In a tweet from Tuesday morning, Trump wrote that his presidential approval rating “doubled” with Black Americans, thanks in part to record-breaking unemployment rate decreases for Black workers in the country. The controversy began after Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade argued that a survey of 600,000 people found Black Americans are turning to Trump in higher numbers than before.
“Believe it or not, through all this negative coverage, they did a survey of 600,000 people about how Black America views this president,” Kilmeade said. “His numbers have actually doubled in approval… They’re seeing something, maybe in their pocket books, or their job opportunities.”
Study: 90% of Trump media coverage in 2017 was negative pic.twitter.com/vbrwup4Drg— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) January 16, 2018
Fox & Friends tweeted out the excerpt by 8:55am ET on Tuesday, and within 35 minutes, Trump parroted the comments on his Twitter account, tagging Fox into the thread.
“Unemployment for Black Americans is the lowest ever recorded,” Trump wrote. “Trump approval ratings with Black Americans has doubled. Thank you, and it will get even (much) better! @FoxNews”
Unemployment for Black Americans is the lowest ever recorded. Trump approval ratings with Black Americans has doubled. Thank you, and it will get even (much) better! @FoxNews— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2018
Except the survey doesn’t show an increase in approval ratings among Black Americans—in fact, it reports a decline. According to the survey, which was conducted via SurveyMonkey and obtained by the Times, Trump’s approval rating dropped among Black Americans from 20 percent in February 2017 to 15 percent in December. However, Kilmeade claimed “around 25 percent” of Black respondents approved of Trump.
Fox wasn’t the only network that fudged the numbers in Trump’s favor. Breitbart averaged two separate figures–23 percent approval among Black men and 11 percent among Black women–and argued that Trump’s approval rating is increasing. In reality, SurveyMonkey didn’t interview an equal number of Black men and women. 19,000 Black men responded to the survey, whereas 31,000 Black women participated.
SurveyMonkey’s actual report is less favorable, and it isn’t the only service reporting a drop in Trump’s approval among Black Americans. Based on data obtained by the Washington Post, Gallup reports Trump’s approval rating from Black respondents fell from 15 percent to 6 percent between January and December. That’s a 60 percent drop in support, suggesting that Trump’s approval rating is rapidly shrinking, not increasing.
Not just that, but compared to the Obama administration, Black Americans generally agree that race relations in the U.S. are getting worse. A Pew Research Center report from December 2017 reveals 51 percent of Black Americans think race relations are declining in the U.S., an increase from 37 percent in May 2016. 38 percent of Black Americans also believe there are very strong racial conflicts between white and Black citizens in the U.S., compared to 21 percent of whites.