The mainly African-American parishioners at the Great Faith Ministries Church in Detroit were treated to something that they don’t see every day, a wealthy, white Republican presidential candidate from New York asking them for their votes. Donald Trump attended a church service and then addressed the congregation, according to the Detroit Free Press. Trump praised the African American Christian community as “one of God’s greatest gifts to America” and stated that he was there to hear their message and, by his presence, have it disseminated to a wider audience.

Trump is following a political maxim advanced by the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill, who said that the only way to get someone’s vote is to ask for it. History has not been kind to O’Neill, a New Deal, Great Society liberal best known for being an opponent of President Ronald Reagan. But he did know a thing or two about the art of politics.

Trump also taped an interview with the church’s Bishop Wayne T.

Jackson and accompanied Ben Carson, a former opponent and now supporter, to the latter’s childhood home. The visit was part of a strategy to pry loose some African-American votes from the Democrats, who have automatically won 90 percent plus in presidential contests during the last few decades. If Trump even gets another 10 or so percent extra, he will have changed the political game in the United States.

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Donald Trump

His slogan is, “What do you have to lose?”

While Trump was well received inside the church, a group of protestors outside had an answer to the mercurial candidate’s question: “Everything.” However, the protests were peaceful, and no arrests were made.

Trump’s African American outreach come at a time of great changes to Campaign 2016. Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are in free-fall, thanks to the crushing weight of multiple scandals and her reputation for dishonesty.

In the meantime, Trump, having discovered a new, even tone, has started to inch up. Some states like Virginia, thought to be out of reach for the Republican, are back in play. Everyone, though, is looking to the debates to define the shape of the election and to determine who the next president will be.  

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