You’ve heard of Ben Carson by now. He’s the one besting Trump at the moment for the GOP nomination. Ben Carson who believes the pyramids in Egypt were built for storing grain among many, many other, um, questionable theories about everything.
He’s also a retired neurosurgeon. And he’s black. The second point is salient because he’s released a new rap ad aimed at young black voters.
Carson’s campaign enlisted a rapper, Aspiring Mogul, for the ad in the hopes of reaching young African-American voters “in a language that they prefer” and “in a cultural format that they appreciate.”
Oh, so it was for the black voters, not because Carson himself is black. Okay then. The GOP might see a chance to win over black voters with Carson. They head of a GOP Super PAC said so recently.
It would not take many black votes to complicate the Democrats’ electoral map. Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster working for a super PAC supporting Bush, said in an e-mail that the “demographic challenges” facing the eventual GOP nominee are “real and significant,” but fixable.
“The payoff can be significant,” Newhouse said. “It doesn’t take much of a swing in minority votes to make a difference. Winning even 10 to 14 percent of African American votes in states like Ohio, Florida or Virginia could put those states in the GOP column in ’16.”
It’s rare for a Republican candidate to pick up more than 10 percent of the black vote in any election, anywhere in the country. Will Carson’s new appeal to young black voters? Remember, he has to win the nomination first, and young black voters – you know, the kind he thinks his rap video will appeal to – make up a negligible percentage of the GOP primary voters in GOP primaries. There are even fewer of them in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two voting states, which have, interestingly, a very small black population statewide.
If he’s wooing primary voters with the video, he’s spent a lot of money to persuade – I think we’re being generous here – about a dozen voters. If it’s laying the groundwork for the general election, well, his investment may pay off.
There’s only one problem with a Carson candidacy though. His views on things – we are being less generous here – are crazy. Just. Crazy. It’s not just the pyramids comments. He doesn’t seem to have a scientific grasp on science.
But even that might not matter. If he’s really serious in reaching out to black voters, he has to reach out to Democrats and swing voters, because there just aren’t enough in the GOP to make a difference. And if that’s his long term plan, he may be crazy like a fox.