When Donald Trump visited two different black churches earlier this month in Michigan, many of his supporters and critics alike were quick to point out his apparent missteps before wishing aloud that he could have another chance at trying to woo African-American voters. The Republican presidential nominee is likely hoping that the third time's the charm this week when he visits yet another black church in the Midwest — this time in Cleveland.
The event will be a live taping at the New Spirit Revival Center, where staunch Trump supporter Rev. Darrell Scott is pastor and will host the "Midwest Values and Vision Pastors Leadership Conference," Cleveland.com reported. Fox News pundit Sean Hannity has been listed as the event's moderator and a taped version of the town hall scheduled from earlier in the day is expected to be televised Wednesday night at 10 p.m. on the cable news channel.
Early this month, Trump got mixed reviews after he spoke at a black church in Detroit. "I saw Donald Trump the human being, instead of Donald Trump the guy that just, you know, 'We're going to build a wall, we're going to keep them out,'" Sonia Green told CNN.
Others saw Trump in campaign mode, not compassion mode. "He is speaking at a black church, which is not equivalent to speaking to a black church," Lawrence Glass, the president of the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity, said.
Last week in Flint, Trump was greeted by some vocal opposition at the Bethel United Methodist Church when he launched into a political speech.
Now, presumably in a friendlier setting at an event hosted and moderated by his open supporters, Trump's message is likely more fine-tuned and can be delivered in Cleveland without any resistance.
While Trump had previously been polling at near record lows with African-Americans, it seems his fortune in that demographic has been on the upswing. Increasing his support among black by more than 16 percent, Trump is now polling at nearly 20 percent among likely black voters, according to a new Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California tracking poll.
Conversely, Clinton is apparently losing support among black and Hispanic voters, the New York Times reported.
Still, Trump's past commentary on issues important to minorities, such as social justice and immigration, may prove to be too big a hole for him to dig his campaign out from. In July, he said Black Lives Matter instigates police killings and at the start of his campaign he painted Mexicans with a broad brush, insisting they were rapists and drug dealers.