The black voter

An entrepreneur who has always voted Democrat

Business ower Kermit Robinson, 39, is voting for Democrats because he thinks Donald Trump is not fit to be president.
Mr Kermit Robinson will vote for Mrs Hillary Clinton "because her husband did a pretty good job when he was in office". The Clinton campaign is focused on getting the black vote out in urban areas of battleground states.
Mr Kermit Robinson will vote for Mrs Hillary Clinton "because her husband did a pretty good job when he was in office". The Clinton campaign is focused on getting the black vote out in urban areas of battleground states.PHOTO: PAUL ZACH

CLEVELAND (Ohio) • As an entrepreneur who operates two tow trucks under the RICH BOY'$ Tires and Automotive Services Inc banner, political pundits might assume Mr Kermit Robinson, 39, votes Republican.

As an African-American, however, he has always voted Democrat - and will do so again on Nov 8.

"When you talking entrepreneur, you are thinking like a Republican," he said. "For me, though, I'll vote for Hillary because her husband did a pretty good job when he was in office."

That bodes well for the Democrats. More than 90 per cent of African-Americans voted for President Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012. That raised their share of the national electorate to 13 per cent.

 

The latest realclearpolitics poll average showed Mrs Clinton not doing quite as well among black voters, getting 79 per cent to 7.7 per cent for Mr Donald Trump. So her efforts in the urban areas of battleground states are focused on getting the black vote out.

Certainly a free concert by a megastar rapper like Jay Z helps, and Mr Robinson, wearing a woollen cap against the morning chill, had just picked up tickets to such a show, to be held on Friday at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Centre. There the R&B music mogul will perform a Get Out The Vote concert. Mrs Clinton is expected to put in an appearance.

Mr Robinson grew up on the mean streets of inner Cleveland and spent two months at Cleveland State but dropped out because he "wanted to get to the money" faster. As a single father of two girls, 21 and 16, he has problems with Mr Trump. "He's not a good role model for my kids," he said.

Mr Robinson also voiced a concern raised by many voters, including some Republicans: "Trump will cause a lot of problems globally."

But he added that a Trump presidency would not necessarily be bad for his business. "If Trump were to get in office, we'd go to war instantly and I'd make a lot of money," he said, but added that "you've got to think about the people".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2016, with the headline 'An entrepreneur who has always voted Democrat'. Print Edition | Subscribe