieg has less than 1%. Biden also leads among white voters by a smaller margin with 22%, compared to Warren who has 17%, and Sanders and Buttigieg who each have 11%.

Biden Wins Endorsement of Gold Star Family (2:36 P.M.)

Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden shakes hands with a member of the audience during a fundraiser for the Nevada Democratic Party, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Las Vegas.

The father of a U.S. soldier who was killed in Iraq and who was criticized by President Donald Trump is endorsing Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential race.

Khizr Khan, a Pakistani-American, gained attention with his speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in which he criticized Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims traveling to the U.S. In return, Trump suggested that Khan’s wife didn’t speak because “she wasn’t allowed to.”

“I’m supporting Joe Biden for president because of the America he stands for and the one he will fight for the country that my son, Humayun Khan, believed in and fought for so bravely,” Khan said in a statement.

Humayun Khan, an Army captain, was killed in an explosion in Baghdad in 2004. Ghazala Khan, Khizr Khan’s wife, later said she didn’t speak because she feared losing her composure speaking publicly about the loss of her middle child.

In his endorsement of Biden, Khizr Khan said beating Trump is a top priority and the U.S. needs a healer who “understands loss and pain” like Biden to bring the country together. – Emma Kinery

Democratic Money Platform Raises $4 Billion (11:18 A.M.)

ActBlue, the small-dollar fundraising platform, has helped Democrats and progressive groups take in $4 billion since it launched in 2004.

Its users include all the major, declared Democratic presidential candidates. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shunned big contributors in favor of grassroots donors, have raised most of their money through the service, which allows supporters to give with a swipe on a smartphone or the click of a mouse.

ActBlue estimates the platform will process $3 billion in contributions in the 2020 election cycle. That amount includes donations to federal, state and local candidates and committees and progressive nonprofits.

President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee introduced a similar platform, called WinRed, in June, but it has yet to catch on with GOP contributors. It raised $29.9 million in its first quarter, WinRed said in a blog post. – Bill Allison

Warren Rolls Out Tenants’ Rights Proposals (9:00 A.M.)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a fundraiser for the Nevada Democratic Party, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Las Vegas.

Elizabeth Warren unveiled proposals Monday aimed at strengthening tenants’ rights and depressing rents, promising that her administration would withhold federal funding from landlords who violate the standards.

The 2020 Democratic presidential contender said she’d create a federal Tenant Protection Bureau, modeled after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a key component of the 2010 Wall Street overhaul legislation that she advocated.

Warren said her administration would provide a nationwide right-to-counsel and establish a federal grant program aimed at benefiting low-income tenants facing eviction.

“Tenants that organize to take on bad landlords are up against a massive power imbalance,” Warren wrote in a Medium post Monday. “I’ll fight to put power back where it belongs: with tenants, not big corporate landlords.”

Warren promised to withhold federal funding from corporate landlords with a history of “harassing” or red-lining tenants and to direct the Federal Housing Administration to deny all financial support to landlords that violate tenants’ rights. Corporate landlords would be required to publicly disclose data like median rent, the number of tenants they’ve evicted and building code violations, as well as the names of any individuals with an ownership interest of 25% or more. – Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou

Buttigieg Wants Public College Free for Some (6 a.m.)

Pete Buttigieg called for spending $120 billion on the Pell Grant program and making public colleges tuition-free for students eligible for those federal grants as part of his proposal released Monday to improve college affordability.

Unlike some of his primary opponents, Buttigieg isn’t calling for public colleges to be tuition-free for all students, or for total student-debt cancellation. He’s said families that make over a certain income threshold should pay at least some of the cost of their kids’ higher education. The plan released Monday focuses on helping lower- and middle-income families.

The proposal also calls for a $2 billion pilot program to expand the free and reduced-price lunch program to provide food vouchers to students in community college, and for automatically enrolling students who take out loans for college in affordable, income-driven repayment plans.

Buttigieg also said he’d support legislation that would allow student-athletes to get paid for the use of their likeness, saying he supports California’s new Fair Pay to Play Act. The South Bend, Indiana, mayor also proposed extending Pell Grants to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients, and increasing funding for historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions by $50 billion.

The Buttigieg campaign said details about how the plan would be funded would come at a later date. – Tyler Pager

Coming Up

Ten candidates have qualified for the fifth Democratic debate, on Wednesday in Atlanta: Joe Biden, Warren, Bernie Sanders, Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, Cory Booker and Tom Steyer.

With assistance from Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou, Bill Allison and Emma Kinery.