Will Ben Carson’s Rap Ad Appease or Offend Black Voters?


In April, Carson said hip-hop ‘destroys’ values and communities. On Friday, the candidate will release an ad featuring rap artist Aspiring Mogul.

Ben Carson wants to court the black vote, so he’s turning to a new medium: rap.

On Friday, Dr. Carson’s campaign will launch a 60-second radio advertisement featuring rapper Aspiring Mogul and interspersed with portions of Carson’s stump speech.

The $150,000 radio ad buy, called “Freedom,” will air in eight urban markets, according to ABC News.

“America became a great nation early on not because it was flooded with politicians but because it was flooded with people who understood the value of personal responsibility, hard work, innovation, and that’s what will get us on the right track now,” Carson says between Mogul’s lyrics.

The ad seeks to reach black voters “on a level they appreciate and follow and see if we can attract their consciousness about the election,” Carson campaign spokesman Doug Watts told ABC News. “They need to get involved and express their voice through their vote.”

As Carson rises in the polls – the latest Quinnipiac poll shows him with 23 percent support among Republican respondents – the campaign is working harder to court African-Americans, who they have said will give Carson an edge over his competitors. But given his stance on a number of issues traditionally deemed relevant to black voters, Carson’s appeal to the African-American community is decidedly mixed, and it’s not clear how the ad will be received.

In a head-to-head match-up with Hillary Clinton, Carson receives 19 percent of the black vote, compared to Clinton’s 73 percent, according to the Quinnipiac poll. This marks the first time since George W. Bush that a Republican candidate has received black voter support in the double digits.

“Even though he may not be courting African-Americans as aggressively as Clinton, Carson is polling better with African-Americans than any of the other Republican candidates and better than either John McCain or Mitt Romney in the last two elections,” says Nick Clark, a political scientist at Susquehanna University, in an interview.

“If he is the eventual nominee and maintains even that level of support amongst African-Americans, that could be enough to tip a close race in his favor,” he says.

Which is why the Carson campaign is working to bolster black support.

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SOURCE: The Christian Science Monitor – Husna Haq