“For a long time, the Black vote was taken for granted by Democrats and written off by Republicans,” the CNN commentator told host S.E. Cupp on Sunday. “That’s not happening this year.”
Trump, he noted, has launched a new effort to reach that demographic, including a Super Bowl ad touting his criminal justice reform efforts. Jones said the vast majority of African-Americans will vote for the Democratic candidate, but added that it’s “conceivable” Trump could take just enough of the Black vote in swing states to win the election.
Then, he issued a warning to Democrats.
Do not take the Black vote for granted in this election,” Jones said. “And don’t pick somebody who’s not going to appeal to Black people because you’re really going to be hurting the cause.
Jones also said Black voters were getting “tired” of one part of the election process.
“If you’re an African-American voter, you understand, I get it, I’m supposed to stand in a five-hour-long line in the freezing cold in Michigan so the Democrats can win ― and then never speak to me again for four years,” he said. “And it’s gotten old and tired.”
Jones said Democrats have spent three years playing “fantasy football” with ideas, such as the notion the Electoral College would step in and stop Trump from taking office in 2017 or that the Robert Mueller investigation would end the presidency. Instead, Democrats should’ve accepted “reality” and tried to figure out what made some people vote for President Barack Obama twice and then turn to Trump.
“Trump is actually higher in the polls than he’s ever been, and we still don’t have a candidate,” Jones said.
See more of his conversation with Cupp below and a longer clip on the Mediaite website:
"Democrats have as our core vote the African American vote. That's the cornerstone of our party and in some ways there's a feeling that maybe we've taken that vote for granted for too long." @VanJones68 tells @secupp why Dems can't dismiss Trump's attempt to court black voters. pic.twitter.com/QaBXCtEl0i— SE Cupp Unfiltered (@UnfilteredSE) February 9, 2020