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Donald Trump Exaggerates His Size Again as He Claims His Mug Shot Led to Increase In Support from Black Voters

President Donald Trump claims that his approval ratings among Black voters have increased fourfold since his Fulton County Jail mugshot became public.

However, five national public polls contradict this notion pushed by the former president and many other Republican pundits, indicating that any observed increase falls within the margin of error, which is typical for a relatively small voting demographic.

Donald Trump Exaggerates His Size Again as He Claims His Mug Shot Led to Increase In Support from Black Voters
Former President Donald Trump after being arrested in the Georgia RICO election interference case after they allegedly worked to overturn the election results in Georgia. (Photo: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office)

During an interview with conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt on Sept. 6, Trump made a grossly exaggerated claim that he had proof that “many Democrats” would be supporting him in the 2024 election.

Related: ‘You’re Prohibited from Using It’: Donald Trump Made Millions Selling Merchandise with His Historic Mugshot, But Legal Expert Says He May Have Violated Copyright Law

According to the twice-impeached Trump, since he was photographed for his Aug. 24 mug shot, Black Democrats, in particular, are more inclined to vote for him because they believe he is being unfairly prosecuted in the four criminal cases he has been indicted for.

“The Black community is so different for me in the last – since that mug shot was taken, I don’t know if you’ve seen the polls; my polls with the Black community have gone up four and five times,” he said to Hewitt.

Fox News and conservative media figures suggested that Black voters might lean toward supporting Trump.

During a panel discussion, they proposed that his arrest could be seen as a badge of honor and potentially be appealing to Black voters. They also argued that, in their view, Trump’s arrest could make him more relatable to the everyday experiences of Black individuals.

MSNBC’s Joy Reid called this theory “creatively racist.”

News sources looked deeper at the polling numbers to see if the former commander-in-chief was telling the truth. They found that he stretched the facts a little. According to their research, there are no national public polls that support Trump’s claim of a “four and five times” increase in Black support since his mug shot release.

“Most polls conducted after the release of the mug shot did find a higher level of Black support for Trump than he had in previous polls – but the increases were within the polls’ margins of error, not massive spikes, so it’s not clear whether there was a genuine improvement or the bump was just statistical noise,” CNN reported.

“One poll found a decline in Trump’s strength with Black voters in a race against Biden, while another found a decline in his favorability with Black respondents even as he improved in a race against Biden.”

Trump’s support among Black respondents saw modest increases, but those changes fell within the margin of error.

A poll by The Economist and YouGov showed he gained 3 percentage points, from 17 percent to 20 percent, in a race against President Joe Biden.  At the same time, their survey showed Trump’s favorability with Black respondents dropped by 9 points to 18 percent.

Messenger/Harris X also did a poll showing a 3-point gain, from 22 percent to 25 percent among Black registered voters.

Premise‘s poll indicated a 6-point increase among Black adults, from 12 percent to 18 percent. Lastly, Echelon Insights reported the most significant jump, showing an 8-point gain, from 14 percent to 22 percent among Black registered voters.

Given the sample sizes, pollsters note that all these shifts remain statistically uncertain. They also do not reflect that his mug shot is the reason for the extremely slight rise in his numbers.


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